Accessing our library

A library with lots to offer

The Blind Foundation Library is a rich resource. From audiobooks and magazines, to braille and tactile books, there’s something for everyone. Depending on your eye condition or print disability, you may be able to receive our Library material on-line, or by direct loan.

For adults

Our collections for adults include fiction, non-fiction and periodicals, including daily newspapers. These are available in one or more accessible formats:

  • braille (mainly UEB, Uncontracted English Braille)
  • DAISY audio (a specialised audiobook format)
  • e-braille (electronic braille files, in brf format)

Our largest collection by format is DAISY audio.

Membership

Become a Library member and gain access to our collections and services. Membership is free to registered clients of the Blind Foundation. We offer several membership types, catering to different groups:

  • Adult membership
    Registered Blind Foundation clients (over 18 years of age) are eligible for adult membership. Adult membership offers access to all Library services.
  • Youth membership
    Registered Blind Foundation clients (under 18 years of age) or those enrolled with a BLENNZ visual or sensory resource centre are eligible for youth membership. To find out more, visit the Youth Library.
  • Associate membership – Digital Services
    Access to our digital services (Library content on BookLink and Alexa) is available to New Zealand citizens and residents with a print disability, who do not meet the full criteria for Blind Foundation membership. This category of membership is open to all ages. To find out more, visit the Associate Membership FAQ.

Conditions of Access

To access Library services we request you read and agree to the Blind Foundation’s conditions of access and understand the copyright obligations. Please note these conditions are to fulfil our legal requirements and so our legal name is used rather than our Blind Foundation trading name in the following terms and conditions of service.

Copyright Obligations

The books and other works in the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Library collection are protected by copyright. The RNZFB has the following policy regarding copyright.

To provide access to a selection of books and other published works, the RNZFB makes available copies of these works in a range of accessible formats. The RNZFB is permitted by the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 to make these copies. The permission provided by the Copyright Act 1994 is only for persons with a print disability and therefore only New Zealanders who are blind, print-disabled or have low vision are permitted to access the RNZFB Library’s collection.

As a borrower, it is your responsibility to ensure that any books or other works that you borrow from the RNZFB Library are not made available to any other individual or organisation. Actions that are not permitted include, but are not limited to:

  • Lending RNZFB Library items to another person.
  • Copying and sending items to another person.
  • Copying to another person’s computer or electronic device.
  • Emailing to another person.
  • Uploading to the internet.

To respect the rights of copyright owners and protect the RNZFB Library service for other borrowers, the RNZFB reserves the right to refuse access to its collection for any individual or organisation that makes RNZFB works available to another person or organisation.

The intent of this policy is to ensure that the rights of copyright owners are respected and that the RNZFB Library service is not jeopardised for blind, low vision or print-disabled New Zealanders.

Carry on reading

Our audiobooks, magazines and newspapers are produced in digital audio, so you can receive them on the service that best suits your needs. The fastest way to read from our Library is to get on-line, but you can still receive Library material if you do not have access to the Internet.

Alexa and BookLink

You can use an Amazon Alexa smart speaker to access to our entire audio collection using only your voice and an Internet connection. The Library has Echo Dot speakers available for long-term loan to members on request. If you prefer to download audio to read offline, you can use the BookLink service on your computer or mobile devices.

DAISY player

If you don’t have access to the Internet, you can listen to talking books with a DAISY player, available for long-term loan from the Library.

When you join the library, we’ll set up a profile for you, that will allow us to automatically select and deliver books and magazines to you, based on your interests. You may be able to receive them on demand over the 2degrees mobile network with our in-house Daisy Direct equipment; otherwise, we can send them to you by post on DAISY CD or USB drive.

Braille, large print, and electronic text

We have large print, electronic text and braille books available on request. Large print and braille can be posted to you, while electronic text is emailed to you. To find out more, or to request a title in your preferred format call us on 0800 24 33 33 or email library@blindfoundation.org.nz.

Request an item

To request items from our adult collections, call us on 0800 24 33 33 or email library@blindfoundation.org.nz and tell us the book’s title and book number.

Bookshare

Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities, offering mainly electronic books which can be read as large print or synthetic speech. If you are a registered Blind Foundation client, you can receive your first year of subscription free of charge

The Blind Foundation Archive

The Blind Foundation Archive preserves the unique history of the blind and low vision community in New Zealand.

It holds over 125 years’ worth of archives, such as minutes, reports, brochures, posters, photographs and videos (some of which have been digitised), and a small but growing collection of born-digital archives.

Information about the archive collections, including digitised publications, images and videos, is available in the Blind Foundation’s on-line heritage repositiory, Revisionary. This is our way of making our Archive more accessible to all of the Foundation’s clients and staff, as well as to students, professional researchers and the general public.

Revisionary was made possible by the former Archivist, Kylie Thomson, with the generous support of the Lottery Grants Board in 2016, and with the development work of NZMS (New Zealand Micrographic Services).