Monday, July 7, 2008

New Online Book Collection

The Center for Literacy and Disabilities Studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has a wonderful new project, The Tar Hill Reader, which is both a collection of accessible online books for early readers of all ages and an online, open source software program for creating books to add to the library.

The books run the gamut from the quirky Socks Having Fun, to the more educational/curriculum related Polar Bears. This great resource, while only up since early June, is already filled with a variety of texts, mostly with pictures from Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons. All books are switch accessible and and have text to speech capabilities. They can be run directly in Firefox or can be downloaded to PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash. The books are generally low reading level/high interest, and would be especially great for teens and young adults who are at a beginning reading level, and need age appropriate materials to be engaged in. There are plenty of appropriate books for young readers, as well.

It is very easy to navigate the site and to build books in it. To begin writing a book, go to the Write a Book page, and get started. To get a registration code, to building a book email Gary, the site administrator /brains behind the program.

Thanks to Samuel Sennott, for alerting me to this great website! Check out his blog post for detailed directions on how to use Tar Heel Reader, including a complete set of screen shots.

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