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Free Books in Your Language

Bloom is free, open-source software that enables people to create books in their own languages. Even people with modest IT skills can quickly learn to use Bloom to create books in any language and any script. Leveled reading materials created with Bloom help children and adults learn to read. Books can be printed, read online, or downloaded for offline use and translated into new languages.

HundrED 2024
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2024

HundrED Global Collection 2023

Web presence

2012

Established

4.5M

Children

125

Countries
Target group
Students basic
Updated
May 2024
Children will have plentiful literature to read in their own language, helping them become fluent readers and be positioned for further education, not only in their first language, but in additional languages as well.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

There are more than 7,000 languages in the world. Most have little to no literature. SIL International found that people in many communities were becoming literate and were ready to write their own books, but conventional technology was too complicated for them to use.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Bloom is desktop publishing software designed to be so simple that if you can type and use a mouse, you can create a book. Bloom runs on Windows and Linux computers. Users can add narrated audio and sign language video to any Bloom book, making it possible to create books accessible to the visually impaired and the Deaf.

Books can be printed, read on a computer, in a browser, or offline in a free Android app. Bloom books can also be shared with others through the online Bloom Library. Bloom uses open formats and encourages authors to use Creative Commons licenses.

The Bloom Library website (https://bloomlibrary.org) is a growing collection of more than 11,000 books in 480 languages—more than any other online platform. Users can add original Bloom books to Bloom Library, and any Bloom Library book can be downloaded and adapted into new languages. Organizations and governments can use the Bloom Enterprise service to create curated collections of leveled reading materials.

How has it been spreading?

People in hundreds of communities have used Bloom to create their own books or adapt books created by others. An increasing number of NGOs, governments, and communities are adopting Bloom as a tool for creating and sharing books in hundreds of languages. There are over 16,800 books in the Library in more than 680 languages, and books have been read 1.3 million times. A set of 623 books in Spanish, Guatemalan Sign Language, and 5 Mayan languages has resulted in nearly half a million reading sessions during the pandemic. A collection of 1,251 books in the Kyrgyz, Russian, Uzbek and Tajik languages that was uploaded during the pandemic have been read more than half a million times since they became available in December 2021.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

More information: https://sites.google.com/sil.org/bloom-program/home. Downloads: https://bloomlibrary.org/page/create/downloads. User forum: https://community.software.sil.org/c/bloom.
Instructional videos: https://vimeo.com/channels/bloomlibrary/videos/sort:preset/format:detail.
General queries can be sent to librarian@bloomlibrary.org.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews

Since 2012, this innovation has had an impact on several essential areas in education: reading, language and culture. Its ease of use and its local adaptation make this innovation a real value. The number of books produced is very high.

With the online platform and content library this is easy for everyone to use. It can be used on a desk top, tablet or phone so can be used anywhere at any time.

- Academy member
Academy review results
Impact
Scalability
Exceptional
High
Moderate
Limited
Insufficient
Exceptional
High
Moderate
Limited
Insufficient
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Access the library
Visit the Bloom Library at https://bloomlibrary.org/. Look for books by language, topic, or special collections. Read books online or download them in a variety of formats. There is no cost to use the Library.
Begin using Bloom Reader
Bloom Reader is our free Android book read app. You can find it in the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.sil.bloom.reader. Get the app, download books to it from the Library, and share books with others.
Begin creating and adapting books
Download the free Windows Desktop Editor at https://bloomlibrary.org/page/create/downloads. Install it and begin using it to create new books or translate existing ones. Download books from the Library and create your own versions of them.
Share your books!
Once you have created books, share them with others. The best way is by creating a free account on Bloom Library and uploading your books from the Desktop Editor. Or you can send your books to friends in various formats.

Spread of the innovation

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