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Bookshare Impacts Even More Lives in 2018

Before we jump into 2019 with both feet, let’s look back on 2018 and celebrate key Bookshare milestones and accomplishments.

Library Grows by Leaps and BoundsThe Outsiders by SE Hinton

Bookshare’s goal is to make every book available to people with reading barriers by converting them into easy-to-read formats. This past year, we added close to 100,000 new books to our online library, bringing the total collection to 675,000 ebooks in 45 languages. Over 1.5 million titles were downloaded around the world, and – drum roll please – these are the top ten books downloaded by members.

Finding Books is Easier than Ever

To help make finding that next great book easier, Bookshare librarians create customized Reading Lists. Since 2017, they have handpicked titles and created over 320 lists in our Special Collections, from American Library Association Award Winners to YA Winter Wonderland favorites. The three most popular Special Collections to date are:

Record Number of Students Use Bookshare

More and more students with reading barriers across the U.S. use Bookshare for school and leisure reading. In 2018, 70,000 new students joined Bookshare, bringing the total student body to 610,000 student members.

Bookshare Salutes Teacher Heroes

Ryan listens to a book on his iPod and portable speakers
Ryan listens to a book on his iPod and portable speakers

Our three-part blog series featuring the Crazy Reading Ladies – also known as Erin O’Leary and Mary Cotillo – at Horace Mann Middle School, shared their winning strategies to leverage accessible books and assistive technology to help students overcome what they refer to as post-traumatic reading disorder.

Bookshare Salutes Student and Parent Heroes

Ryan, a Florida eighth grader with dyslexia, and his mother, Tippi, teamed up to offer their advice to students with dyslexia. Ryan says that the ability to listen to audiobooks in Bookshare was a game changer for him and allowed him to read books his friends were reading.

Bookshare Salutes Adult Members

Jessica Pinto has been a Bookshare champion since eighth grade. We were thrilled to learn about her work teaching computer skills to people with special needs and serving as a disability rights advocate.

Daniel Coney shared his challenges resulting from vision loss as well as his triumphs after discovering Bookshare and Voice Dream Reader.

Bookshare Expands to Asia and Beyond

Jessica Pinto is sitting in a wheelchair and using a MacBook
Jessica accesses Bookshare on her laptop

Did you know that Bookshare is a worldwide phenomenon? In addition to serving members in the United States, Bookshare is crossing borders and bringing books to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates, with many more countries coming on board in 2019.

More Books Coming Around the World

People with reading barriers around the world are poised to get access to more books. On October 10, 2018, President Trump signed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, paving the way for the United States and 70 other ratifying countries to increase access to books in alternative formats. When the treaty is implemented, Bookshare will be able to provide more books to all its members.

Get Involved in 2019

We invite you to connect and engage with the Bookshare community:

  • Subscribe to the Bookshare blog
  • Make a donation to add more books to the Bookshare collection
  • Share the impact that Bookshare has had on your life or someone you know
  • Engage with the Bookshare community on Facebook and Twitter

To all of the Bookshare members, educators, parents, volunteers, and advocates, we appreciate all you do to make accessible reading enrich the lives of people who cannot read standard print. We can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring!

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