The Internet Archive is having an old-fashioned Book Drive to gather donations to supplement our digital book archive. If you post a book (or three) to the Internet Archive Book Drive, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118, we’ll scan it and add it to the Archive. Thanks to existing foundation funding, we are also sponsoring the scanning of the first 10,000 books that are donated in this Book Drive. We are also seeking financial support to continue the scanning operations that the Internet Archive has been doing for some years now.
For more information on the Book Drive, and specifics of where to send your book (or financial) donations, please visit the Book Drive page on Open Library.
Although you’re certainly welcome to pop over to your favourite online bookseller, buy a book and send it to us, you might like to have some fun creating your own personal “Ex Libris” bookplate to put in any books you donate. If you do, your bookplate will be photographed as part of the standard digitization process, and your bookplate will be permanently associated with any books you donate to the Book Drive. This isn’t a requirement for your donation – just something fun!
Here are some examples of Creative-Commons licensed bookplate images from Flickr you might like to use for inspiration:
Also, I wanted to link to a Radio 4 program from May 25, 2010 about the Internet Archive and the new Open Library site. As well as talking to Brewster Kahle in general about one million accessible books in DAISY format, the “In Touch” radio show interviewed Leonie Watson and Ian Macrae as they tried out the site, and although had some difficulty, were able to find accessible books.
Further to our previous post about accessibility of the Open Library site, we’re continuing to do user testing with sight-impaired people here in San Francisco, and Leonie and Ian’s feedback is also really useful. It was fascinating to hear how quickly Ian’s screen reader read the site to him! And, we certainly acknowledge Leonie’s comment that there is a huge amount of data to sift through (on a Work page to get to a usable book’s file) if you’re absorbing the page aurally. We’ve begun implementing some “skip this bit” hidden links that get screen readers past things like the navigation bar, so perhaps we could use a few more of them in the body of pages to help people get straight to the meat!
Feedback like this is extremely helpful, and we’ll make improvements wherever we can. We want to make it as easy as we can for everyone to find a book to read!