People with Specific Needs

There is a world of books and information available for everyone from libraries in Devon. However, we know that impairments such as failing eyesight or hearing, movement difficulties or being confined to your home can make using the library difficult. The following services may help you.

You can register as a "Specific Needs" borrower at any time - just ask at the counter. You can then:

  • Borrow music CDs free of charge for up to 3 weeks (after this standard hire charges apply)
  • Borrow up to 12 recorded sound items at a time
  • Reserve Devon Libraries’ audiobooks or recorded music free of charge
  • Pay reduced fines on overdue books and audiobooks

If you have a visual impairment you can also register separately to:

  • Reserve audiobooks that are not in stock in Devon (out-of-county reservation charges apply)
  • Obtain items in Braille and other alternative formats (there may be a fee)

Keep reading

  • All libraries have a selection of Large Print books and audiobooks on tape and most have them on CD too. If you want audiobooks on CD and your library doesn't have any, you can request them for free. We update the stock regularly, so you should always be able to find something new.
  • There is no charge to reserve Large Print books stocked in Devon libraries

For more information about books in alternative formats such as Braille and spoken word or postal services, please contact devlibs@devon.gov.uk.

Keep using the library - aids and equipment

  • Equipment to help you is available in many libraries or can be supplied on request. It includes:
  • Hearing loops at library counters and in training suites
  • Desk and hand-held magnifiers
  • Book rests
  • Hand-held whiteboards and marker pens
  • Public Access computers which
    • Magnify text on the screen
    • Convert text into speech
    • Convert text into symbolic language
  • Assistive equipment for computer users such as tracker balls, wrist or foot rests and adjustable seats and tables

Disabled access to libraries

Most libraries have good or reasonable disabled access and we are working on those that don’t. Please phone your local library for details.

If you cannot get to the library

If you are confined to your home because of illness, disability or injury, then the library service, in partnership with WRVS, may be able to deliver books and recorded sound to your door. Contact your local library or email devlibs@devon.gov.uk for further information.

Library members with Internet access can also use some library services at home via this website. You just need your library card number to use our online reference, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica, Newsbank UK Newspapers, Naxos Music Library and many others, and with your library card number and PIN, you can renew and reserve items online. If you don't know your PIN, ask a member of staff next time you visit, or phone our Customer Services Centre on 0845 155 1001.

People living in residential and nursing homes

Collections of books, audiobooks, and reminiscence material are available to residential and nursing homes, day centres, and sheltered accommodation. Collections are tailored to individual needs, regularly exchanged and delivered to the door.

Other services available

There are a number of other services and collections of material to help people who cannot access library services in the usual way. Some of these may be in a single collection and are available by request.

  • Reminiscence material such as games and activities and tactile items, which may stimulate memory
  • Makaton books: a sign and symbol language programme for teaching communication, language and literacy skills to children and adults with communication and learning difficulties
  • Clubs for older people in some libraries, with assistance available
  • A range of material for children with specific needs
  • An easy read version of the Welcome to Devon Libraries leaflet is also available

If you would like more information about any of the services described, or if you have suggestions about other ways in which we could help you, please contact devlibs@devon.gov.uk.

Contact Us

Ciara Eastell, Head of Libraries

Devon Libraries
Great Moor House
Bittern Road
Sowton
Exeter, EX2 7NL