Diary of a Wimpy Kid is now available with just a click. Bookshare, the digital library for people with print disabilities, is making it easier to read copyrighted digital books online. Instead of having to download books or use separate software, Bookshare members can use the new Bookshare Web Reader to open and read books with a web browser such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE 9. Check out the video here.
A good reason to use Chrome is that it lets users read books multi-modally, with word-by-word highlighting and text-to-speech. All of the browsers allow for adjustments in font size, colors and display format. The Bookshare Web Reader is currently optimized for members with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or low vision.
The nonprofit also launched Bookshelf, which helps teachers and individuals organize textbooks and assigned reading on a digital bookshelf. Users can organize Bookshelves by any system they want, such as by interest or author, saving time. Books include popular titles like Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series, New York Times bestsellers, school reading must-haves like Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird, magazines, newspapers and more.
Bookshare, which was started by legendary entrepreneur Jim Fruchterman, is the world’s largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Its 230,000 members, who must qualify as having a print disability such as low vision, an inability to hold a book, or dyslexia, can use Bookshare to read nearly 200,000 books online.
A grant from the Department of Education provides free access to Bookshare for all K-12 U.S. students with a qualified print disability. Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit that creates sustainable technology to solve pressing social needs, for which Fruchterman is CEO.