Finding sites with digital text (mostly free) is a job in itself. However, this is one of the most important things overlooked when schools decide to purchase text to speech software. I remember doing a 2 or 3 hour training on how to use such software, then asking participants where they were going to get their digital text to use with the software. You would have thought I had asked how to solve a complicated mathematical equation. Needless to say, I start my trainings off with this question now. If participants leave thinking that they are going to have to scan in text books from beginning to end, I can pretty much guarantee you the use of the software will be around the same level as it was before you bought it.
I’ve included in this post a few places to check out. The best thing to do is just CLICK HERE to download the Word document. I can’t take credit for developing it, but it’s been past around so many times I cannot credit the original author. I did however remove several out of date links and check the others to ensure accuracy. This of course doesn’t include every resource out there, so if you can think of something else I encourage you to post it as a comment on this blog post.
Here are a few of the included resources along with descriptions (usually from the site itself). Note that this is for free/non-copyright text. Therefore they will not include links to textbooks or other copyrighted literature. Those types of texts will many times need to be purchased separately or only used with students with specific disabilities.
Bookshare – http://www.bookshare.org
Bookshare offers more than 42,000 digital books, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and assistive technology tools. It is free for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities.
Project Gutenberg – http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
There are over 27,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog
Bibliomania – http://www.bibliomania.com/
Free Online Literature with more than 2000 Classic Texts
AcademicInfo – http://www.academicinfo.net/
AcademicInfo is an online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. Our mission is to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers).
ReadPrint.com – http://www.readprint.com/
Offers thousands of free books for students, teachers, and the classic enthusiast
Kids Corner – http://wiredforbooks.org/kids.htm
Contains a collection of Beatrix Potter’s books with text available in English, German, Japanese, and French.
WorldWideSchool.org – http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/catalogs/bysubject-top.html
The Intersect – http://intersect.uoregon.edu/
A Library of “Supported Text” books incorporating resources and study strategies that help students learn more from what they read.
Bartleby.com – http://www.bartleby.com/
Alex catalogue of electronic text – http://infomotions.com/alex/
The Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts is a collection of about 14,000 “classic” public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy.
Page by Page Books – http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/
Offers hundreds of free classic books with frequent additions to the collection
SchoolLibrary.com – http://www.schoollibrary.com
Offers public access to over 27,000 books and materials (choose public access from menu at top of page to access). Paying a nominal membership fee of $8.95 per year allows access to over 100,000 additional books and materials. Reading lists prepared by the University of Hawaii sort books by grade level.
20-20 – http://www.2020site.org/
Provides free books and other materials covering a wide array of areas. Topics include history, garden, children’s books, how-to books, home repair and decoration and fashion.
Classic Reader – http://www.classicreader.com/
Offers a large collection of free classic books by authors such as Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare and many others. You can read, search and even add your own annotations to any of the classic books. A selection of author biographies and portraits are also available.