Bookshare, a provider of digital content for persons with print disabilities, has added two reading tools to its online library: Bookshare Web Reader and Bookshelf.
Web Reader enables Bookshare members to open and read DAISY books within a web browser, eliminating the need to download titles or use specialized software.
Bookshelf enables individual Bookshare members to organize books onto shelves by author, subject, or type. It enables institutional members, especially teachers, to provide students with direct access to titles they can read using Web Reader after logging in.
The tools make Bookshare's 175,000 DAISY books more accessible to readers who struggle reading standard print, including persons with learning disabilities, vision impairments, or mobility limitations.
Note: Only those with Bookshare memberships can use Bookshare Web Reader or Bookshelf.
Using Bookshare Web Reader
The Bookshare Web Reader is optimized for use with Google Chrome, but supports most browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Chrome provides features that enable multi-modal reading, including word-by-word highlighting and text-to-speech -- designed to help readers with learning disabilities.
If using Chrome, you'll be prompted to install a Google extension the first time you use Bookshare Web Reader.
Note: If you're not using Chrome, highlighting is not provided and you'll need a screen reading program.
To use Web Reader:
- Open your preferred web browser, go to the Bookshare home page, and login to your account
- Find a book you wish to read
- Select the "Read Now" link to open Bookshare Web Reader
- After a few moments, your selected book will open
- Select the Read icon
- You will hear the text being read aloud and can follow along as each word is highlighted.
Click the "Options" button if you wish to adjust the font size, colors, or display format.
Using Bookshare Bookshelf
Creating a Bookshelf
To create a Bookshelf or to access one created for you by your school or other organization:
- Go to Bookshare and login to your account
- Select "My Bookshelves" from the Task Bar
- Select "Create Bookshelf." The button is on the right
- Give the Bookshelf a name and include a brief description, if you wish
- Select Save. The button is to the left.
Adding Books to a Bookshelf
You can add books to your bookshelf by searching for downloaded books or browsing for new ones.
When you find a title you wish to add, select the "Add to Bookshelf" link and select the bookshelf where you'd like to add it.
Accessing a Bookshelf Created for You
To access a bookshelf that's been created on your behalf, such as by a teacher or other organization:
- Select "My Bookshelves" in your Task Bar
- Identify the Bookshelf you need to access and select it.
- At this point, you can either download the books to your account or read them online using Bookshare Web Reader
- To read them online, select the Read Now link next to the book.
Books can be added to "My Favorites" or to multiple custom Bookshelves, e.g. a teacher can assign the same book to multiple students, each individually fingerprinted in the background upon download.