We hope you have enjoyed reading about our services elsewhere on this website (if you want to know what we offer click here). These pages tell you more about the organisation and the people behind the service. You can read about 'who's who', find out about our history, download our annual report, or take a tour 'behind the scenes' to find out how the service works.
Click here for news about Calibre or see us on Facebook and Twitter.
Calibre Audio Library is Registered Charity No 286614. We are regulated by The Charity Commission.
Annual reports and reviews
Read our recent annual reports and reviews and accounts for more information about our work.
2014 Annual Report - Word (including statutory accounts)
Who we are and what we do
Calibre Audio Library is a registered UK charity (No 286614), set up in 1974 as Calibre Cassette Library. We feel passionately that having poor sight or other difficulties should not act as barriers to the pleasures of reading. Our formal statement of purpose expresses our role like this:
"Calibre Audio Library improves the quality of life for people with sight problems or other disabilities, who cannot read, print by bringing them the pleasure of reading through a free nationwide postal service of recorded books."
A national charity, we lend audio books to around 18,000 members across the UK, the Republic of Ireland and other EU countries. Our members range in age from five to 105 and we pride ourselves in offering a wide choice of unabridged books for all ages and all tastes.
One of our guiding principles has always been to supply books in a format that can be played on ordinary household equipment. This means that members can select a player that suits their needs. For example they can listen to our audio books on portable equipment (like a purpose built USB player), so that they can take books into the garden, on holiday or on long journeys.
In addition to providing our lending service we also campaign with other charities to press the government to do more to end discrimination against people who have a sight problem or other disability. We are members of the Right to Read Alliance.
Many people are shocked to learn that 95 per cent of all books, magazines and other publications are never made available in other formats such as audio, large print and braille.
Calibre records more than 200 new audio books each year and over 4,000 of the books in our digital library are only available from us.
Calibre is governed by a Council of Management (Board of Trustees) who are:
Chair - The Reverend Canon Andrew Meynell
Hon Treasurer - David Stephens
Diana le Clercq
Click here to find out more about our Trustees
Our patrons are all distinguished authors:-
The day-to-day running of the charity is the responsibility of our staff team headed by our Director, Michael Lewington.
Other staff you may need to contact include:
Head of Personnel and Administration - David Pipkin
Head of Library Operations - Linda Adams
Head of Fundraising and Marketing - Liz Clarke
Head of Literature and Audio Book Production - Emma Scott
Principal IT Officer - Stewart Nicholson
Our staff are ably supported by a team of volunteers including the voice professionals who read our books.
If you would like to know how the service works, take a tour behind the scenes.
About this website
Please note our terms and conditions for using this website (legal disclaimer).
Calibre would like to thank:
Nemisys for design and engineering of this website - see www.nemisys.uk.com
Mike Pinches, Martin Poole and the Bucks Herald for the use of their photographs
Calibre members and volunteers whose photos and stories appear on this website.
We welcome your comments on this website. Please click here for the website comments form.
We recognise that our business operations have an impact on the local, regional and global environment. We are striving to adopt practices ro reduce this impact. Read more in our Environmental Policy Statement.
All the information we have about members and supporters is controlled by the Data Protection Act 1988. We are only allowed to keep the information we need to supply our service and for our financial records. It is all kept securely and access to it is strictly controlled. When members leave Calibre, we destroy the information about use of the library, and keep other information only as long as necessary for accounting and audit purposes. We never pass members' details to other individuals or organisations. For further details please refer to the following documents:-
Data Protection Policy
Calibre Policy for website cookies
Our policy and guidelines are detailed in the document linked below
Calibre Audio Library is Registered Charity number 286614.
Calibre Audio Library is also a company limited by guarantee, registered number 1701585.