Gwyn Suttell

Is Bookshare the main method for obtaining textbooks in college

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Hello,

I am just wondering how many students are utilizing bookshare materials in college? Is it easy or hard to obtain the text materials they need? If bookshare doesn't have the book how can the student submit their request? Is there a longer turn-around time for materials Bookshare doesn't already have? Is there advice or a protocol to teach students to be proactive in requesting materials and obtaining them in a timely manner?

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Hi Gwyn,

Many of our college students also use their college's disability services offices to help provide content, but Bookshare is a great source as well of course.  Bookshare is free for all US College students, and if a student can't find content within the library they absolutely can put in a book request for it.

Turn-around time for college book requests is effectively the same as our other student requests, but it can depend on the complexity of the books.  I always recommend college students proactively contact their next semesters professors as soon as possible to see if they can get a book list early.  The earlier they receive the book list the better chance we can have it live in the library before classes start.

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As a student, using my personal account, I've had great success getting book requests taken care of. I've requested about ten books that weren't in the library, and six months later, they were! And they were high quality with great Daisy markup making it quick to read the sections I needed and skip the sections I didn't.

 

As a disability service provider, using a different account of course, I've not had good luck requesting books for students. Part of the problem is that our professors often don't decide what book they want until a week before class.

 

I acquire books for my students through bookshare, learning ally, several other services that provide textbooks from publishers to service providers like me, the public libraries  and through networking with other colleges.

 

When considering a college, a print-impaired student should find out how capable an alternate media specialist at their college is at tracking down books from disparate sources.

 

I also scan many books for my students.

 

In general about 40% of the books my students need can be downloaded or read online from bookshare. Often the biggest problem is that the publisher has just come oujt with a new edition which of course the professor decides to use, and bookshare only has older editions. It's particularly frustrating when the only thing that's changed with the new edition is that the exercises have been updated, or the text of the material switched around in such a way that a good reader could easily work with the older edition whereas a challenged reader cannot. 

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Hi Selvin,

Absolutely!  Thanks to our grant from the US Department of Education all US students regardless of age can access Bookshare for free.  Plus for any non-US student, either an international student or just someone not attending courses they can still access Bookshare content for just $50 per year.

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