Library

The Vision Australia Library opens up a world of information to people who are blind or have low vision, or a print disability.

Library makeover frequently asked questions

What’s happening?

Vision Australia Library is getting a makeover. Over the next few months we'll be updating the i-access online library and merging it into the My Vision Australia portal on www.visionaustralia.org as well as introducing a new version of our Vision Australia Connect app.

This means new features and a whole new catalogue providing access to significantly more reading material than before. Through the transition and beyond, library members can continue to enjoy access to our large range of audio books, newspapers, magazines, braille books and music.

Library members can quickly and easily search the catalogue and add titles to their bookshelf. They can read material straight away (stream) or download to read later. They can also request hard copy items such as embossed Braille and Feelix kits. If they wish, library members also have the option of accessing the Bookshare library collection, via the Vision Australia Library.

When is this happening?

Between late October 2019 and the end of March 2020, we'll be in touch with individual library members via email, i-access and DAISY device notifications, to let them know what's happening and to link them to the new Vision Australia Library service.

What do existing library members have to do?

If a library member is using the Vision Australia Connect app on their smartphone or tablet, or i-access on their computer, they will be supported to move across to our new and improved, Library service. We will provide step by step instructions. Library members will also be supported by our National Contact Centre and via email support provided through our library email address.

If library members use a DAISY player (e.g. Wi-Fi, 3G and Envoy Connect) and have audio books selected for them and delivered straight to their device, they will be supported to connect their device to our new library service. Where possible, the clients device will be updated automatically to connect to the new Library service. Where the library member needs to take action, we’ll provide step by step instructions. Library members may also seek advice and supported via the National Contact Centre and the library email address.

Can borrowers keep their current login details once we move across to the new service?

The new service will require a new user name (your email address) and password. Sharing your email address will also assist the library to communicate with you. It is important to note that as you move across to the new Bookshare platform, our systems will not be able to transfer the information about where you are up to in the book you are reading at the time.

Please plan for this occurrence and either finish the book you are reading or make note of the page or chapter you are up to prior to us moving you to the new service. Once you are in the new service and commence reading a book from where you noted your place, our new system will from this point on remember your reading place in the book as with the old system.

Will the library members use my bookshelf change?

Yes it will. As a result of member feedback the new bookshelf download limit will increase from 5 to 20 items. This will be very welcome news for Envoy Connect users who will be able to now download 20 books at a time to their player.

How does someone become a library member?

People who are blind or have low vision, or who have a print disability, will be able to join the Vision Australia library through the My Vision Australia portal on www.visionaustralia.org. Alternatively, they can call Vision Australia Library on 1300 654 656 or email library@visionaustralia.org to join.

How can library members access books?

Library members will have access to all the same collections of materials that they have now and can continue to download books, magazines, newspapers and braille music from the Vision Australia library in the same way they previously did using their Wi-Fi, 3G, or Envoy Connect player, as well as via i-access/My Vision Australia and the new app.

What if a library member uses a second generation HumanWare device?

If a library member uses a second generation Victor Reader Stream and uses Wi-Fi to access books from the library, you will need to wait for a software update from HumanWare to directly download books to the device again.

If a library member has printed material they can’t read, how can the Vision Australia Library help?

As a Vision Australia library member, you can request up to 360 print pages of personal information, to be converted to your preferred accessible format such as braille, audio, large print, tactual graphics or e-text, per financial year. For more information on accessible format conversions, email printaccess@visionaustralia.org or call 1300 84 74 66.

What is the Bookshare Library?

As part of the update, Vision Australia Library members also have the opportunity to become a Bookshare library member in addition to their Vision Australia membership. The Bookshare library has a large catalogue of educational and technical books, as well as a growing list of books for leisure reading.

These synthetic voice audio and electronic Braille books will be available to library members only if they wish to become Bookshare members on top of their Vision Australia Library membership. Titles requested by library members from Bookshare must be zoned for access by members in the Australian region.

If titles are zoned for a different country region these titles will not be available for loan and as such will not appear in a catalogue search as available.

How much will the Bookshare Library membership cost?

There is no fee associated with Vision Australia Library membership. Access to the Bookshare Library collection will be an opt in process. If a library member chooses to take this option, Vision Australia will cover a library member’s Bookshare membership fee for the first 12 months. If a library member decides to renew this membership, they will have to pay the ongoing subscription fee.

This is a special membership rate of US$30.00 (AU$45.00) per year. If the library member is an NDIS participant, this cost can be claimed under their consumables budget. At present Financial Hardship consideration is made available to Vision Australia Library members who are unable to afford the rental fees associated with the use of the 3G players.

At this time Bookshare do not offer any hardship considerations to our membership. It is up to the member to decide whether they wish to continue with the Bookshare membership. 

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 library members choose to add a paid Bookshare library membership, they can continue to access the fee-free Vision Australia Library via i-access/My Vision Australia, and the range of DAISY online players and apps.

How do library members benefit from these changes?

As a result of the update, library members will enjoy:

  • Access to more audio and electronic braille books
  • Seamless connection to the Bookshare library and ability to access Bookshare books in the format of their choice
  • More accessible and user friendly app and online catalogue
  • Compatibility of their existing DAISY online player
  • Membership to a global and growing library
  • Easy sign up for new library members – so tell your friends to join!

What if I have a question?

Feel free to contact Vision Australia Library on 1300 654 656 or by emailing library@visionaustralia.org.

Join the library

Membership is free and available to people who are blind, have low vision or a print disability. If you are not a Vision Australia client, to join the library, you will need a referrer who can certify you are a person with a print disability. Find out more and join the library.  

Books and resources

Library members can access thousands of audio books, magazines, newspapers and podcasts. As well as thousands of braille and ebraille titles and music braille pieces. And much more. Find out more about books and resources.

How to access the library

Members can access the library via the free Vision Australia Connect app on their smart phone, iPad or tablet. Or via your computer, a DAISY player or other compatible device. Wifi and 3G DAISY players are available to rent from the Library. Find out more about how to access the Library.

Feelix Children’s Library 

The Vision Australia Feelix Library helps children learn and develop in a unique way to support literacy. Children from 0-7 years old who are blind or have low vision can become a member and enjoy stories with their parents and siblings, and learn about braille. Find out more about Feelix.

Youth library 

The Vision Australia library has a range of books, resources and services for young people who are blind, have low vision or a print disability. This includes audio books, a copy and reproduction service for academic materials, online databases and more. Find out more about the youth library.

Partner with us

We work in partnership with an extensive range of libraries, aged care facilities, publishers and affiliated organisations to help you access a greater range of books and resources. 

Contact the library

For more information on Vision Australia's Library services call 1300 654 656 or contact the Library for more options.

Library YouTube

Follow Vision Australia's YouTube channel and enjoy our Library playlist with book reviews, webinars and more.