About our FREE library
Living Paintings is a unique publishing house and library.
We are the only charity in the UK who design, create and publish tactile and audio books for blind and partially sighted people. We call them Touch to See books.
We publish titles suitable for anyone from pre-school to adult. Our wide and growing range is designed to provide education and life-long learning, enhance lifestyle and support leisure interests.
We distribute these Touch to See books through our free postal library.
Frequently asked questions
Can anyone borrow? Yes.
We lend to anyone in the UK who is blind or partially sighted including:
- Organizations such as schools, health authorities and care homes
- Individuals such as teachers, carers and support workers
- Children at home
- Groups such as societies and book clubs
Is there a charge to use the library? No.
Our completely FREE postal and online library operates throughout the UK.
All books are dispatched ‘Articles for the Blind’ through Royal Mail. An ‘Articles for the Blind’ label is enclosed for free return.
There are no overdue charges.
Although the library is completely free we do appreciate any contributions to support our service. Click here to donate online or telephone 01635 299771.
How do I become a library member?
Click here to become a library member and join via the online form or telephone 01635 299771.
How do I borrow?
In our online library you can browse and choose the books that you would like to borrow. To order books, or to renew loans, you will need your Reader ID and PIN. These are issued to you via a confirmation email when you join.
How many books can I borrow?
You can borrow as many books as you like, as often as you like. If we don’t have the book in stock, you can reserve it online and it will despatched as soon as a copy is available.
How long can I keep the books?
The standard loan is 3 months. You can renew your books in our online library or telephone 01635 299771.
What does a Touch to See book contain?
Our Touch to See books contain raised tactile images accompanied by atmospheric audio guides. In addition some book ranges come with guidance notes or activity packs and a colour photograph booklet.
Our children’s picture books are the original published book, comb bound with braille on clear plastic sheets and raised tactile pictures.
All the audio guides are available on MP3, CD and digital audio files on USB stick.
Click on the age category in the left hand side bar for more information about our book ranges or search the online library.
What digital formats do you offer?
The audio guides which accompany the tactile images are available on USB stick. In some publications the guidance notes, teen’s activity pack and colour images are also available on the USB stick.
What is a USB stick?
A USB stick is a small device about the size of a thumb which can hold a large amount of digital information such as audio files, word documents and pictures. It plugs into a computer or USB stick player. The Boom Box Plus Memory Stick Player and Kings Audio Sovereign Player are designed with visually impaired people in mind and are easy to use. You can purchase these players from our friends at Calibre Audio Library.
Can I buy Touch to See books? No. To enable access to all our Touch to See books can only be borrowed via our free, national postal library.
Is Living Paintings environmentally friendly? Yes. All of our packaging is reusable and recyclable.