The North East Access Library and Information Services (NEALIS)
NEALIS is a cross sectoral project with the objective of
improving the quality of library services for blind and
partially sighted people in the North East of England. Its aims
- Develop the core library offer for blind and partially
sighted people, in consultation with users;
- Communicate the library offer effectively to users,
potential users and key intermediary organisations;
- Ensure all new registered blind and partially sighted
people are aware of the library offer;
- Develop the library offer to integrate services for
blind and partially sighted people into mainstream
- Develop sustainable models of service delivery;
The partners include Share the Vision, the Society of Chief
Librarians, all 12 public library authorities in the North East
of England, RNIB, Calibre Audio Library, ClearVision Project,
National Talking Newspapers & Magazines, Visionary, the Museums,
Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the Chartered Institute
of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP).
Some of the activities that have taken place since the start
of the project in 2009:
- Two reader consultation days that helped to shape the
project and evaluate progress;
- Collected benchmark data;
- Commissioned research into the ways that people find out
about and choose which library services to use;
- Identified core offer across regions;
- Organised training day for 80 library staff;
- Testing use of RNIB Penfriend as an aid to book
- Explored opportunities for collection sharing;
- Offering volunteer reading and technology buddies;
- Joint marketing and promotions;
- Tested new tools such as Reading Sight, Your Reading
Choices, ebooks guidelines;
- Contributed to Six Steps;
- Held a customer awareness week in Newcastle.
In July 2011, NEALIS was named as a finalist in CILIP’s
Libraries Change Lives Award.
NEALIS has demonstrated that diverse partnerships, which
utilise specialist knowledge and understanding of local
communities, are able to produce models for working which are
relevant in other areas of the country.
Reading Sight was created by RNIB in collaboration with partners
to be the single and authoritative place to find out about
reading for people with sight loss. It was launched in June 2009
at the Umbrella Conference.
Reading Sight is a free resource for library staff, teachers,
rehabilitation workers and anyone who supports people with sight
loss to continue reading.
Reading Sight is the place to find information on:
- Legislation and policy relating to reading with sight
- Organisations that provide reading resources and
services for people with sight loss;
- Accessible formats - what they are and where to find
- Accessible buildings and equipment;
- Staff and volunteer training and development.
Young Reading Lives
This is a new area about and for children and young people
and their parents, teachers and carers. This part of the Reading
Sight offering is overseen by the Children's Response Group.
The goal is to make video and audio recordings of young
people, their parents, teachers, sighted friends, librarians and
care workers. These are real life stories that show the range of
opportunities for visually impaired children to enjoy reading
and access the range of services to support them in that. The
plan for 2011/12 is to create eight sections or “portraits”.
Each portrait will have two or three short video clips and a
single extended audio file. Media professionals have been
commissioned to record and edit the sessions. This content will
be available through Reading Sight and on wider networks such as
Vimeo and YouTube.
Six Steps to library services for blind and partially
In a UK-wide effort to improve access for blind and partially
sighted people, public libraries are adopting six important
simple steps that will ensure everyone can use their library.
For the two million blind and partially sighted people in the UK
this will be a lifeline to the leisure, learning and information
resources that public libraries offer.
Included in the six steps initiative are collections of large
print and audio books, having a library champion for the reading
needs of blind and partially sighted people, and making sure
that technology in libraries is accessible to all.
Six steps to library services for blind and partially sighted
people is a joint effort initiative by the Society of Chief
Librarians, Scottish Library & Information Council and Share the