Bookshare is a tool that helps you find and share books with people in your area, school or organisation. This page contains all the information you will need to set up your own Bookshare.
The video below gives you an overview of what Bookshare is all about.
To install your own Bookshare you will need to access the software code which can be found below. The software is ready for you to design and install on your own server. If you're not technical this may sound daunting but we've got some simple steps below to help you get started.
Create your own bookshare
What you will need
A community of people who enjoy reading books and are happy to share them with others. This might be people within your organisation, your school or the local area where you live. Start small, with a group of 10 or so people and look to grow it from there after you've got the website up and running.
A name. What do you want to call your Bookshare? Give it a name and maybe think about creating a logo to use on the website.
A Software Developer. It's a relatively simple application but you still need someone who can take the code, modify it as you wish and then deploy it onto a server. The code for you to use is written in 'Ruby on Rails' and is documented on 'Github' where you can also use it under a GNU license (this essentially means it's a free to use). Ideally your developer would be someone drawn from your initial community of people.
Hosting for the website. The developer could help with this but we would recommend Heroku, a reliable and scalable hosting provider for 'Ruby on Rails' applications. This is the only ongoing cost you'll incur. A typical installation should cost around £30 a month or around £300 per year.
Design a theme (optional). If you don't want to use the default theme (though we recommend trying it first) then create your own look and feel for the website. To do this you'll need to hire a web designer.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it needn't be. A software developer's time should be no more than 1-2 days for installation and set-up and web design time could be as little as one or two hours work.
You may also want to think about where people can meet to exchange their books. For example you might want to team up with your local library or coffee shop, creating a Bookshare drop off/pick up point within your community.
The key thing will be encouraging your initial community of people to use the site and upload their books as early as possible.
You'll also need to ensure you market your Bookshare website to as many people as possible, using local media, twitter, facebook etc. You can also use the promo video we've created to help talk about your Bookshare website.