Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Hi Vis - celebrating accessible library services


This year 'Making a Noise In Libraries' has changed to Hi VIS. This will take place from 1st June to 14th June 2020 and celebrates accessible library services. The aim of this event is to raise awareness of the range of library services and activities available to visually impaired users.

Some of the services we have available for visually impaired users are as follows:


We have eBooks available on two platforms, Borrowbox and RBdigital, with a range of genres available. 

Borrowbox also has titles for children and young adults as well as adults and has some great accessibility functions.

Borrowbox Accessibility

  • The Borrowbox app is optimised to work with Apple’s VoiceOver functionality to enable to book to be read 'aloud'.
  • It utilises the built-in screen reader to provide meaningful auditory descriptions of each on-screen element. 
  • You can also change font, font size, change theme and width of text. A font is available to make text more readable for dyslexic users.

Functions from RBdigital include: 
  • Changing the font size and font type
  • Changing background colour
  • Increasing/decreasing the page margins, line height, word and letter spacing for greater readability.


We have a huge range of eAudiobooks available on Borrowbox and RBdigital including children's and adult titles. On both platforms eAudiobooks have adjustable playback speed to suit individual preferences.

RBdigital Audiobooks playback speed
Borrowbox Playback Speed

Please click here for information on accessing Borrowbox and RBdigital.


Between our two platforms, RBdigital and Pressreader, borrowers have thousands of eMagazines and eNewspapers to choose from.  There are a variety of topics such as crafts, food and cooking, sports, entertainment and many more. There are also newspapers and magazines available from countries around the world.

Text to speech is available on Pressreader and also available on RBdigital magazines accessed through the app on Apple devices.  This means that the newspapers/magazines can be read aloud. 

On RBdigital magazines ( on all devices) the size of the font and background theme can also be changed to suit individual preferences. 

RBdigital Magazines via App on Apple devices

Pressreader Text to Speech

Please click here for information on accessing RBdigital and Pressreader.

RBdigital Website

The RBdigital website has a unique toolbar with a full range of accessibility features. The toolbar provides a link to a helpdesk staffed by accessibility experts and tailored to people with disabilities to ensure that their specific needs are addressed.
The toolbar includes:
  • Visual Toolkit—allows users to customise the visual display of the page to more effectively read and consume information through changing text/background colour and contrast, fonts, and magnifying text as needed
  • Player—users can listen to web content read aloud via a built-in player and text-to-speech functionality which is not dependent on third party accessibility tools
  • Site Menu—simplifies and optimises the site menu for keyboard users and individuals with cognitive disabilities
  • Settings—allows users to customise settings to meet their individual preferences
This accessibility function is also compatible with screenreaders such as JAWS
Accessibility toolbar on RBdigital website

Large Print, Audiobooks and Music CD's

As well as eResources, which are available to users 24/7, we also have physical resources that are usually available when our branches are open.

We have a selection of large print books and Audiobooks (on CD) available within all our branches. There are a wide variety of genres available and users can access stock at any of our branches by placing a reservation on the item.

Audiobooks are mostly CD's however we do have some older titles that are available on cassette.

We also have a stock of music CD's that are available to borrow. 

Other Resources 

We also wanted to highlight some services that, whilst not provided by the library service, are useful for users such as the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) Talking books and also the East Lothian Messenger Service.

RNIB Talking books The Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) have re-launched its library platform to provide increased access to Talking Books for those with visual impairments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. 

The new platform offers greater accessibility, full DAISY audio, and e-braille books. 

To sign up to the RNIB online library visit the RNIB website or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999.

East Lothian Messenger ServiceThis is a talking newspaper which covers the whole of East Lothian, providing local news to blind and visually impaired people, based on the local newspapers, The East Lothian Courier and Musselburgh Courier and the magazine, East Lothian Life.

Any blind or visually impaired person living in East Lothian or anyone with a disability which makes it difficult to read a printed newspaper is eligible to receive The East Lothian Messenger.

The talking newspaper allows many people access to local news without having to rely on family and friends to relay it to them.

New listeners to the Messenger are very much welcomed. To be added to the mailing list, simply telephone Co-ordinator Veronica Wallace on (01368) 830363.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Online Book Chat Group

We thought it would be great to have an informal place to talk about and recommend books so we have created East Lothian Libraries Book Chat via Facebook. 

It’s not a book group so there will be no recommended title rather it’s a social group for wider discussions about books and reading.

Feel free to post reviews of books, recommend or ask for new reading suggestions.  If you are always looking for something new to read, join us and find out what else is out there.

We will post ideas and themes to stimulate discussions as well as posting content from other pages that you might be interested in.

To join the group, please click here.