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Download Service - Introduction

Calibre is very proud to announce a brand new award-winning app-based download service. The service is the first of its kind in the UK that has been designed especially for visually impaired people to be able to download and listen to books on mobile devices such as smart phones (Apple and Android) or tablets. It has been developed for Calibre by i-Publishing Consultants and Brandon Cross Technologies.

Our download service will complement our current postal services available on USB memory sticks or CDs. Existing Calibre members will be able to use this service free of charge, in addition or as a replacement for our postal services.

The service is now open! We will be applying a limit on the number of new applicants each week to ensure we are able to provide telephone support as required to help people get started. For new members our one-off £35 joining fee will apply. This covers a lifetime membership of our library in any mix of media you choose. Further contributions to help cover the costs of our service are voluntary.

Our download service and the associated apps have been tested by a panel of users during all stages of development. Our team has included volunteers with varying degrees of sight loss, including members who have no sight at all. The test team has also included people with varying degrees of experience in using mobile devices.

Our visually impaired members who are used to using mobile technology for other purposes and familiar with gesture control should find the new app particularly easy to use. If this is new to you then there is a bit to learn, familiarising yourself with the tap, double tap and swipe movements that mobile technologies utilise in place of visual clues. For our partially sighted or dyslexic users, we have ensured screens are clear and uncluttered, we offer a choice of colour schemes and keyboards (ABC or QWERTY).

To help you get started we have published a series of Youtube videos to take you through the processes on a step by step basis. You will find these here. The videos have an audio commentary describing the actionsand are designed to be usable either by someone assisting a visually impaired person to learn how to use the service or by the potential user themselves.

We also have step by step text instructions available here and also in the Documents section of this page. These instructions apply to both Apple and Android devices unless you have the Talkback functionality enabled on your Android device. If you do use Talkback on android then please use the specific instuctions here.

Finally, our Membership Services team, backed up by staff from other departments, have received extensive training in using the download service themselves and will be available during office hours to assist with telephone enquiries. Please be patient in awaiting a response as although we will phase the number of new joiners initially,  we expect the service will be very popular and our team could be very busy helping people to get started.