Member Stories

Bookshare® has changed the lives of many of its Members. With a vast library of accessible reading material literally at their fingertips, Bookshare Members are rediscovering the world of books and gaining increased independence. Often Members describe how much Bookshare means to them. Here are their stories.

 

Video Profiles

Reading Bookshare books with different devices (short profiles focused on the technology):

  • Sixth grader Kevin Leong describes his reading challenges before signing up for Bookshare and demonstrates how Read2Go helps him stay on top of his schoolwork. (2:36) Video (YouTube)
  • Sixth grade student Kevin Leong discusses his reading challenges before discovering Bookshare and explains how he can read books quickly and easily with Bookshare Web Reader. (2:00) Video (YouTube)
  • Jill Dunaway, a teacher at the Alabama School for the Blind, demonstrates how she downloads books from the Bookshare library to the BrailleNote portable device. (7:53)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • Student actor Curtis Holman reads books from the Bookshare library using his BrailleNote portable device (3:31)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • An 8th grade student with a physical disability, Jessica Pinto, uses Bookshare to read books on her laptop in an enlarged font. (2:01)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • Overcoming a learning disability, middle school student Alex Clark, reads Bookshare books using the Kurzweil 3000 text-to-voice software. (2:01)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • The Kurzweil 3000 text-to-voice software helps middle school musician Shane McKnight read Bookshare books despite a learning disability. (1:56)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • An aspiring media producer with a visual disability, 12th grader Steffon Middleton uses his BrailleNote portable device to read books from Bookshare. (2:30)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)

Bookshare has changed the lives of many individuals:

  • Drake Leong, father of Bookshare student member Kevin Leong, talks about Kevin's reading challenges and how Bookshare has helped Kevin overcome them. (2:46) Video (YouTube) 
  • High school student Alexis talks about how Bookshare helped her get access to required reading that enabled her to stay in school. (2:56)
    Video (YouTube)
  • Carlos and Wallace talk about their plans after high school and how Bookshare helped build their reading skills. (2:44)
    Video (YouTube)
  • Dane and his mother, Kathryn, talk about how Bookshare helped boost his confidence and ability to read independently. (3:04)
    Video (YouTube)
  • Bookshare helps 8th grader Jessica Pinto read independently. (4:14)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • Alex Clark, a middle school student athlete, improves his grades and makes the team thanks to Bookshare. (3:56)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • Musician and skateboarder Shane McKnight expands his reading list with Bookshare. (4:24)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)
  • Bookshare offers blind 12th grader, Steffon Middleton, a library of portable digital books to support his dream of becoming a media producer. (5:51)
    Video (YouTube) | Audio (MP3)

 

Testimonials

Volunteering is a fascinating, fulfilling blessing resulting in my reading wonderful books, learning new things and getting to know people I enjoy, care about and admire. I wrote this parody of Paul Overstreet's song, "Heroes," with all Booksharians in mind.

 Booksharian Heroes

 He opens up his scanner
In the hours before dawn
So he can finish up this book
Before the day is gone.

  He optimizes settings
He holds the book down tight
Scannoes out and page breaks in
The whole book must be right.

  You know heroes come in every shape and size,
Making special sacrifices for others in their lives.
No one gives them prizes,
The world don't know their names,
But in someone's eyes they're heroes just the same.

  She turns on her computer.
She'll work extra hard today.
Someone wants to read this book,
They need it right away.

  She reads the pages word by word.
She doesn't stop for breaks.
She spell checks and double checks,
And fixes the mistakes.

  We know heroes come in every shape and size,
Making special sacrifices for others in their lives.
No one gives them prizes,
The world don't know their names,
But in someone's eyes they're heroes just the same

  You sit down to read email.
You've just joined a new list.
You still don't know just how it's done.
You're trying to get the gist.

  You're starting to get answers
For questions that you send
And the person who's been helping you
Has now become your friend.

  Remember heroes come in every shape and size,
Making special sacrifices for others in their lives.
No one gives them prizes,
The world don't know their names,
But in someone's eyes they're heroes just the same.

  I can't say I know all of you
But still it's safe to say
Someone out there's read your books
With gratitude today.

  They're reading your book avidly
Excusing your mistakes.
There is no doubt about it,
Cause you've got all it takes.

  Bookshare heroes come in every shape and size,
Making special sacrifices for others in their lives.
No one gives them prizes,
The world don't know their names,
But in someone's eyes they're heroes just the same.

  I'm talking about heroes.
Extraordinary Heroes.
Booksharian Heroes!

- Lissi, a Bookshare Volunteer

 “I have been a Bookshare Member for fourteen months. The service is of enormous value-having access to a library of this size and scope was beyond dreaming about when I was growing up in the 'sixties. Thanks, thanks, and ever thanks.”

- Recent New Member

 “Lush. It feels LUSH, like walking into a good bookstore or a library used to feel like everything is accessible again. Thanks to all of you who had ideas how I could access the books in really large print in addition to Braille.”

- Liz Halperin, Member and Volunteer

 “I am just amazed by the site and at the diversity of books, many of which are simply not available anywhere else.”

- Rick Roderick, Member

 “I have a dyslexic 13 year old, and I am trying to ease his homework load by setting up assigned books that he can listen to rather than read visually. The aims of this organization, and the progress it has made so far, are extremely heartening to a very large number of parents and disabled users.”

- Parent of Member

 

Bookshare Story Contest

We've tallied your votes for the Tell Us Your Story contest finalists. Congratulations to Sofia Gallo for Twilight at 2 AM, our grand prize winner!

Missed the contest? Don't worry. Bookshare will announce a new Member contest in the Bookshare Bulletin this fall.