Bookshare: Information for parents

June 8, 2013
To KTHS parents:
All KTHS students are enrolled in Bookshare, a free service supported by the US Department of Education to make books available to students with reading difficulties. Bookshare gives members access to digital versions of real books – the same in-print and copyrighted books carried by Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Currently, Bookshare’s collection runs to almost 200,000 books, with new titles added continually.

Bookshare’s digital books are designed to be read aloud on a variety of computers and devices. Bookshare’s free PC and Mac reading software can be downloaded from the Bookshare site (bookshare.org). Bookshare also provides a very easy-to-use iPad/iPhone app called Read2Go ($20) and a free app called Go Read for Android phones and tablets. Earlier this year, Bookshare released a free Web-based book reader for the Google Chrome browser.

KTHS students are enrolled as organizational members of Bookshare through the school; KTHS teachers can download digital books on their behalf. As organizational members, students are automatically eligible to become individual members as well.

Individual members can download books on their own at home. Membership is free as long as students are enrolled in a special-education program. After graduation, the cost of individual membership jumps to $50/year. Bookshare makes it easy for organizational members to become individual members.

Let me know (dpeal@ttlc.org) if you would like me to email you an automatically filled-in application for individual membership in Bookshare for your child. All you need to do is complete the application and mail, email, or fax it to Bookshare in California.

If you have questions about Bookshare, check out the Bookshare Web site, where you can search for and download books, get free software for reading books, and find plenty of help and how-to information.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have questions about this great accommodation.

Reading books on Bookshare (options)

Using Bookshare on iPhone/iPad (Read2Go) or Android device (Go Read)

Bookshare Web Reader – First Time User Guide (from the Bookshare Web site)

To read with text-to-speech, word highlighting and with options for large print

  1. Open Google Chrome and log on to www.bookshare.org
  2. Find your book
  3. Select “Read Now”
  4. Follow prompts to install the Chrome Extension
  5. Your book will open, and you can begin reading!
To read in large print or with a screen reader that will provide text-to-speech
  1. Open Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari
  2. Find your book
  3. Select “Read Now”
  4. Your book will open, and you can begin reading!