New release of the ABC Global Book Service

June 1, 2017

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) has launched its rebranded "ABC Global Book Service" (previously known as the TIGAR Service) that enables libraries for the blind in different countries to exchange books in accessible formats.

Prior to the Marrakesh VIP Treaty being implemented in a country, such cross border exchange of accessible books could only happen with the authorization of the copyright owner. Where libraries for the blind are in countries that have implemented the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, this Service now enables the exchange of books to happen without such authorization. This makes the whole process more efficient.

This ground-breaking Treaty is great news for people with print disabilities around the world who will have access to many, many more books. And for our libraries, each accessible version we can acquire through international exchange, means less duplication of effort and more choice for our users! Thank you ABC for the systems and processes that facilitate this exchange for us.

Margaret McGrory, Vice President, Canadian National Institute for the Blind

As countries implement the principles of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty in their national laws, the Service will guide libraries for the blind through the simplified process of exchanging accessible books. In some cases, the national law of a country may stipulate that before the book is exchanged across borders, the requesting organization needs to confirm that the book is not available on the market in the requested format.  These are known as “commercial availability” provisions. ABC will inform participating libraries of their obligations so that they do not need to be copyright law experts!  Further, ABC will continue to support copyright clearance in countries where the Treaty has not been implemented, in essence, the ABC Global Book Service offers one system to handle all the different conditions for international exchange.    

There are now twenty-five organizations participating in the ABC Global Book Service with more in the pipeline to join. To date, over 128,700 people with print disabilities have borrowed accessible digital books through participating libraries in the Service.

For more information, see our newly designed website.