Each year, the second Thursday of October is World Sight Day, an day dedicated to highlight issues of eye health, blindness and visual impairment. At Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) we have been helping the print disabled, with the assistance of the National Library Service (NLS), obtain access to information for more than 100 years.
In keeping with that tradition, I chose World Sight Day to bring to your attention a new partnership between Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Free Library of Philadelphia and Bookshare, a service that greatly enhances access to books and information for Pennsylvania’s print disabled patrons.
Bookshare is the largest online library of accessible eBooks in the world for people with qualified print disabilities (qualified print disabilities can include blindness, legal blindness, dyslexia or a physical impairment that prevents a person from being able to hold a book). Bookshare offers an ever-growing library of more than 477,000 downloadable eBook titles, and hundreds of magazines and newspapers. All of these titles are now available free to qualified residents of Pennsylvania. Titles are available in digital audio, braille or text formats. What’s more, patrons can read Bookshare’s accessible eBooks on Apple and Android devices, computers, tablets, assistive technology devices and MP3 players using either free or inexpensive apps.
Anyone who is a member of the NLS’s service through LBPH is pre-qualified. If you, or anyone you know is unable to read traditional print books, please call LBPH today at 1.800.242.0586 to learn more about the diverse services available. Our staff is always happy to answer your questions.
To learn more about Bookshare and to sign up with a free promo code click here. If you have any questions about Bookshare or their sign-up form call their help center at 650-352-0198 between 9 am and 5 pm PST, or visit bookshare.org. You can also read more about Bookshare’s Pennsylvania partnership here.
Thank you and happy World Sight Day!
Ready for Free, Accessible eBooks?Sign Up for Bookshare
Mark Lee is the Library Services Manager at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.