Overdrive: a new digital library from the RNIB

Overdrive: a new digital library from the RNIB

It's every reader's worst nightmare: failing eyesight. Thankfully, the RNIB's Talking Books scheme allows blind and partially sighted people to continue enjoing stories in audio format. Users of the scheme can order up to six audio books at a time on CD - receiving them in the post and returning them when you've finished.

But deliveries can be delayed, or even damaged in transit, and the rise of technology means the CD is slowly but surely becoming obsolete...

And so Overdrive was born, the RNIB's digital audio library. Users can still borrow up to six books at a time, simply by downloading them to a device which has an audio-playing program (so the files are likely to work on equipment that you already own).

A three-month trial earlier this year showed that 147 out of 150 blind and partially-sighted testers - of varying ages and different levels of confidence using technology - were able to choose, download and return items of their choice when given the right support. 70 per cent also said they would recommend the service to a friend.

A year's subscription to Overdrive costs £50, exactly the same as Talking Books. Interested in joining? Email Overdrive@rnib.org.uk or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999.

This October the RNIB are asking us to 'wear dots and raise lots' for those in need. Call 0845 345 0054 or visit www.readforrnib.org.uk to register for a fundraising pack and get further information.