[bksvol-discuss] Re: Meet Valerie & Doug -- Bookshare Volunteers

Valarie,
How nice. It sounds like you really enjoy your work.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Scott Rains" <scottr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 4:46 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Meet Valerie & Doug -- Bookshare Volunteers


Volunteers,

It is certainly an uplifting way to spend a Friday afternoon receiving your amazing stories of generosity and perseverance.

Meet Valerie and Doug!

Scott Rains
Benetech Fellow, Bookshare Volunteer Department
________________________________________

Hi!

My name is Valerie Maples and my husband, Doug, and I both enjoy volunteering at Bookshare. We first became acquainted with Bookshare probably about six years ago (maybe seven) when our older daughter, Cindy, wanted to be able to read books in a digital format. I can honestly say Bookshare has grown tremendously in both quantity and quality since that time. Cindy passed away about four years ago and at that time Nichole was just beginning to be more interested in being able to read on a computer. So, now, we are all Bookshare members due to qualifying disabilities. I have arthritis and severe dyslexia, Doug is a quadriplegic, and Nichole has cerebral palsy.

I both scan and proofread and Doug proofreads. We both enjoy our volunteer work tremendously! I was scanning for school for Cindy and then Nichole, so volunteering was wonderful because it allowed me to share my work products with many, many others who would also enjoy reading and learning from the texts my daughter's used. These days our focus is primarily on juvenile and youth text, but we have also done a fair amount of Christian books and Christian fiction. The more I volunteer, the more I enjoy reading again now that it is not such a struggle with my hands. Because of my dyslexia and a slight case of OCD, proofreading suits me better than just checking out a book and reading. I tend to find fault in whatever I read, so I'd rather it be my mistakes than someone else's. Grin.

Our local library and Amazon really love this new found hobby since we often buy bargain books and then donate them to the library when we are done. I hope we can continue to volunteer for a very long time expanding the collection and improving options for everyone who wants to be able to read electronic text or listen. Because literacy is so often deprived of people with the more severe disabilities, we especially have a fondness for the printed word and Braille, but regardless it is wonderful to be able to listen or read whatever you would choose. Doug and I are always more than glad to lend our eyes to projects that need sight or if someone needs confirmation from a scan, so don't hesitate to ask and we will always let you know if it is possible for us to help out.

I feel like the Bookshare volunteer community has grown and found greater purpose under Scott's amazing leadership and I hope that continues. We have a wonderful chat on Saturday nights on cool blind tech at 8 PM Central, so join us sometime if you get the opportunity. Thank you everyone who contributes to this great grassroots effort!
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