On this Volunteer Recognition Day, we thank our volunteers who make Bookshare the best it can be. Bookshare and Benetech, our parent nonprofit, are so fortunate to have the generous support from volunteers around the world. You are positively impacting people with print disabilities, and we appreciate your life-size contributions!
In this blog, let’s catch up on the latest and greatest from the Bookshare volunteer community.
Congratulations to Marcus Garner!
Did you know that every year through the Mayrie ReNae Scholarship Fund, Bookshare provides a free membership for someone in need? Mayrie is remembered for her volunteer work and valuable guidance as a Bookshare staff member.
This year’s winner of a year-long Bookshare membership is Marcus Garner, a community activist who traveled to Nicaragua to lead a youth empowerment program for visually impaired teens.
Marcus is an alumnus of the New Foundations professional development program at the Lions Center for the Blind in Oakland, California. The Lions Center is a valued partner.
What’s New for Volunteers on the Bookshare Website?
Check out the revamped volunteer section of the Bookshare website. This volunteer home page is filled with information and tools to help volunteers get involved.
Here’s what’s new:
• Updated scanning and proofreading instructions
• Links to submit a book, check out a book, and find your books in process in the left-hand navigation bar
• More volunteer opportunities besides proofreading and scanning
U.S. Department of Education Does an Image Slam
This past month, senior leaders at the U.S. Department of Education got first-hand volunteer experience with an image slam. What’s an image slam? It’s a hands-on session where volunteers make book images accessible by providing image descriptions using the Poet Image Description tool. Poet was developed by the DIAGRAM Center, another important Benetech initiative that is striving to change the way image and graphic content is produced and accessed for people with print disabilities.
According to Benetech President, Betsy Beaumon, “This is a critical and hopeful moment where rapid changes in the fields of consumer technology, education, and publishing make it possible to realize our dream of reading and information equality.” Want to learn more about Benetech’s work? Read Betsy’s official blogs on Disability.gov and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).
Faster Approval Queues
Special thanks to our dedicated volunteer team that manages the Bookshare approval queue. Its expertise has helped to get books into the collection faster than ever! Every day, this team continues to speed up the process to enhance and grow our library. Great job!
Proofing Children’s Books in High Demand
Kudos also to our in-house volunteers and the team at the University of Chicago, Delta Gamma Chapter. Their efforts have helped to get more high-demand children’s books proofread and added to the collection. These volunteers use a hard copy to proofread, and then add image descriptions to ensure that our young members don’t miss out on great titles!
Volunteers Make Wishes Come True!
Did you know that Bookshare offers members a Wish List where they can request books for pleasure reading outside of the classroom? We encourage volunteers to check out the Wish List for inspiration when looking for books to scan. Unless a volunteer scans them, Wish List books won’t be added to the collection, and members won’t have access to them. Help make a wish come true!
Share Your Volunteer Story or Photo
Bookshare volunteers have inspirational stories that demonstrate tremendous care for others. Send us your volunteer stories, comments, and photos, and we will feature you on our blog.
Bookshare’s Summer Internship
Bookshare’s third annual summer internship program is now open for rising high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen and sophomores. Learn more about this great opportunity!
Bookshare Volunteers Rock!
Thank you so much for what you do.