Birmingham City Council

Spotlight on resources in libraries for children with dyslexia

Spotlight on resources in libraries for children with Dyslexia

Birmingham Libraries welcomes children with learning difficulties and disabilities.

This Spotlight pack contains information about our services to children with Dyslexia and their parents and carers. The pack is attached at the bottom of the page as a document which can be printed off. You can also get a copy from your local library.

General information about Library Services

Joining the library
Children can borrow 8 books, free of charge and keep them for 4 weeks. There are no charges for late items borrowed on a child's ticket. In addition children under 5 and children with disabilities do not have to pay for damage.


All libraries hold activities for children such as storytimes, craft sessions, author visits or teenage reading groups. Find out what is on at your local library
or at Centre for the Child inBirmingham city centre. Please let our staff know if there is anything they can do to make access easier and to ensure your child enjoys the event.

Homework Support Sessions
The sessions are free and specially trained staff will assist children to find, understand and use information which will help with their homework and projects. Staff can explain how to use the other resources such as computers, printers and photocopiers.

DAB (Dyslexia Association Birmingham) has a Helpline for advice about all aspects of dyslexia. The number is 0121 643 3737. The office is open 9am to 1.30pm Monday to Friday term time only. During the school holidays please call the above number and leave a message. Or you can e mail

Every library has information sheets for people with dyslexia, staff who have had dyslexia awareness training to help you and a wide selection of books and CDs suitable for children with dyslexia.

Disability Resources in Birmingham Libraries
All Birmingham Libraries welcome people with learning difficulties and disabilities, for full details of access and what equipment is available at individual libraries phone or ask at your local library.

Here is a list of things that some libraries may have to help children with dyslexia:

  • Coloured overlay sheets,
  • hand-held and fixed magnifiers and magnifying sheets,
  • cassette players,
  • day-light reading lamps,
  • reading pen,
  • computer keyboards with large letters,
  • big screens,
  • tracker balls,
  • Lunar magnifying software,
  • Supernova text reading software,
  • Head phones,
  • Scanners.

Centre for the Child, on the ground floor of Central Library has an electronic reading machine. It will scan pages of text and read it through headphones. Centre for the Child also has a CCTV Text Enlarger. It makes text bigger on to a TV screen in colour, white on black, or black on white. Library staff will be happy to help you. Please ask for any help you need.

Computers in the library
Facilities include Internet, word processing, CD ROM games, and email.

At about 6 months, all babies receive a free Bookstart pack at the check up at their local clinic. The pack consists of two board books for baby, a place mat, a book list, help for parents and a library joining form. Two more Bookstart packs are available for children aged 12 months and 3 years. There are special packs available for children with disabilities. These packs can include touchy/feely books for children and special information for parents.
Telephone 0121 303 3270 to find out more about Bookstart or if you want to find out how to get a pack.

Family Information Service
Advice about childcare services in Birmingham plus up-to-date lists of childminders, private and voluntary day nurseries, Education Department provision, pre schools (playgroups), parent and toddler groups, out of school playcare clubs and holiday care in any area of Birmingham. Telephone Helpline 0121 303 3521 (Minicom 0121 303 2714)

Translation Service
Information produced by Birmingham Library Service, including the Spotlight pack can be supplied in accessible formats, such as large print, Braille, audiotape, and community languages. Tel: 0121 303 4646.

Books, music and other resources

Music collections
There are six collections of recorded music in Birmingham Libraries. Music CDs are based at; Central Library, Acocks Green Library, Erdington Library, Mere Green Library, Sutton Coldfield Library, and Weoley Castle Library. The CDs can be sent to any Birmingham library for free. Ask at your local library for more information.

Central Library and Sutton Coldfield have Music Libraries. Both have large collections of CDs, books and music scores. Central Music Library has DVDs and videos about music. You can also book to listen to music for up to one hour a day. This is free.

Central Music Library has a “Young Musician" collection for children, carers and teachers. It includes CDs as well as books and printed music. They can all be loaned.

8 CDs may be borrowed on each library card for up to two weeks. There is a charge for this but dyslexic people can borrow 2 at a time for free.

Audio Talking Books and CD Packs
Every library has audio CDs and tapes for loan and these are free for children. Audio Talking Books are stories, songs or rhymes on CD or tape. Some are whole books read by actors. These are good for children who find reading hard because they can enjoy the same stories as their friends. Book Tape Packs are a story tape and book that can be borrowed together. Children can read the book and listen to the story at the same time. Libraries also have CDs to help with homework. Whether you would like to listen to Harry Potter or Shakespeare, they are in Birmingham Libraries.

Children’s Books About Dyslexia.
Birmingham Libraries stocks a wide range of books which include positve images of children with Dyslexia. This includes picture books, story books for older children and non-fiction.


To find out more about dyslexia, you can visit the website of the British Dyslexia Association at

Or why not have a look at the spelling tips and success stories on the website, produced by a young person who is dyslexic.

You could also visit the website of Listening Books, a charity which provides a postal audio book service to anyone who has a disability that makes it difficult to read in the usual way:

Spotlight Pack on resources in libraries for children with Dyslexia

 (Size: 228 Kb Type: doc )