RNIB Bookshare: Academic Books in Accessible Formats

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) provides accessible format academic books through its RNIB Bookshare Education Collection to all print disabled students. 

Accessible formats include: Daisy audio (with or without images), MP3, Braille (BRF), Epub, PDF and Word (Docx).

Who can use RNIB Bookshare?

  • QMU students with a print disability (this includes distance learners and students enrolled on online programmes)
  • QMU staff with a print disability who need access for work-related reasons

What is a print disability?

The following disabilities can be considered print disabilities depending on how they affect each person: 

  • Visual impairments: Persons who are blind or who have an impairment of visual function which cannot be improved by the use of corrective lenses to a level that would normally be acceptable for reading without a special level or kind of light 
  • Learning disabilities: Persons who are unable to effectively read print due to dyslexia or other cognitive learning disabilities such as autism or attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Physical disabilities: Persons who are unable to, through physical disability, hold or manipulate a book, or who are unable to focus or move their eyes to the extent that would normally be acceptable for reading


English as an additional language and low literacy levels are not classed as print disabilities. 


More details on who qualifies. 

How do I sign up to access RNIB Bookshare?

You will need two accounts:

  • An RNIB Bookshare account (obtainable only through the LRC RNIB Registration Form detailed below). This will give you access to the service.
  • A free Dolphin EasyReader account by signing up within the Dolphin Easy Reader app. This is the software you need to access the materials provided.


Follow the steps below to get set up:  

  1. Fill in the LRC RNIB Registration Form. This form will be received by Disability Services at QMU, who will confirm your disability with the LRC (Learning Resource Centre). The LRC will register you with the RNIB Bookshare service.  
  2. Once the LRC register you with RNIB Bookshare, you will receive an e-mail to confirm your registration and your log in details. After this, please allow around three working days for RNIB to process your application. 
  3. Three working days after you receive the confirmation e-mail, download the Dolphin EasyReader App. This is how you will access any book available on RNIB Bookshare. You can find out more about the app features here and download the version of the app appropriate for your operating system here.
  4. Create a free account with Dolphin from within the app. You may wish to tick Remember me when logging in so that you do not have to input the password every time.
  5. Select RNIB Bookshare from the list of libraries.
  6. Log into it using your RNIB Bookshare username and password you have received from the LRC.


You can now search for titles and personalise your font/colour/size reading preferences.

How do I find books and how do I read them?

From the RNIB Bookshare Get Started page, click How to find books and How to read books.

What if a title I need is not available on the RNIB Bookshare?

If a book you need is not available on the RNIB Bookshare, you can request it here. If the book request is not fulfilled after two academic terms, RNIB will let you know if they can’t fulfil it (be aware they depend on the publishers). Students should check periodically as sometimes publishers add titles before letting RNIB know. Follow the instructions on this RNIB Bookshare page.

What personal data will be used?

The LRC and QMU Disability Services will use your personal data provided by you in the Registration Form above to create your RNIB account and keep a record of it. If you have not already disclosed your disability to QMU Disability Services, you will be contacted by them following the completion of the form in order to ascertain your entitlement to this service.  

Be aware that book downloads contain embedded information that allows tracing to an individual user account if any unlawful sharing of an item occurs.

Copyright and Terms of Use

Users must complete a copyright user-agreement as part of the membership registration and abide by the copyright and terms of use requirements of the titles they download (e.g., resources must not be shared with others). Downloads contains embedded information which allows unlawful sharing to be traced to the original user. Legal information on the use of RNIB Bookshare can be found on the RNIB Bookshare legal page.


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