Benefits Aligned to Use Cases
People are busy, stressed, and everything in between. Reading can provide an escape. Because large print has fewer words per page, readers can typically flip through the pages faster. That helps keep a reader’s attention, even if they’re someone who normally just can’t “get into” reading. It may help them finish a book for the first time in years because they feel more accomplished.
Literacy Intervention Tool
If your public library’s adult literacy programming doesn’t include large print, your community could be missing out. Not only can many titles cross over from young adult (YA) shelves to adult readers’ hands, but the same benefits that support YA with literacy issues apply to adults as well. The combination of a larger font and increased white space on a page helps with letter and word recognition by forcing the eye to move more slowly, and helps readers avoid skipping or rereading lines.1
Helpful to ESL and ELL Learners
Have you taken the diversity of your community into account? English language learners (ELLs) make up 40 percent of the nation’s adult education population served.² That’s a number that deserves attention. Especially when you consider the majority of English as a second language (ESL) learners are between 25 and 44 years old.3 A large print collection can complement your library’s ELL and ESL services. It promotes reading fluency and comprehension, and is a format that can help your library meet the literacy needs of this growing population.
Alternative to Digital Devices
During the height of the pandemic, many people felt like they were glued to their computer screen. The way we view a computer or digital screen is different than the way we read a printed page. The letters on a computer or handheld device may not be as sharply defined. There may be more glare on the screen and less contrast between the words and the background.4
Research shows that between 50 and 90 percent of the people who work on a computer have some symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS).5 As the amount of time spent in front of the screen increases, so does the likelihood of CVS, or digital eye strain, as it is commonly known.6 Large print as an alternative format can offer a much-needed break for those who spend a great deal of their day on a digital device.
Regardless of age or ability, there are those who choose large print for the ease of simply sitting down with a good book. Maybe that’s a harried mom, a college student who needs an escape, or a career professional who has just 30 minutes at the end of a day to decompress. Large print supports anyone who wants a break from screen time—and can even help keep readers engaged and awake.
Helpful for Parents and Grandparents
Sure, it’s important that young readers feel supported, but it doesn’t stop there. Make the experience of reading less of a chore and more enjoyable for a variety of readers. Recommend large print, and ask your patrons about their experience using it.
Ideal for Senior Citizens
It’s no secret that white space and bigger fonts make sense for seniors or anyone who is visually impaired, but the benefits don’t stop there. Encouraging seniors to keep reading can promote positive outcomes, such as improving cognitive function.7