[bksvol-discuss] My Notes on Jim fruchterman Interview

  • From: "Allison Hilliker" <bookshare_girl@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 19:39:51 -0700

Hello Everyone,

I just finished listening to an interview of Jim fruchterman on ACB Radio.
I found it very informative.  I realize that the audio format may not be
accessible to everyone, particularly deaf and blind individuals.  I took
notes during the meeting, and would like to share them with others.  I
believe I got down most of the important information.  If you have questions
or comments, E-mail me at allisonh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jim fruchterman Interview.
ACB Radio
Tuesday, February 26, 2008.

* Bookshare.org is a legal website where people can download accessible
digital books.
* Jim got the idea from his son using Napster in the 90s.
* Bookshare has several formats including Daisy, BRF (Braille), HTML, and
* 90% of books on Bookshare are donated by members.
* Bookshare books are text and not human narrated.
* VR Reader Soft does not yet work with Mac computers.
* Mac users can use Win or K1000 to use Daisy books. There are also hardware
* Bookshare memberships cost $75 for the first year and $50 for each year after that.
* There are free memberships for students paid for by the department of
* Benetech is hoping to reach 100,000 students over time.
*Most textbooks will be available to all members except for  NIMAC K-12
* NIMAC stands for National Instructional Material Accessibility Center. New
laws are requiring publishers to provide NIMAC quality books for all K-12
* Bookshare is beginning to add NIMAC books to the collection. These books
are only available to K-12 students.
* Jim said that he and several people advocated for other individuals,
such as blind parents, to have access to NIMAC books, but the publishers
* If one sends a book to Bookshare, we will scan it with a turn around of
approximately 3-4 weeks.
* Benetech is working on a partnership with a major book publisher that will
allow a user who is looking for a certain book to click a link on the site, request the book,
buy it, the publisher will scan it, and send to Bookshare where it will be
ran through OCR. Approximately 6-9 months in the works.
*Most of the books on Bookshare are "trade books."
* Bookshare has literature, best sellers, and nonfiction books.
* we have a growing collection of textbooks for both college and K-12
* Several thousand new textbooks will be made available over the next couple
of years.
* One can download newspapers and magazines from Bookshare.  There are
currently 150 papers available.
* Bookshare is working on developing a collection of reference books.
* The Harper Collins books are available world-wide.
* WE are currently adding books from Harper Collins to the collection.  We
have so many that we aren't able to get synopses uploaded with each one.
* Bookshare does not want to hold back on publishing books before a synopsis
can be written.
* Bookshare is working on a system in which a book's synopsis can be
automatically included with a book through one providing the book's ISBN.
This is not an option yet, but in the works.
* We are working on adding book synopses.  If you would like to suggest a
synopsis for a book, E-mail it to allisonh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx  Note that synopses
from Amazon and other websites are not permitted.
* Individuals can sign up to volunteer for Bookshare by submitting or
validating books.  To learn more, visit our website or E-mail
* One does not need to be disabled in order to be a volunteer.
* Jim says that this year is a year of transition as we are adding new
books, new members, and new assistive technology.
* There are two Bookshare E-mail lists that interested individuals can join.
Visit the Bookshare website or www.freelists.org to learn more.
* Jim encouraged everyone to sign up for Bookshare by visiting

This concludes my summary of the ACB Radio
Jim fruchterman Interview. I tried to record all the information, but it is possible that I have left something out. If you have questions or comments, please contact me using the info provided at the bottom of this message.


Allison Hilliker:
Benetech (Bookshare.org).
Phone (623) 221-1026
E-mail allisonh@xxxxxxxxxxxx

The Benetech Initiative - Technology Serving Humanity - A Nonprofit Organization

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