Benetech Signs Agreement with EIFL to Expand Access to International Libraries Using Bookshare

By Brad Turner, posted on

An agreement between Benetech and Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), a nonprofit that works with libraries to enable access to knowledge, enables 41 countries to take a monumental leap closer to knowledge without borders. The agreement provides discounted access to Bookshare, the world’s largest library of accessible ebooks for people who cannot read standard print.

Benetech’s Bookshare is an online library for people who read differently or have a disability that affects their use of traditional print due to dyslexia, blindness, visual impairment, and some physical disabilities. Books are available in 33 languages and a variety of formats including large print, audio, audio synchronized with highlighted text, Microsoft Word, EPUB, and Braille. Books can be read on mobile devices, computers, and low-cost assistive technology devices using a variety of accessible reading tools.

A woman is working at a computer while typing and listening

EIFL works with libraries to enable access to knowledge for education, learning, research and sustainable community development. The Bookshare agreement, covering up to 420,000 titles, is open to libraries from EIFL partner consortia in the following 41 countries:

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Cambodia, China, Congo, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Maldives, Moldova, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Palestine, Poland, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“We are delighted that people with print disabilities in EIFL partner countries can benefit from discounted access to Bookshare’s collection of ebooks,” said Rima Kupryte, EIFL Director.

Benetech’s EIFL partnership puts a vast collection of accessible books into the hands of underserved readers around the world. We are on a mission to ensure all people have the opportunity to read and learn. Many of the EIFL countries have different language needs, from local languages to international languages, and Bookshare continues to grow the collection in languages such as Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Russian. We will continue to work with EIFL and individual countries to achieve our mission.

“We are delighted that people with print disabilities in EIFL partner countries can benefit from discounted access to Bookshare’s collection of ebooks,” said Rima Kupryte, EIFL Director. “EIFL is committed to increasing access to reading material for people with disabilities. We support ratification by governments of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities, which will give organizations like libraries the right to reproduce printed works in accessible formats and to exchange these works across national borders,” continued Kupryte.

Find out more about the EIFL-negotiated agreement for Bookshare. Interested libraries should contact the EIFL Licensing coordinator in their country to find out how to sign up.

Learn more about Benetech’s innovative solution, in tandem with the Marrakesh Treaty, to bring accessible books to people with disabilities around the world.