Double praise for Revealweb

Revealweb, the national database of material in accessible formats, was singled out for praise in the recent House of Commons Select Committee report on public libraries. It notes:

"Revealweb is an important resource which serves as a national database of materials in accessible formats. This is a multi-functional, state of the art, web-based, freely accessible service which is the cornerstone of an integrated network of services for visually disabled people and is part funded by MLA."

Ann Chapman of UKOLN, based at the University of Bath, carried out the strategic review which resulted in the development of Revealweb; she has also developed the bibliographic standard it uses and continues to provide advice to the service.

The Select Committee report noted concern that funding was only guaranteed up to March 2006, and recommended that:

" funding is made available for the maintenance and development of Revealweb over the longer term."

And at the Jodi Mattes Award ceremony held on Tuesday 12th April 2005, Revealweb received a Commendation of Widening Access to Information. The Awards are for a museum, gallery, library, archive or heritage website in England which demonstrates active commitment to meeting web accessibility standards, involves users and develops practical and imaginative ways of making cultural and learning resources accessible to disabled people. The judges said:

"This library catalogue, for which there was a compelling need, is an initiative of the voluntary sector. A number of organisations working for visually impaired people, such as RNIB and NLB, have joined forces to bring together for the first time in an accessible library catalogue more than 100,000 materials in accessible formats, such as Braille, large-print and audio. The catalogue lists specialist library collections from the voluntary sector as well as commercial producers. Extensive partnership work forms the basis of its success. It can be used by visually impaired users as well as librarians. It makes finding out about reading materials and obtaining them considerably easier for visually impaired people."

Revealweb now has details of 110,738 titles, with 97 organisations on the register of suppliers. It has been welcomed by users like John Godber of RNIB. Using a laptop PC, wirelessly connected to a BBC internet 'listen again' page, he was enjoying a play based on a book. Through the wireless connection he then connected to Revealweb, and located a Braille copy at NLB. Pasting the details into the email link for NLB he requested the item, which arrived three days later. He says "It's now easier for me as a blind person to borrow a book than it is for a sighted person."

The full text of the Select Committee Report can be viewed in pdf at:

Revealweb can be found at:

[Bibliographic Management]

Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 03-Jun-2005
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