Large Print Books Are Accessibility Tools

Libraries prioritize accessibility for patrons with visual impairment.

Library resources break down barriers to reading for patrons with visual impairments.

Libraries play a vital role in providing access to essential services and resources, whether it’s the internet, e-books, movies, computers, printers, physical books, or a host of other technologies.

One way libraries ensure everyone can access these resources is by providing accessibility tools like large print books.

What Are Large Print Books?

Large print books have large font sizes designed to help visually impaired readers. Instead of using the standard font size for printed books, which is typically between 10 and 12 points, large print books are usually printed with a font size between 16 and 18 points

Aside from the increased font size, large print copies of a book do not differ from the original printed copy.

Why Use Large Print Books?

While many people only think about large print books as tools for elderly patrons, the larger font size these books provide makes reading accessible for those who have disabilities or vision impairments that make it difficult to read smaller fonts.

Large print books are an essential accessibility tool because they allow patrons with vision impairments to read without being limited by their eyesight. But they are also helpful in other ways.

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Reading books with larger font sizes is great for language learners. According to research by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, large print books help improve Lexile reading levels and reading comprehension while reducing anxiety surrounding reading, making them a useful tool for beginning readers. 

Whether it’s by helping readers feel less anxious or allowing readers with vision impairments to enjoy literature, large print books are an accessibility tool that makes a major difference. 

Where Can I Access Large Print Books?

Most libraries have a dedicated section where patrons can find large print books. They often allow patrons to filter through their collection of large print books using their online databases.

Other Accessibility Tools for Visually Impaired Patrons

In addition to large print books, many libraries offer other accessibility tools and services for visually impaired patrons.

E-books and Audiobooks

Millions of library patrons across the country use Libby to download e-books from their local libraries. This resource allows patrons to check out e-books on their e-readers, which enables them to change the size and style of a font so that books are easier to read.

Libraries also allow patrons to check out audiobooks so interested readers can listen to books without needing to physically read them. This resource is especially helpful for patrons who are blind or those experiencing visual impairments that make it difficult to read large print books.

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Print Magnifiers

Print magnifiers are tools readers can use to magnify the size of the print on a page. Many libraries provide this tool for readers to increase the font size of small print texts, which is beneficial for patrons who want to read books not available in large print. 

Screen Magnification Software

Some libraries offer screen magnification software that allows visually impaired patrons to enlarge the text on computer screens, making it easier to access information using the library’s computers.

The next time you visit your local library, speak with a librarian about the accessibility tools available for patrons.

See how EveryLibrary is helping provide the funding libraries need to offer these accessibility resources when you visit our website.

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