Thursday, November 9

Exciting announcement from Book Share

Greetings. I received the following email in my Inbox and thought it worth sharing. Enjoy, and my humble apologies for any formatting errors.

Dear loyal and patient volunteers,

The press announcement below was sent out for release this
morning.  Many of you have done a tremendous amount of work in
building, a library of accessible books that reflect
your interests.   Congratulations on your achievement.

Thanks from everyone at Benetech.


Thousands of Volunteers Select and Scan Bestsellers For the World's Largest
Accessible Online Library

Palo Alto, Calif., November 8, 2006 - announced this
week that its network of volunteers has succeeded in scanning
30,000 books creating the world's largest accessible online
library. Thousands of volunteers, including educators
and librarians, select their favorite books and legally convert
these texts to digital formats that can be used by people with
print disabilities such as dyslexia and visual impairment.

The entire online library can be downloaded to
Braille printers, portable Braille devices and software that reads
aloud in a synthesized human voice. Among the titles are
bestsellers including Criss Cross, the 2006 Newbery Medal winner
for children's literature. Information about the latest titles can
be found at

"There are thousands of people who couldn't read this literature
without something like, it opens up a whole new world
to them," says volunteer Matthew Devcich, 16, of
Chantilly, Virginia. "You are helping people across the nation and
it's a great way to learn today's technology."

Devcich, who has a visual disability, created an Eagle Scout
leadership service project that organized 21 mostly teenage
volunteers to scan and proofread 24 books. Devcich listens to the ebooks which allow him to reduce eye strain while he
reads the text online in an enlarged font. "It helps me read a
great deal faster," says Devcich.

The subscription-based digital library is the first
literacy program developed by Benetech, a nonprofit based in Palo
Alto, California. "It's people like Matthew who have made 30,000
books available at today," said Janice Carter,
Director of Benetech's Literacy Programs. "Thanks to the ongoing
support of the volunteer community, we continue to
add about 100 new books each week."

The Benetech literacy team will present their library of accessible
books and periodicals at the annual conference of The International
Dyslexia Association conference held at the Indiana Convention
Center in Indianapolis, Indiana from November 8-11.

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