American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is celebrating the launch of a completely redesigned Louis website and updated search interface. Named after Louis Braille, the Louis Database is a free, national service designed to make it possible for schools, families, and adults to quickly locate information on accessible textbooks and other materials available across the U.S. with just one search.
“We wanted to make the website faster, easier to navigate, more user friendly, and completely accessible for our users,” said Nicole Gaines, Director of APH Resources Services. “Our goal is to provide our users with the most accurate, up-to-date information about the availability of accessible educational materials.”
The database contains information about over 240,000 accessible books from 75 agencies. The unified search option in Louis, which includes partners Bookshare, Learning Ally and the NIMAC, brings the total number of materials to over 1.1 million. Formats found in Louis include braille, large print, audio, and a range of accessible digital formats.
Louis is designed to make it easy to locate accessible materials and it also supports the national community of braille transcribers by helping them avoid duplication of effort. Louis not only provides information about available materials but also about braille materials that are in progress by transcribing agencies, including APH. This allows agencies to focus their transcription efforts on books not already available or in the pipeline at another organization, making limited resources to go further and, ultimately, more titles available to users.
The new Louis website provides filters and advanced search features designed to help the searcher find exactly the accessible materials they need. Searches can be limited by grade or age range, language, and format, including braille, large print, efiles, and audio/sound. A new advanced search is also available in the site. These new tools provide a robust search interface for the materials from Louis’ contributing agencies and from our unified search partners. The new Louis website also provides a redesigned search for the AMP database and for the catalog for the APH Library, including the AFB Migel Memorial Collection.
The new site will also allow customers to add digital and hard copy APH textbooks listed in Louis to the shopping cart and purchase them through the APH website. The hope is that users have a streamlined shopping experience for textbooks found in Louis and other products offered on www.APH.org.
To view the new site, visit https://louis.aph.org.