Large Print Books

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Did you know that the Library currently has a collection of large print books available for check-out? Many of our patrons (including myself) have difficulty seeing the small text size of most books. This can lead to eyestrain and headaches and take away the joy of reading. Thankfully, there are book publishers who have recognized this as a problem and market special larger print items to the visually challenged.

The National Association for the Visually Handicapped (NAVH) was founded in 1954 to provide services to partially seeing adults, children and their families or caregivers. NAVH has an approved set of criteria and standards for publishers to follow when printing materials. One of the stated guidelines is that the print size should be no smaller than 16 point. An 18 point type is preferable. The paper type is also important. An off-white or natural vellum or matt offset stock is used to prevent glare. The weight limit of these books is not to exceed 3 pounds.

Any book which follows the NAVH guidelines will have the “seal of approval” on the title page and also either the book jacket or front cover. Each of our facilities has a separate location where the large print materials are shelved. They are in easily accessible areas with good lighting. Library clerks will be happy to guide you to the area and leave you to browse the collection. Or, if you prefer, the clerk can offer assistance with book selection and reader’s advisory.

Large print books are available in fiction, non-fiction, westerns, romance and mystery titles. All large print may be checked out for 28 days, even the newer titles. Most of this article has pertained to the adult collection. However, there are a few Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys children’s titles available at the Crossroads Branch.

The combined collection of the three Guernsey County Library facilities, offers a total of 8,485 large print books available for checkout. You would have to spend approximately $224,485.95 to purchase each of these titles at a retail book store. It is possible to see the real value of a free library card by viewing the collection this way! But you aren’t limited there. Several hundred more titles are available through our great statewide interlibrary loan system.

*Originally published in The Daily Jeffersonian Oct. 30, 2011