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Volunteers in Library

About Calibre

Calibre Audio Library is a national charity providing a subscription-free service of unabridged audiobooks for anyone with a print disability, such as dyslexia, MS, a visual impairment or brain injury. To learn about our services  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.

Download a PDF of our 2018 Annual Report (with financial statements)

If you would like a digital copy of previous years' reports, please contact Calibre Audio Library directly either by phone on 01296 432 339 or email us.

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 anyone with dyslexia, a visual impairment, brain injury or difficuulty in holding a book should not act as barriers to the pleasures of reading. Our formal statement of purpose expresses our role like this:

"Calibre Audio Library enriches the lives people who struggle to read print by bringing them the pleasure of reading through a free nationwide postal service of recorded books."

A national charity, we lend audiobooks to over 14,000 members across the UK and EU and now in countries that have ratified the Marrakesh Treaty. 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.


Who's who

Calibre is governed by a Council of Management (Board of Trustees) who are:

   Richard BalkwillChair - Richard Balkwill







  Hon Treasurer - David Stephens







Anne Bolton
Sarah Frost
Peter Gurney 
Diana le Clercq
David Lillycrop
The Reverend Canon Andrew Meynell
Ian Yeoman

Click here to find out more about our Trustees

Our patrons are all distinguished authors:-
Simon Brettt
Anne Fine
Candia McWilliam
Gervase Phinn

The day-to-day running of the charity is the responsibility of our staff team headed by our Chief Executive, Anthony Kemp

Other staff you may need to contact include:

Head of Personnel and Administration - David Pipkin 

Head of Library Operations - Linda Adams

Head of Literature and Audio Book Production - Emma Scott

Head of Marketing and Communications - Shirin Welham

IT Officer - Nic Sadler














Our staff are 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
  • 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.

Environmental policy

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.

Privacy Policy, data protection and legal disclaimer

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

Privacy Statement

Legal Disclaimer

Calibre Policy for website cookies

Calibre's website, like most websites, uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation and other functions. By using our website you are consenting to Calibre's website placing cookies on your device. If you disable cookies, you will find that parts of our website will not work.
Our policy and guidelines are detailed in the document linked below

Cookie Policy

Calibre Audio Library is Registered Charity number 286614.
Calibre Audio Library is also a company limited by guarantee, registered number 1701585.