Library upgrades

In October and November 2020 the Vision Australia Library made updates and improvements to the way members can enjoy the large collection of books, magazines and newspapers, podcasts, and music Braille. Members can now access their favourite content using the new website, updated i-access Kiosk or VA Connect App.

Update December 2020: the VA Connect App has received additional updates fixing battery usage issues for some users, removing the requirement to accept Terms and Conditions at login and bringing other changes to improve user experience. Find an outline of the changes below.

Welcoming members to an upgraded library with a giveaway

To celebrate our Library upgrades Vision Australia Library will be giving away $100 Visa gift cards to two lucky Library members each month.

To go into the draw, all you need to do is download and access content on our new and improved Library service. You’ll get to enjoy the titles you want on the platform of your choice, and you may win $100 for it

Here's what our November gift card recipients had to say:

  • "I enjoy the ease of access of the platform" Peter Walsh, VIC, website user
  • "It's wonderful company. I can push a button and have someone read to me" Audrey Fischer, QLD, PTX player user

Winners will be drawn at the end of each month and contacted directly.

This incentive will continue until March 2021 (inclusive).

Skip to:

Features and upgrades:

  • VA Connect App: updated App with all content in one bookshelf with new features (filtering content, sorting content and viewing recent content history). Simple and advanced modes providing a greater level of control to user.
  • Website: a new library website with a simple up to date interface and new features like the ability to customise self-service. 
  • Kiosk: an updated Kiosk bringing flexibility to determine what content is downloaded and returned, access to subscriptions for newspapers, magazines and podcasts and can be used on desktop enabling easy transfer of downloads to any device. The Kiosk replaces the i-Access Downloader software and is a newer software with fewer technical issues and better support. 
  • Other Devices: no change.

Updated VA Connect App

Update to VA Connect app V5.4.1 December 2020

As part of its improved Library service, Vision Australia released an update to the VA Connect Library app. As part of ongoing improvement, a further update to this app is now available for both IOS and Android. The new version is 5.4.1. Improvements in this update include:

IOS:

  • Removed the requirement to agree to T&C before logon
  • Fixed an issue that caused excessive battery consumption
  • Improved accuracy of the reading position ‘progress bar’

Android:

  • Removed the requirement to agree to T&C before logon
  • Fixed an issue where audio notes were not stored correctly
  • Fixed an issue with Samsung TTS
  • Fixed an issue causing some downloads to fail
  • Improved sorting order on bookshelf by ‘Last Used’
  • Improved playback of DAISY 3 publications

Initial updates to the VA Connect App were released in October. You can find out about the updated VA Connect App, how to use it and answers to members' questions about the App on our recorded webinar. If you haven't updated already find steps to update your App below.

Webinar: VA Connect App

Watch the recording of the webinar recently hosted by the library team. Learn more about:

  • How to install the app
  • How to upgrade the app
  • What's new

How do I update the App?

For Android:

  1. From the Play Store Home screen, tap the Menu icon (upper-left).
  2. Tap My apps & games.
  3. Tap individual installed apps to update or tap Update All to download all available updates.
  4. If presented, review App Permissions then tap Accept to proceed with the app update.

For iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the App Store, then tap Today at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to see pending updates and release notes. Tap Update next to an app to update only that app, or tap Update All.

I am using the VA Connect 2 App. What does this mean for me?

An update to the VA Connect 2 app is available. It is now simply called VA Connect. When you finish your current book, please uninstall the VA Connect 2 app you are using and download the improved VA Connect app from the app store available on the Apple store and Google Play store.

Are you experiencing battery drain or overheating on your iPhone?

This has been reported by some users of the iPhone SE2020 but may also occur with older iPhones.

In December 2020 a further update to the VA Connect App was released for both IOS and Android. The new version is 5.4.1. In this update the issue that caused excessive battery consumption has been resolved.

New library Website

I used to read my newspapers from the i-access website, is this still possible on the new library website?

No, you will need to download the newspapers to your computer and use DAISY software to read them or copy the newspaper file to a DAISY player to read them. If you wish to do this you can use the i-access Kiosk software and select “Download to PC” options. The files will download to a folder on your desktop called “i-access Content”.

I had items in ‘My Wishlist’ and/or in “My Requests”. Have they been kept through the move and where can I find these items on the new library website?

Any items that were in your ‘My Wishlist’ or ‘My Request List’ can be found in the ‘Request List’ in the My Library section of the new website.
 

About Bookshare

What is the Bookshare Library?

As part of the upgrades, Vision Australia Library members also have the opportunity to become a Bookshare library subscriber. The Bookshare library has a large catalogue of educational and technical books, as well as a growing list of books for leisure reading. The titles are in synthetic voice, DAISY Text and electronic Braille formats and will be available only if you wish to become a paid Bookshare member.

What is DAISY Text?

DAISY Text books have no audio recording, but provide the text of the book itself. These books are read with either text-to-speech systems or Braille displays. They will not play as audio books on a DAISY player.

How much will the Bookshare Library membership cost?

If you choose to also join the Bookshare library, Vision Australia will pay for your Bookshare membership fee for the first 12 months. If you decide to renew your membership after the first 12 months, you will have to pay the ongoing fee.

This is a special membership rate of US$30.00 (AU$45.00 approx.) per year. If you are an NDIS participant, this cost may be claimed under your consumables budget, however, you should ask your package account manager to confirm.

To join the Bookshare library, you must provide a written document stating proof of disability, signed by one of the following certifying professionals: Doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, neurologist, learning disability specialist, psychologist with a background in disabilities, social worker, and education Disability Student Services staff. This document must be posted or emailed to the Library and will be stored in the member's client record.

Will library members who do not wish to join the Bookshare Library still be able to access the Vision Australia Library?

Yes! Regardless of whether you choose to add a paid subscription to the Bookshare library, you can continue to access the fee-free Vision Australia Library.


FAQs

What do existing library members have to do?

An update to the VA Connect App was released on October 12th, if you are an app user and have not updated your App yet follow these steps to update the App. 

All DAISY players automatically received a software update so the user won’t need to do anything.

Kiosk users: Kiosk software has automatically updated.

Downloader users: The i-Access Kiosk software has automatically replaced the Downloader software. Downloader users may need to learn to use different software, user guides are available on the library page to assist members.

If you need additional support please call our Library team on 1300 654 656 and or email library@visionaustralia.org.

Can borrowers use their current login to access the new service?

You will be able to use your current membership number and password to log in. If you are an app user, you will have to log in to the new app when you first use it.

What if I can’t recall my username or password?

If you have forgotten your login details – username and/or password please contact the library team on 1300 654 656 or email library@visionaustralia.org.

Has the daily download limit of books change?

Yes, you now have an increased daily download maximum limit of 20 which is also the maximum number of books you can have on your bookshelf.

What happens if you had more than 20 titles on your bookshelf when you access the new Library service for the first time?

If you had more than 20 titles on loan, when you access the new service the extra books can be found on your Request List.

When you return the books from your Bookshelf the books on your Request List will be automatically allocated to your Bookshelf.

This doesn’t include periodicals, there are no limits to subscriptions.

Were there any changes to the access of newspapers and magazines?

Newspapers and magazines will be known as periodicals in the Vision Australia Library service.

Current subscriptions will remain in place.

This includes sporting fixtures and the Braille new titles list.

Library members can only download periodicals available in the Vision Australia Library collection, Bookshare library periodicals will not be available to Vision Australia Library members.

What if I have a question?

For questions relating to the upgraded Library service or any general library info, contact Vision Australia Library on 1300 654 656 or email library@visionaustralia.org.