January 26, 2021

First of Its Kind Partnership: Benetech and New York Public Library Bringing Bookshare to Patrons with Print Disabilities

From a Company Announcement:

Benetech, provider of Bookshare, is proud to announce a new partnership with The New York Public Library (NYPL), making over 375,000 accessible ebooks free to their patrons with print disabilities.

Every New Yorker with an eligible print disability will now have free access to Bookshare’s vast online library including bestsellers, literature, non-fiction, picture books, educational texts, career guides, and much more with their New York Public Library card or Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library membership.

[Our emphasis] This partnership is the first of its kind between Bookshare and a large U.S. public library.

Currently, all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities can access Bookshare’s library for free under an award from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. This new partnership serves eligible patrons of all ages, whether or not they are students.

The partnership provides unlimited downloads of accessible materials for personal use and more than doubles the number of titles available to NYPL patrons with print disabilities. All of Bookshare’s ebooks can be used in a wide variety of ways, depending on user need and preference, and on nearly any computer or mobile device. Books can be enlarged on screen and read aloud using high quality text-to-speech voices. In addition, users can hear and see highlighted words on a screen and also read every book with digital braille.

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We look forward to continuing our collaboration with NYPL and hope to set up similar agreements with other public library systems across the U.S. so that all persons with print disabilities have full access to the world of books.

Read the Complete Announcement

Hat Tip/Thanks: @naypinya

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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