First Steps for Alternative Media Offices

Every day, student requests for books in alternate formats pour in to DSPS offices.

Alternate Media centers at campuses all over the country are hard at work chopping and scanning books; often the same books as their colleagues on campuses in other parts of the country.

Bookshare® receives books from colleges and universities that scan books for their students with print disabilities; many of these books are used by students at colleges all across the US. One scan can be shared many times over. (See how to share scanned books.)

Using Bookshare means processing fewer books for students; they can find them ready-to-go online. Two formats: DAISY and BRF. Best of all, the books and two online reading tools — are FREE for US students.

Getting started with Bookshare is easy:

  1. Sign up for Bookshare:
  2. Help students find books on Bookshare:
  3. Help students read Bookshare books:

Have books to share?

Become a Bookshare University Partner and leverage your efforts to provide accessible books to students with print disabilities.

  1. Fill out the Volunteer Sign Up form.
  2. Scan a book in RTF format (one file per book) and send it to Bookshare as a sample:
  3. Once the sample is approved, you can upload scanned books directly to the approval queue for the Bookshare library.
    1. Log in to
    2. Select Volunteer Home under your name.
    3. Select Submit a Book and follow the instructions.
  4. If you have books in other formats, contact us about submitting them to the Bookshare library.


Bookshare has a variety of resources for universities that are scanning books for students with print disabilities:

  • Bookshare University Webinar: February 20, 2009 – Flash video, MP3 audio
  • Online Scanning and Proofreading Manual - provides comprehensive guidance for scanning, proofreading and uploading books to the Bookshare library.
  • Bookshare can scan books — Can’t find the book you’re looking for in Bookshare? If you have a hard copy of the book, send it to us. Our Collection Development Department will chop the spine off of the book, scan the pages and process the book in to the Bookshare collection. Once we are finished scanning, we will return the chopped book to you.

    Send hard copy books for scanning to:
    Bookshare c/o Benetech
    480 South California Ave.
    Palo Alto, CA 94306