Thanks from Betsy Burgess, Director of Marketing
Sandwiched between the holiday for giving thanks and the holidays for giving, we want to thank all Members and teachers who have written to us to share your love of Bookshare, your successes and your students accomplishments. We treasure your stories and hope they inspire others to experience the joy of reading available through Bookshare.
New Support Center
We also thank you for asking questions to help us find new ways to improve. In this spirit, in the next few weeks we will release new support features on the Bookshare website that will make it easier for you to find answers. If you have a question, rather than finding answers in our FAQ pages, youll have access to a new Support Center. If you have new support requests, youll file them within the Support Center. In addition, the Contact Us page will stay on the site for support questions and other general inquiries.
The Support Center has two new features:
- Request Tracking: When you file a request from within the
Support Center or Contact Us and are logged in, youll be able to see your
requests and their status.
- Knowledge Base: We have transferred all of the FAQ answers
to common questions into a searchable Knowledge Base that you can go to
first when you have questions. You can search for your question or browse
the categories of Knowledge Base solutions to see if there's an answer
that gives you the information you need. The current FAQ sections will remain
on the site until early next year so you can try out the Support Center and
Knowledge Base, but youll still have the FAQs available if you need them.
New Community Pages
To give you better access to news and new books, were also adding new
communities to the Community section and new content. There will be communities
- Students of all ages, including those in continuing education
- Adults, or all our members who are no longer in school
- University DSS and AltMedia offices and Partners
- Organizations such as group homes, libraries, resource centers, senior centers
Please watch for these changes and best wishes in this season of giving!
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Soon, the giving holidays will roll into the New Year. Were working on a blog post from Betsy Beaumon, Vice President and General Manager of Benetech Literacy Program, that will summarize the past year and offer a glimpse into 2011. Watch for this post and more from Betsy next year!
If you follow the Bookshare blog, youve read about successes with Bookshare, classroom strategies, policies, suggestions for books, stories from members, important news and much more. Recent blog posts you dont want to miss are:
If you havent subscribed yet, please do. Youll get an email with the topic of each new post. Please visit the blog page, enter your email in the box and click on Sign Me Up.
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Want to Share This Video?
In the spirit of giving and sharing, the Bookshare team produced a fun video that is sure to make you smile and that youll want to share with friends, students, teachers, parents and principals because it holds an important message for everyone. We wont tell you what it is about. Rather, please watch it now and then send the URL to others!
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Summer Reading Contest Winners
Congratulations to Correy Crawford, (K-5)
Danielle Montour (6-8) and Nichole Maples (9-12)
Correy Crawford (on right), with his family
Eight-year-old Correy Crawford (on right), shown here with his family, won the Bookshare Summer Reading Contest in the grade K-5 category. Correy was one of 340 youngsters and teens who participated in the Contest. He is dyslexic and finds it difficult to decode words, especially vowels. Over the summer, Correy liked reading about how the U.S. Capitol was built in Washington, D.C. and about the construction of the New York subway system. He read lots of fiction and began to love mysteries like the Box Car Children and Nancy Drew. His favorite book, Cricket in Times Square, brought back memories of his visit to New York, where he enjoyed riding the subway. Read more about Correy.
Maples, with her father and mother.
Nichole Maples, shown here with her father and mother, was our first place winner in the grade 9-12 category. She loves to share her joy of reading and does so almost every week at her local Mississippi library. Nichole encourages others to read and has been helping the library staff create a reading club for people with disabilities. Read Nicholes story.
Note: In the next Bulletin, we hope to feature Danielle Montour who won the Summer Reading Contest in the grade 6-8 category.
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Calling All Mentor Teachers
Bookshare just launched its first Mentor Teacher Program and nearly 200 U.S. educators signed up. Our mantra is AIM Higher and the program is designed to reward and recognize educators who are using Bookshare and training others (teachers, parents and students) to use Bookshare, too. Bookshare Mentors track and report on the work they do in school and provide motivation and training tips. Those who complete the simple requirements will be entered into a raffle to win prizes like a trip to one of two educational conferences next year, CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) or CTG (Closing the Gap). Other prizes include an iPad, a Flip video, gift cards for school supplies and more! Learn more about the Bookshare Mentors Program by emailing Kristina Cohen.
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Bookshare Materials - Now in Spanish
Do you work with Spanish-speaking students, parents or educators? We now have many training materials online in English and Spanish to help you learn to use Bookshare to its fullest extent.
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In honor of National Disabilities Month in October, SanDisk generously donated to Bookshare 100 MP3 players and 250 thumb drives for students without access to technology in schools. Educators and families, many from rural areas, entered our contest on our Bookshare Facebook page and told us about their plans to use the portable tool to improve their students academic opportunities.
Stay tuned to Facebook and the Bookshare blog as we continue to work with rural schools and families. Here is a list of the recipients selected to date:
- Bemidji Regional Inter-District Council for Special Education, Kelliher, MN
- Blackford School, San Jose, CA
- Boise High School, Boise, ID
- Boulder Preparatory High School, Boulder, CO
- Comal Independent School District, New Braunfels, TX
- East Lyme High School, East Lyme, CT
- Edgewood Middle School, Ninety Six, SC
- Franklinville Central School, Franklinville, NY
- Godwin Heights High School, Grand Rapids, MI
- Holt Senior High School, Holt, MI
- Howell High School, Howell, MI
- Lapeer West High School, Lapeer, MI
- Lincoln Elementary School, Marshfield, WI
- McKinley Institute of Technology, Redwood City, CA
- Mill Springs Academy, Alpharetta, GA
- P.S. 243, Brooklyn, NY
- Riverbend Educational Cooperative, New Ulm, MN
- San Antonio Elementary, Dade City, Florida
- Success Campus/St. Charles High School, St. Charles, MO
- The Ray Elementary, Chicago, IL
- Union County School District, Blairsville, GA
- Albermarle Middle School, Albermarle, NC
- Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, Washington, DC
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This fall, Bookshare accepted gifts of hundreds of scanned books from the libraries of some of our local university partners. Our biggest contributors were Santa Rosa College and Monterey Peninsula College. Bookshares Collection Development team made its second trek in November to the Santa Rosa College (SRC) campus shortly after Thanksgiving and gathered the remaining 668 books in their library, for a total of 868 books contributed by SRC in 2010.
Bookshare Systems Administrator Stephen Lewis travelled to Monterey Peninsula
College, whose staff also contributed a large number of scanned books via
an external drive. This large batch of files is still being counted and
put on our server as it is a whopping 300 GB of files! Thats a lot of
books! A big thanks to Alexis at MPC and Sara and Richard from SRC for
opening your doors and contributing these files.
University partners contribute these books in order to build the collection of postsecondary books available worldwide. Alternate Media specialists will process fewer books next year thanks to these contributions.
Today Bookshare has 26 university partners who have contributed over 3,000 books since our program began in 2009. This quarter, we welcome two new colleges: Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and College of San Mateo in San Mateo, California. Thank you for sharing your books. Just last week, an Alternative Media Specialist at the Accessing Higher Ground Conference, said, We tell our students to look in Bookshare first before they request a book from our office.
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Bookshare now has over a hundred publishers signed up internationally. This month, we welcome Taylor & Francis, one of the worlds leading publishers of academic journals, based in the UK. Also on the academic front, the University of Michigan, Hong Kong University Press, and the University of British Columbia Press have signed with Bookshare, giving us a great stronghold in the university press world.
Students will be delighted to know that Petersons Publishing is now on board, giving us their acclaimed series of reference and test prep books and filling a crucial niche in our collection for high school and college students.
Weve been working with international organizations that have strong publications program and are pleased to announce that The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and RAND Corporation have signed up with Bookshare and will be donating their impressive list of publications.
In addition to the 21 publishers in India that my colleague Viji Dilip has signed up, we are looking at an impressive roster of great publishers who support our work. Exciting times!
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Bookshare International announced partnerships with Vision Australia, Western Australia Association for the Blind, the South Africa Library for the Blind, TPB (The Swedish Library of Talking Books), and NOTA (the Danish National Library for the Blind) to make accessible books available for their citizens with print disabilities.
Greg Kearney, Manager of Accessible Media for the Association for the Blind in Western Australia, said, "We chose to work with Bookshare because of its proven ability to deliver a wide range of recently published materials in accessible formats. We felt membership is an important step to extend the range of books available in Australia and New Zealand for people who are blind or have print disabilities. Going forward this partnership will ensure that our citizens can read for entertainment and more importantly gain information that is critical to their full participation in a modern liberal democracy."
Read all the latest press announcements and news coverage.
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Bookshare on the Road!
24-25 Louisiana CEC (Council for Exceptional Children), Lafayette, LA
26-29 ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Conference), Orlando, FL
9-10 Utah Augmentative Alternative Assistive Communication and Technology Conference, Ogden, UT
17-18 OTAP AT Conference, Portland, OR
18-24 Alaska Statewide Special Ed Conference, Anchorage, AK
23-26 Learning Disabilities Association of America, Jacksonville, FL
24-27 Nat'l Assn of Secondary School Principals, San Francisco, CA
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Happy Holidays from the Bookshare Team
P.S. Friend us on Facebook and help us spread daily news on Twitter. We really appreciate your retweets and telling others about all the great accessible books available in our library!
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