ABC Global Book Service

The ABC Global Book Service, formerly known as the TIGAR Service, is an on-line catalogue that allows participating libraries for the blind and organizations serving people who are print disabled to obtain easily the accessible content they need.

The Service supports the goals of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty at a practical level.   A participating library contributes its catalogue of accessible books and may request accessible digital books contributed by other organizations for the purpose of supplementing its collection. In those countries that have laws consistent with the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, such books can be transferred without requesting authorization of the copyright owner. For those countries that do not have such laws, ABC seeks authorization from the copyright owner prior to the transfer of requested books.

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Students looking at large print on a computer
(Photo: WIPO)

Quick facts

Approximately 355,000 titles in 76 languages in a range of accessible formats.

Over 5000 music scores (partitions) in braille.

A secure, automated mechanism to transfer accessible digital books across borders.

A centralized procedure to obtain authorizations in those countries that do not have laws consistent with the Marrakesh VIP Treaty.

pictograms representing the services offered by ABC
(credit: WIPO)

Why use the Service?

By using the ABC Global Book Service, libraries can:

  • add accessible digital books to their collections free of cost;
  • provide a wider range of accessible digital books in different languages to patrons;
  • go to one source for the international exchange of accessible books from countries that have laws compliant with the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, as well as those that have not; 
  • review only one exchange contract – no need to have separate agreements with individual libraries for the blind or other organizations.

Which organizations are involved?

How can I join?

There is no fee or financial contribution required to use the ABC Global Book Service. To participate you should:

  • meet the definition of “authorized entity” as set out in article 2 (c) of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, including that it:
    • is not for profit;
    • only serves persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled;
    • discourages the reproduction, distribution and making available of unauthorized copies of books; and
    • maintains due care in, and records of, its handling of books;
  • sign an agreement with WIPO that sets out the terms and conditions for becoming a member of the ABC Global Book Service;
  • submit information about the books contained in your collection (known as “metadata”) such as title, author name, year of publication, etc.;
  • provide the electronic files of your books to the ABC Global Book Service, when requested by other participating libraries;
  • compile statistics about the number of ABC titles you loan to your patrons.