We know that it takes a lot of reading material in a non-dominant language community to make reading worthwhile and give the practice needed to develop true literacy. We help language communities to create these reading materials using Bloom. The Bloom Library holds over 10,500 books that these language communities can download to translate into their own languages. Bloom is software that facilitates translating the book into their own language, recording an audio reading of the book and then publishing the books in various print and digital forms. Bloom Reader is a smartphone app that allows language communities to download the talking books that Bloom creates and it highlights the text as the reader listens to facilitate learning to read.
Some people like videos, some like books. So here is a video about Bloom – free, open source software from SIL International, that makes it easy for users with modest computer skills to create simple books, in any script and any language and for those who prefer to read rather than watch and listen we include a modified version of the transcript.
It is especially good for making books for new readers. You can create templates for other content creators to use. Users can easily make bilingual and trilingual books. Bloom lets you go beyond print materials with built-in tools for adding audio to books, to create talking books. You can add alt text and audio descriptions to images for visiually-impaired readers, and Bloom can check your book for accessibility problems.
Sign language users can embed video clips in pages to make sign language books. Bloom makes it easy to print small runs of booklets on a desktop printer. You can also distribute your books as PDFs, ePUBs, or in Bloom’s own “Bloom Reader” format for Android devices.
Institutional users can subscribe to Bloom Enterprise, a package of publishing features with additional layout, branding, and publishing options.
Best of all, you can share your Bloom books with others through the Bloom Library website. Bloom Library currently has over eleven thousand books in over five hundred languages, all free to be translated and adapted. Bloom is free software for Windows and Linux computers.