Getting Started with Bookshare

What is Bookshare?

RNIB Bookshare UK education collection ( provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum. Although the service is provided by RNIB, wider access to people with learning and physical disabilities is encouraged. They offer a range of over 500,000 accessible formats that can be read electronically or adapted to suit the personal reading needs of learners. You can find more information on their website.

With a student account, you can:

  • Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices
  • Hear and see highlighted words on screen
  • Read with digital braille or enlarged fonts
  • Create physical braille or large print
  • Read directly from your Internet browser

Sign up with this registration form.

Alternative Formats Service will provide you with a student account with  Bookshare. Once your application is processed, you will receive a username and password for an account. From there, you will have access to the range of titles available through the service.

Now I have an account, how do I find the books I need?

First you will need to log in to your account using the details provided to you.

You may already have books added to your account through Reading Lists. Click on “My Reading Lists” under “My homepage” (outlined in red in the image below) to view any reading lists you have access.

To find a book that is not on any added reading list, use the search bar at the top of the page. You can search by title, author, or ISBN. Once you find the book you need, you can select the desired format in the drop-down menu and click “Download” (highlighted below).

The book will then be added to your account and available to download by clicking “Available” in your account History (highlighted below). If you lose your copy of the text, you can download it again from your account.

How can I read the books?

Once you have downloaded your books, you can read them on any compatible device, such as your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet PC. The RNIB recommends the free Dolphin EasyReader app for easy-to-use accessible reading.

What can I do with the books?

Under the Copyright and Related Rights (Marrakesh Treaty etc) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, the books on the Bookshare are available for access by visual and print-disabled students worldwide.

You are expected to abide by the copyright permission systems of the books you download (i.e., do not share them). Each download contains embedded information that allows it to be traced to an individual user account. This allows unlawful sharing of an item to be traced back to the user who originally downloaded it.

More legal information regarding books from the Bookshare can be found on their legal page.