Sugamya Pustakalaya (सुगम्य पुस्तकालय) : An online E-library for persons with print disabilities was launched by Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Sugamya Pustakalaya is an online library that contains books accessible to the blind, people with low vision or to persons with any other print disability.
The library houses publications across diverse subjects and languages and multiple accessible formats. It has been created by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with member organizations of Daisy Forum of India (DFI) and powered by TCS Access.
Benefits to stakeholders
End User i.e. person with Print Disability : The next time a person with Print Disability needs to read a book, s/he can skip the laborious process of looking for volunteers to read them to him or scan and edit them. A quick search on the Sugamya Pustakalaya may land him with the book of his choice at the click of a button. He will need to be a registered print-disabled member with one of the member DFI organizations to download the book or procure it offline through their member organization. He can access all the books in the library at a click of a button. He can read the publications on any device of his choice- mobile phones, tablets, computers, DAISY players or even in braille using refreshable braille displays. He could also request for a braille copy through member organizations that have Braille presses.
School/College/Library: Universities, School Library, Public Libraries or any such institution can become a member of DFI or subscribe to the online library to offer the entire collection of the Sugamya Pustakalaya to their members or students with print disabilities. Educational institutions can also contribute accessible format books produced for their students so that students from other educational institutions can access the same and avoid duplications of creation at multiple locations.
Publisher/Government House/Textbook Production House: They can be part of creating history by creating the largest accessible online library in a developing country. Increase their reader base to include persons with print disabilities by sharing accessible formats of their publications to be put up on Sugamya Pustakalaya. The library already hosts publications such as Reader’s Digest and India Today and seeks to have new partnerships with a large number of private and government publishing house and publications. Textbooks production houses, state text book boards (SCERTs/NCERT) can meet their obligations under the Right to Education Act (2009) by providing their content to students with print disabilities through this platform. Sugamya Pustakalya will provide protection to books and limit distribution to only those who cannot read normal print.
NGO: They can begin a library service for persons with print disabilities by joining as a members and offer the complete content provided by the Sugamya Pustakalaya to their members.
Corporate: Their employees can volunteer for accessible content creation and help reach out to millions of users with print disabilities. The IT industry can contribute with technology development to fill gaps in authoring and reading of digital content in all Indian languages.
FAQs on Sugamya Pustakalaya
Who can get books from this library? Persons who due to blindness, weak eyesight or any other disability cannot read the standard print can get books from this library. They need to provide their disability certificate at the time of applying for membership. Their disability certificate may be validated by the library before approving membership. Note that persons without disabilities are not entitled to use the books downloaded from Sugamya Pustakalaya. Sharing or circulation of content downloaded from Sugamya Pustakalaya is prohibited and may lead to legal penalties.
Which formats can be downloaded? The Sugamya Pustakalaya has books in accessible formats. These include DAISY audio, DAISY full text, EPUB, Word format (DOC/DOCX), HTML, BRF (Braille ready files), Text and RTF (Braille ready files), Text and RTF.
Who provides the books? Sugamya Pustakalaya accumulates books from different sources. It gets books from organizations and libraries working for the blind. These organizations have been converting print books into accessible formats like audio and Braille. Bookshare, the world's largest online library for the print disabled is a major contributor of books to Sugamya Pustakalaya. Publishers including education boards of different states can also contribute accessible versions of their books to Sugamya Pustakalaya.
How to read the downloaded books ? To read the downloaded books you will require either a software or hardware device capable of opening the downloaded file format. For example, if you download a book in DAISY format, you can use a DAISY reader application on any computer, tablet or mobile phone. You can also use any of the dedicated hardware Daisy Readers available in the market. To know more please see the Tools section on DFI website.
Can I share the downloaded books? The books downloaded from Sugamya Pustakalaya must not be shared with anyone including other persons with disabilities. All the books on this library are being provided under a special arrangement in the copyright law which prohibits further distribution of books. If two or more print disabled students require the same book, then copies of the book should be created using the Sugamya Pustakalaya Offline Tool. If this cannot be done, then the book should be downloaded for each student from his/her account on Sugamya Pustakalaya. Note that each book downloaded from Sugamya Pustakalaya contains a digital watermark. If the book is distributed to others or shared on the internet, the details of the member can be detected easily by the Sugamya Pustakalaya and will invite closure of the user account and legal proceedings.
What do I have to pay to get books? The books on Sugamya Pustakalaya are free of cost. No money needs to be paid to download any book. However, The DAISY Forum of India and its member organizations may charge a fee for membership of the Library.
I cannot download big files, can I still get books from this library.? Sugamya Pustakalaya has provision for offline distribution of books. After having found the book you want, click the "Request offline" button. This request will go to the librarian of the DFI organization of whom you are a member. The Librarian will download the book for you and deliver it to you by hand or post as desired. Organizations can also take book requests from members by phone or personal visit. In such cases the librarian will need to record the book distribution details in the Offline mark-up tool available with them.
Registration in Sugamya Pustakalaya
Individual (End User) registration
Individuals with print disabilities need to take the following steps to create an account on Sugamya Pustakalaya with book download privileges.
Click Register as end user Provide the required information. Make sure all the information you submit here is correct and complete. Choose the library to which you want to send your membership application.
Your membership request will be sent to the DFI member organization you selected. You will be intimated by email/SMS when your membership request is approved by the DFI member library. You will then be able to log in, search and download books.
End User functions
The following features can be used without logging in.
View Libraries: On the Sugamya Pustakalaya home page click on the Libraries link. The list of all participating libraries (DFI member organizations) will be displayed. Click on any library name to see more details e.g. contact details, number of books available from the library etc.
Apply for membership: On any library page click on "Become a member" to start the application process. Fill up the online form and submit it with your disability certificate.
Search Books: The Search box is available at all times on the Sugamya Pustakalaya. Type the title, author or publisher of the book you need and click the Search button. Books matching your search criteria will be shown in a table. This table will show the Book title, Author, Publisher and Library name. Without logging into the website further action e.g. view book details or download is not available.
Advanced search: The Advanced Search link is available on all pages of Sugamya Pustakalaya. On clicking this link, a form is displayed which allows you to perform an advanced search on the basis of Title, Author, Publisher, ISBN, Synopsis, Library, Language and Education Category. The more details you provide the better results you will get.
Browse catalogue: The Browse section is also available on all pages of the Sugamya Pustakalaya. Portal. The different browsing options are Authors, Categories, Language, Latest arrivals, Text Books and Periodicals. Using any one of these links, you can browse the books collection available in the Sugamya Pustakalaya. For example, clicking on Languages will show the list of Languages available in the Library. Further clicking on a language e.g. Hindi will show a list of all books in Hindi language submitted by all participating libraries.
Individuals with print disabilities once logged in can avail of the following features:
Download books: When you search for books after logging in, the title of the book can be clicked to see more details. At the bottom of the page you can select the download format and then click the Download link.
Request books offline: On the book details page described above, the Request offline link can be clicked to send a request to the library to provide this book by other channels e.g. CD by post. Note that when the selected book is from Bookshare Library, Request Offline option is not available.
Create and view wish list: On the book details page mentioned above, the Add to wish list link can be clicked to short list this book for downloading in future. Members can click the My wish list link under My Shelf section to see the list of books added to the wish list. Books can be removed from wish list in this view.
Download Books from Bookshare: When the Download link is clicked for a book which is from Bookshare Library; the user is prompted to provide the Bookshare credentials. When the username and password provided by the user is correct the file download process starts. An important point to note here is that all Bookshare titles are not available for distribution in India. When the user tries to download such books, an appropriate message is displayed after providing the Bookshare username and password.
Place request for new book: Users can place request for addition of books currently not available on Sugamya Pustakalaya. To do so, click on New Book Request. The list of books requested by other members is displayed. The status of requested books e.g. Pending or Initiated or is also shown in this table. If the book desired by the user is not in the request list then the Place new book request link should be clicked. Provide the requested information about the book and click Search in catalogue. If similar books exist, then a list will be displayed. If you are satisfied that the book you need is not in the catalogue already then click the "I want to continue with new book request" link. Now provide more information about the book in the given form and if available you can also upload a copy of the book in PDF or other digital format. Click Submit to complete the process.
Subscribe to periodicals: Sugamya Pustakalaya has the capability of providing magazines and newspapers in accessible formats. To search for available titles, click on Periodicals under the Browse section. Choose criteria for search and click Search Periodical button. All the Periodicals available from DFI Libraries will be listed. Click the checkbox next to the Periodical name and format that you want and click the Subscribe button. You will now receive intimation of release of next issues of the selected Periodical.
View history of your activity: Click on My History under My Shelf. Now you can see information about the books accessed by you with date and time.
View and edit profile: Click on My Profile under My Shelf section.
Apply for membership of more libraries: Individuals with print disabilities have the option of taking up membership of more than one library listed on Sugamya Pustakalaya portal. Individuals may want to do so to have more options of taking books offline from different sources. Click on My Libraries under My Shelf section. Now click on Become member of secondary library. The list of libraries will be displayed. Choose your preferred library and click Submit button to send your request.
Registration process for Organization, Library, School and University
First, such organizations need to become a member of DAISY Forum of India. For more information see www.daisyindia.org. Then the following process needs to be followed to create an account on Sugamya Pustakalaya.
Open https://library.daisyindia.org/NALP/signupLink.action. Click Register now Click Register as Library Provide the required information. Make sure all the information you submit here is correct and complete since it will be visible to the public. In particular provide a good description of your organization in not more than 300 words. Provide the logo of your organization in a jpg file of less than 1 MB size. You will need to provide contact details of the key person (in-charge of library) in the next step.
On completion of the registration process, you will receive an email with login id and temporary password. Your membership request will be sent to DFI who will approve it. You will get intimation by email when your membership is approved. After this you should login to the website. You will be prompted to change password. Your account will be designated the Super admin status. You will be able to create other roles for your library.