The Vision Australia Library collection is set to grow significantly in 2019 thanks to a new agreement between the not-for-profit organisation and Bookshare, an eBook library for people with reading barriers.
Vision Australia has recently signed a partnership with Bookshare, an initiative of US-based non-profit Benetech that will allow library members to access an additional 600,000 titles from late 2019.
Vision Australia general manager of commercial and national services David Speyer said the new partnership is an exciting step forward for the Vision Australia Library and its members.
“Accessing print material can be a challenge for people who are blind or have low vision or live with any other print disability, so it’s always exciting when we have the opportunity to expand what our members have access to,” David said.
“Many of the books that will be available to our members will be textbooks and other educational resources which is another positive as the diversity of our collection is also growing,” he said.
Along with increasing the number of books library members will have access to, the partnership with Bookshare will also result in a new digital platform for members.
“Currently we have a number of different platforms that staff and members use to access the library. The new platform will consolidate them and make it easier and more efficient for staff to update information and for members to access books and other resources from the library.”
Benetech VP and GM Global Education and Literacy Brad Turner said, “Through our partnership, Australians with reading barriers will soon have a huge collection of accessible books at their fingertips.
“Every person should have the opportunity to read and learn in a way that works for them, and we’re proud to partner with Vision Australia to advance inclusive access to information and education.”
A project team consisting of Vision Australia and Benetech staff are currently working on the design and implementation of the new platform, with it expected to be completed in late 2019.