CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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#LibrariesAreEssential to Inclusive Learning – CustomEyes Books by Guide Dogs

Category: #LibrariesAreEssential, #LibrariesAreEssential - Scotland's Stories, Blog, News

A CustomEyes large print book

We know that Scotland’s #LibrariesAreEssential to Inclusivity (check out our extensive evidence bank for more) and that includes making sure young people who live with a vision impairment are able to experience the profound joy of reading.

CustomEyes Books by Guide Dogs produce large print books which give children and young people with a vision impairment the chance to read a real book, just like everybody else. From Shakespeare to Dr Seuss, the books are custom made with font size, spacing, colour and more all tailored to individual needs. There are over 4,200 large print books available – and counting, including fiction and educational textbooks. Becoming a member is free, and large print books are available at the recommended retail price, regardless of format.

In this blog post, Falkirk Learning Resource Service Librarian Maggie Burns reveals how collaborating with CustomEyes has enhanced their library collections and why #LibrariesAreEssential to inclusive learning.

A shelf of CustomEyes books.

‘The Learning Resource Service is the school library service for all educational establishments in the Falkirk Council area. We supply physical resources to support learning and teaching: fiction, class sets, topic non-fiction, games, artefacts and Stem equipment. E-books and e-audiobooks are provided to all pupils with automatic access given through their Glow account. We also support schools in managing and improving their libraries and developing a reading culture.

A page inside a large print CustomEyes book.

As a library service we aim to be inclusive for all learners and believe that a love of reading and stories can be fostered in all children. Teachers often use us to support individual pupils with specific needs or learning differences, including visual impairment. When we need large print books we use the amazing service provided by Custom Eyes. Its service is tailored to the needs of the individual child and you can choose the font, font size, spacing and colour of paper.

We buy specific books from Custom Eyes that children request via their school that then get added to our collection so they can be used again. A large part of our service is providing class sets of books and we often buy large print versions of these for children who need them, so that the text is accessible and they join in with the class.

We get really positive feedback from both teachers and pupils who love that they can get books they want in large print. The team at Custom Eyes are very knowledgeable and helpful and we value the bespoke service they provide.’

A shelf of CustomEyes books

Emma Brown from Guide Dogs adds:

‘You can become a schools/service member of CustomEyes Books if you are a service, such as a library, working with children and young people who are partially sighted, deaf-blind, blind or dyslexic.

Individual membership of CustomEyes Books is available for parents, guardians or carers of a child or young person aged 25 or under with a vision impairment or dyslexia, and young people aged 18 – 25 with a vision impairment or dyslexia.

Guide Dogs exists to help people with sight loss live the life they choose, by providing a range of services to help children and adults live actively, independently and well.

Find out more at or contact’

Thank you so much to Maggie and Emma for sharing these insights into how CustomEyes Books can support inclusive library collection building. For more on why #LibrariesAreEssential to Inclusivity, please visit our campaign evidence bank.

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