Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bookshare Crosses 100,000-Member Milestone

Bookshare (, the world's largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for individuals with print disabilities, today announced a milestone event -- surpassing 100,000 qualified members around the world.

Bookshare's Publisher Program also crossed a substantial milestone, with more than 60 publishers from a wide range of publishing sectors agreeing to contribute digital files to Bookshare for worldwide distribution. These files expand Bookshare's library with current popular fiction and nonfiction titles, academic and scholarly works, textbooks, and educational materials.

The University Partners Program has grown substantially and has over 20 university partners regularly contributing books scanned on local campuses to Bookshare, helping to build a collection of postsecondary textbooks for all qualified students around the United States. This growing collection reduces the costs and redundant effort of producing accessible books on U.S. campuses.

Bookshare's very loyal volunteers, numbering over 2,200, have contributed over 25,000 books across all genres through their dedicated scanning and proofreading efforts. Volunteers have also applied their energy and talents to activities from engineering to outreach.

Through an exemption in the U.S. copyright law, (17 U.S.C. § 121) known as the Chafee Amendment, Bookshare serves a community of individuals with qualified print disabilities, such as visual impairments, physical disabilities or severe learning disabilities that affect reading. Proof of disability is required for membership. The library offers over 72,000 books, including K-12 textbooks, postsecondary textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, literature, children's books, reference works, and newspapers and magazines. Members can download books in the latest DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) and BRF (Braille Ready Format) file formats.

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