Library Hours

Electronic Texts Q&A

Question: Who is this service for?

Answer: This service is for any Jewell student registered with Disability Services who is approved for alternate format materials as accommodation.

Question: What are the advantages of e-text?

Answer: E-text files are more portable than traditional text and are easily converted to alternative formats. E-text can be used in many ways depending on a student’s learning style. E-texts may also be converted to audio to listen to with text-to-speech software. E-texts also maintain original pagination of the traditional text, which is very important for citation styles and in-page citations as required by your professors.

Question: What is the difference between an e-text and an audio text?

Answer: An e-text is an electronically printed copy of the actual text. An audio text is an audio recording of someone who has read the text out loud and recorded it. Audio recordings are NOT, in most cases, made available by publishers. By using the free software NaturalReader an e-text can be utilized as an audio text. We also suggest the student visit Audible.com for audio texts. If a text is not available on that site, the student can also contact Student Life to request a recording of the text. Please be advised that since Student Life does the actual recording of the text there may be an additional delay in delivery because of the length of time it takes to record.

Question: Can I request an audio book through the library's electronic text services?

Answer: No. In most cases the Instruction Librarian does not obtain audio texts for students, although you are free to contact the Instruction Librarian for additional assistance or questions about obtaining audio files of texts.

Question: My professor has books or articles on course reserves or moodle, how do I receive an electronic copy in an alternate format?

Answer: You are NOT responsible for purchasing of these materials for conversion. However, you ARE still required to read/complete these works as assigned. Contact the Instruction Librarian with the publication information or texts and the Instruction Librarian can work with the professor to make these accessible. We suggest communicating with your professor at the beginning of the semester to find out if there are such required materials to ensure conversion in a timely manner.

Question: I have added a class to my schedule, how do I get the required texts in an alternate format?

Answer: Please be advised, the Instruction Librarian/Disabilities Services Coordinator has no way of knowing when you add or drop classes. If you add a course and there are required texts, it is YOUR responsibility to contact the Instruction Librarian as soon as possible to request your texts. 

Question: I don't have a screen reader or text-to-speech program, what should I do? 

Answer: The college recommends the free text-to-speech sofware, NaturalReader. The download is free and can be located here. Upgrades are also available but the college will not purchase or reimburse for the purchase of the upgrades.

Question: What happens if I already have a screen-reader or text-to-speech program?

Answer: We suggest that you use whatever software is best suited to your needs. If you choose to purchase a program you can indicate in your electronic text request which file formats are compatible with your software and we can convert the files if necessary. Most files are delivered to the Instruction Librarian in PDF or TIF files, and the conversion is done in the librarian's office. 

Question: I received my file and I can't open/access/read the file. What do I do?

Answer: Contact the Instruction Librarian as soon as possible at hamlettr AT william.jewell DOT edu. If it is a technical problem, such as downloading or using software, accessing the folders on the server, or computer compatibility, contact Richard Burns in information services at burnsr AT william.jewell DOT edu.

Question: What happens to the book if it has to be scanned?

Answer: If a title isn’t available in electronic format, the binding is removed from the book so that it will fit through the high-speed scanner. The text will be returned to the student if it is requested, but it will not be re-bound before its return.

Question: Why do you need the receipt?

Answer: We ask students for receipts because some publishers require proof of ownership before releasing their e-files. To comply with copyright law, students must be able to provide proof of ownership for the material they request in alternate format.


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