Tar Heel Reader

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I get the registration code? Simply send email to tarheelreader@cs.unc.edu requesting the code and we will email it to you. We are requiring the code to keep bad spammers from taking over the site.
  2. What is a Tar Heel? Tar Heel is a nickname for the state and people of North Carolina. You can read about the origin of the name at Wikipedia.
  3. Why does it forget my favorites? Favorites are only remembered while you are logged in to the site but you may save them as a public Collection or you may bookmark the Favorites page to create a private set. After you get the Favorites page set up just the way you like, simply bookmark the page in your web browser. After that, whenever you go to that bookmark your Favorites will be there.
  4. Why do you allow books on this site that are inappropriate for small children? We created this site to address the needs of older students who do not have access to easy-to-read, motivating, and age-appropriate text. We are delighted that so many people are finding it useful for younger readers, but we are going to continue to address the target population as well. We suggest you learn about the Favorites page as a way to create small libraries of books from which children will choose for reading.
  5. What do the Rated C/Caution and Rated E/Everyone categories mean? These are suggested audience ratings. Rated E/Everyone means the book is appropriate for everyone. Books marked Rated C/Caution may have content that is not appropriate for some readers. The Favorites page is a good way to give your readers a selection of books that you have approved.
  6. What do these symbols mean? When you are selecting books you may notice some small icons on the book cover. We’ve added those to help you choose books. The small green check mark icon Reviewed icon. indicates that the book has been reviewed and approved for educational quality. The small yellow caution icon Caution icon. indicates that the book has been Rated C/Caution and may contain material that is inappropriate for some readers.
  7. How can I download a slide show of a book? Go to the first page of the book. On the right side click the small gear icon Gear icon and select Download. You may choose PowerPoint or ePub format.
  8. Does speech work in downloaded books? Speech works in downloaded EPUB books but not yet in PowerPoint.
  9. Who is paying for this? Tar Heel Reader is an unsupported labor of love by the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the Department of Computer Science at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It started as a demonstration of a simple way to make books and then it took on a life of its own. You can help support Tar Heel Reader if you wish.
  10. I found a bug; would I be a complainer if I tell someone? No! We don’t know about problems with the site unless you tell us. Report every problem you see. We’d rather have many reports of the same problem than none at all. Report a bug here.
  11. What is the Review process? Experienced educators who are knowledgeable about beginning readers of all ages review books published on Tar Heel Reader.  When books are reviewed, we are checking to insure that they are written following the conventions of language in which they are written with appropriate spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  When there are minor errors or omissions, we edit them prior to giving the book the Reviewed status and gold shield.  We also look at the pictures used in the books to insure they accurately reflect the content of the book.  Occasionally, a picture is replaced in the review process because the picture selected by the original author did not match the text (e.g., the picture showed a rabbit while the text referred to a hamster) or was inappropriate due to content.  During the review process, books that contain content that may be deemed inappropriate for young readers or others are tagged with a Caution tag.Booked that earn Reviewed status and a gold shield are not all high quality literature, but they all follow the conventions of the language in which they are written.Some books never earn Reviewed status.  These are books that would require substantial revision to insure that they followed conventions of the language in which they were written.  In some cases, books are reverted to Draft status because they are incomplete or deemed inappropriate for the Tar Heel Reader audience. Keeping up with the pace of the tarheelreader.org authors is challenging.  We are doing our best to get caught up and keep up with the pace so that books are eventually reviewed within a week of being posted on the site.
  12. May we post copyrighted materials?
    Generally, no. Tar Heel Reader is a copyright-free environment with photos from Flickr Creative Commons that are used with attribution to the photographers. If you are interested in posting stories that have a copyright, you may seek the permission of the copyright holders, send a copy of the written permission to the tarheelreader@cs.unc.edu. Once we have received that for our records, you may post appropriate, materials with the permission of the copyright holder.
  13. Will Tar Heel Reader work with my tablet or phone? Tar Heel Reader works well on the devices we have tested. You can advance to the next page in a book by swiping left or return to the previous page by swiping right.Let us know of any problems you see.
  14. Should my students write books for Tar Heel Reader? Tar Heel Reader was designed as a library rather than a writing tool. Our original concept was that adults would use it to author books for their students to read.  If your students are authoring books on Tar Heel Reader, please make sure that an adult carefully edits each book before it is published.
  15. Our system requires a signed agreement to use your site. How can we get an agreement signed? Unfortunately, we are unable to sign agreements. Per the privacy statement below, our site does not contain any services that require the release of FERPA protected information.
  16. Do you have a policy/privacy statement? We understand that some of you need an explicit statement on terms of use and privacy policy to meet new legal requirements. Here are our answers to the issues we have seen raised.

    We do not allow for secondary use of data for marketing, sales, and targeted advertising to users of the service.
    We do not claim that intellectual property rights related to the content that is uploaded or created by the user will be owned by the service; as described above Tar Heel Reader is a copyright-free environment.
    We strive to assure that our books do not contain content that is objectionable and/or does not serve an instructional purpose.
    Our site does not contain services that require the release of FERPA protected information.