Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Bookshare International Now Serves Thirty Countries

People with print disabilities around the world have a right to high-quality ebooks that they can read with assistive technology. Benetech’s Bookshare library continues to expand its international service providing accessible books and publications to members in more than 30 countries. Our international Bookshare service recently announced new partnerships with three organizations that are reaching out to readers with print disabilities in their home countries. These partners include the Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille (NLB), the Hoerbuecherei des OSBV Talking Book Library in Austria, and the Dorina Nowill Foundation in Brazil.
 Benetech looks forward to working with all these groups to provide the latest books, especially textbooks (primarily in English). 
These ebooks can quickly be turned into Braille, large print or be read aloud by a synthetic voice synthesizer.

Bookshare International members now have access to more than 50,000 titles, including books in Spanish, German, French, Hindi, and Tamil, and a collection of textbooks in Afrikaans. Our Bookshare team has also been working on a special project with Qatar’s Mada Assistive Technology Center to add Arabic-language books to the collection. These texts will be available in early 2012.


After books are scanned and uploaded into the digital Bookshare library, they are still used in their printed form by readers around the world. In the rural region of Ranipet in Tamil Nadu, India, 500 Bookshare texts, which had their spines removed for scanning, have been acquired by the Vedavalli Vidyalaya school. Vedavalli Vidyalaya serves more than 20 villages in and around Ranipet and is one of the few schools in a 100-mile radius to deliver high-quality education to students who cannot travel to the nearest city of Chennai. This is the area’s very first library and we are told that the kids there very happy to have access to these books. The texts have all been nicely rebound, thanks to Bookshare’s local book processing partner, Worth Trust.

1 comment:

Samuel Sennott said...

Fantastic to see how the work of Bookshare is expanding around the world. I wonder what kind of trajectory it will follow? Exciting news!