[nfbwatlk] FW: Volunteer Voice, Vol. 3

Humberto Avila avila.bert.humberto2 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 28 01:04:53 UTC 2012

From: Bookshare [mailto:Bookshare at mail.vresp.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 4:54 PM
To: avila.bert.humberto2 at gmail.com
Subject: Volunteer Voice, Vol. 3

> Click to view this email in a browser 

 BKS-cmyk (final from Betsy)

The Volunteer Voice

In This Newsletter

Greetings and Fall Update
Meet an Image Description Volunteer
Meet Our First Textbook Proofreader
New Fall Proofreading Contest
Ongoing Projects
-Monthly phone chats
-Wordpress blog
-Mentoring Program
Volunteer Profiles

In the Sidebar:

Last Quarter's Challenge Winners
Thank You Notes
New Publisher Partners

Previous Challenge Winners

Our previous challenge was  to add books by Ray Bradbury to the collection.
Vivian and Cindy worked together to add "Zen in the Art of Writing" and
"Let's All Kill Constance."
Thank you to these two hard-working volunteers for increasing the

Bookshare Statistics

992 books added to the collection by volunteers this year
36,000+ images described by volunteers this year
Over 400 scanners and proofers
118 image describers

Thank You Notes

I have said it before, and I'll say it again.  I really enjoy getting books
that others are talking about when others are talking about them.  I have
had this dream ever since I have gotten into books, which has been over
fifty years.  Little did I dream it could ever become a reality.
On Thanksgiving, I just want to say "thanks" to all my fellow volunteers,
and to the staff at Bookshare, for all the work that's been done to make
books accessible.  As of today there are over 171,000 titles available in
the collection. It's fantastic, and I'm truly grateful for everyone who
contributes in all ways, great and small, to make this happen. For me, it's
better than all the turkey and dressing in the world to have this kind of
access to books. smile.
Hello [volunteer] friends,
   I just want to add my thanks to all of you too.  This is one of the best
groups of people I've ever met.  Besides [name omitted for privacy], there
are many others who do scans that are great reads, and the people who do the
scans are wonderful to work with.  I get as much doing the proofreading as
any of the members do when they download and read the books.  It is a
pleasure to work with all of you!

New Publishers

Random House Mondadori (based in Barcelona, Spain)
The College Board
(This will give Bookshare world rights to their top-ranked college prep
titles (SAT, PSAT, AP tests and others)!)

Volume 3


Hello Volunteers!

 Welcome to the third volume of our quarterly newsletter! As Bookshare
continues to grow, we find it more important than ever to keep volunteers
informed of changes and improvements as they happen. Your Volunteer Program
staff, Alisa Moore, Volunteer Program Manager and Madeleine Linares,
Volunteer Coordinator,  want to continue to develop ways to communicate with
you, and we hope you will help us by providing input and suggestions. Please
contact Madeleine directly with credit donation requests or any concerns
with Freelists ( <mailto:madeleinel at benetech.org> madeleinel at benetech.org). 
We have been very busy this fall! Alisa has continued working with
volunteers for the Image Description project and has had a number of very
successful "ID Slams" where she works with a group of volunteers who write
hundreds of descriptions in an afternoon. We also had a very exciting
national ID Slam with a well-known publishing house! We are getting our
Wordpress blog up and running, we are in the process of creating a mentoring
program, and we have started a new volunteer project in which volunteers
proofread textbooks. 

Meet An Image Description Volunteer!

Bookshare volunteer Steven Obenour lives in Jacksonville, FL and he
currently supports the Poet image descriptions project with a special focus
on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) texts. Steven has
worked more than 32 years in various technical occupations including
manufacturing and process engineering, software development, and the
robotics industry. Technical writing is always a big part of his work
responsibilities. Steven continues to work in temporary and contract
employment positions. He says the volunteer opportunities with Bookshare
improve his creativity and writing skills. He enjoys setting daily goals and
targets for completion of image descriptions and finds that even a small or
modest daily effort can result in significant accomplishments over time. His
stepfather was blind and his nephew had dyslexia and they were on his mind
when running a project search at volunteermatch.org. He input the words
"blind, disabled, and computer" and the volunteermatch.org output listed
Benetech and Bookshare on the first search effort. Bookshare then answered
his email offering the Poet project as a possible best fit volunteer

Meet a Textbook Proofreader!

We are in the very early stages of a new volunteer program in which
volunteers proofread textbooks that we have scanned. I am pleased to
introduce Ellen N. as our guinea pig! 
Meet Ellen: 
I used to work as a molecular biologist, and while I still love science I
realized I wanted to do work that involved more writing. Looking for a way
to gain some experience in writing or editing, and wanting to continue using
my scientific skills, I went looking for volunteer opportunities in my area.
I wanted something that was local, since I prefer to bike commute, and a few
Google searches later I found Benetech. I love reading and I wanted to use
my knowledge of science to help others learn, so I offered to help with
proofing textbooks. I am currently doing my first proofing of a biology
textbook. I'm still getting the hang of image descriptions but I enjoy the

Ongoing Projects

Monthly Phone Chats
We're holding monthly phone conversations where volunteers can bring up
concerns or questions directly with staff as well as get the chance to hear
each other's voices! We have been posting the information about this to the
volunteer discussion list, but if anyone who does not follow that list is
interested, please contact Madeleine directly (
<mailto:madeleinel at benetech.org> madeleinel at benetech.org) and she will add
you to the emails. 
Wordpress Blog
We are in the process of getting an accessible Wordpress blog up and
running. This will be a place for volunteers to post helpful tips for others
and a place for volunteers to search by keyword for answers to their
questions. Stay posted for more details!
Mentoring Program
As yet another way to enhance our volunteering experience we are in the
process of compiling a list of mentors. It is completely voluntary, but if
you have proofread or scanned successfully and feel confident that you can
support a newcomer, please email Madeleine and she will send you a short
questionnaire to fill out. We appreciate that this volunteer work can be
really overwhelming and tricky for new volunteers, so if you're a new
volunteer and interested in having a mentor, please email Madeleine to be
paired up with someone!

Quarterly Challenge

This fall we have a proofreading challenge. There are a lot of books that
have been in the Checkout Queue for quite some time now and we would like to
get those into the collection. You may choose from any on the following
Dental Computing and Applications
Biblical Keys to Financial Prosperoty
A Woman Rides the Beast
Healing States
Urdu/hindi: An Aritificial Divide
Intro to the New Testament
The Art of Being You
Dharma Vahini
The Sabbath Soul
History for Emergence
100 Great Jewish Books
Journey of the Mind to God
The Talmud: A Selection
Change, the Skinny Man
Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling
Psychology as Religion
Setting Captives Free the Way of Purity
The English Yeoman Under Elizabeth and the Early Stuarts
Against the Megamachine
Message of the Quran
Muhammed in World Scriptures
Holy Qur'an
Please notify Alisa Moore ( <mailto:alisam at benetech.org>
alisam at benetech.org) when your book has been added to the collection so that
we can give you the double credits.

Volunteer Bios

Chela Robles
Hello I'm trumpeter Chela Robles and I began volunteering for Bookshare in
2007. Because I am a member of the Bookshare community and wanted to keep
renewing my membership, I thought I'd gain credits by scanning/proofreading
books and have done so since then. Since I'm totally blind, I use a Braille
display and Kurzweil 1000 and Microsoft Word and IBM Lotus Symphony for
proofreading. Kurzweil is for scanning and proofreading but since I'm
currently shopping for a scanner at an affordable price, I'm just
proofreading. I also work on special projects such as looking up metadata
and checking the collection for certain books. 
I hope to continue to help Bookshare and Bookshare members in any way I
possibly can. Thanks for allowing me to give back to the Bookshare community
along with several other volunteers...after all, time is precious and with
that time we can give a few hours or dollar donations to help make books
more accessible. I'm especially thankful for how much the community and the
volunteer program have grown, and for the increase in the number of books
from when Bookshare first started, so let's keep at it!
Gail Johnson
My name is Gail Johnson. I have been volunteering for Bookshare for about 4
years. I proof books only. I volunteer for Bookshare for several reasons:
first, I love to read, and second, I believe in everyone having the right to
read any subject of interest to them. In my zeal to help provide a wide
variety of books for blind people to read I have many times learned about a
new subject. I spend hours working on a book. I often choose books that have
sat in the queue for a while. My third reason for volunteering is the many
wonderful individuals in the volunteer community.
I live in Texas 20 miles outside of Austin. For my own reading pleasure some
of my favorites are: books on spirituality, mysteries, biographies, and
books on food.


480 S. California Ave., 
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Email:   <mailto:volunteers at bookshare.org> volunteers at bookshare.org


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