What is DAISY?

Digital Accessible Information System, or DAISY, is a standard for creating digital talking books in an accessible audio format. Books that use DAISY technology allow you to move forwards and backwards at different levels, between chapters, pages, and phrases. You can also make bookmarks as you read, for quick reference. The Foundation shares its DAISY talking books with other blindness support agencies internationally, and receives overseas material in the same format.

About DAISY players

The Library provides a free DAISY audio player to registered clients of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. The player has been designed for people who are blind or have low vision and has easy to use features. Instructions on how to use the player are provided, and a volunteer can provide in-home assistance if required. The DAISY player has a sleep timer function, and can alter the speed and tone of the audio narration.

The player will play commercial audio CD books such as those you borrow from the public library, music CDs and MP3 files. However, you cannot play DAISY CDs on a regular CD or MP3 player. As well as the CD drive, the DAISY player can read files from USB drives, and SD memory cards. Using extra storage allows you to transfer your audio books and magazines between devices, and the player’s own internal memory.

Receiving audio books and magazines

When you register for the CD service, we will set up a member profile that determines what kind of books will be selected from the collection for you, and which magazine titles will be delivered to you regularly. You can also request specific books, by getting in touch with us by phone or e-mail.

CDs containing audio books or magazines are produced on demand and sent to borrowers in the post. Books and magazines need to be returned in the cardboard packaging they were sent in. The library’s address is on the return mailer, and there is no charge for the postage. Once a CD has been returned, another CD will be sent to replace it.

Daisy Direct

Daisy Direct is a new service developed by the Blind Foundation, which delivers DAISY audio directly to a dedicated mobile device for use with a DAISY player. The device is configured as an audio delivery system, with an interface based around audio prompts telling the user what to do next. Daisy Direct comes with 2 USB storage drives attached: one for receiving books, and the other for magazines.

When you plug the book USB drive into the device, it will copy the next 3 books in your queue onto the drive ready for reading, and carry on downloading more. At the same time it removes the books which were previously on the drive, so if you want to collect several books for reading at the same time, you can use your DAISY player to copy just the ones you want.

Plugging in the magazine USB drive will copy any updated magazine issues from your subscriptions to the drive, so that you always have the most recent issues on the one USB drive.

Like the CD system, Daisy Direct uses a profile system to select books for you, and keep your magazines up to date. If you want to change your subscriptions, or request individual titles, you can do that with us over the phone or by e-mail.

The service runs on the 2degrees mobile network, so it does not require an Internet connection. It does however depend on good signal strength for the mobile network, so if you cannot get a reliable signal where you live, it may not be the best option for you. The CD service will continue to operate for Library members where other means of digital delivery are not suitable.

If you would like to register for the Daisy Direct service, or if you have any questions, please contact us on 0800 24 33 33, or by e-mail at library@blindfoundation.org.nz.

DAISY player help

Download our DAISY player help guide:

DAISY player help guide (.doc)

Download our user guide for Daisy Direct:

Welcome to Daisy Direct (.docx)

Volunteer support in your home

Our Library volunteers visit library members’ homes and support the use of DAISY Players (CD service), Daisy Direct, and BookLink. Please contact us to find out if volunteer support is available where you live.