Globally more than 125 million children stay illiterate due to non-availability of proper educational resources. Millions, who go to school, do not have books, which makes it even harder to stay motivated for studies. However, it all changed in 2012 with a new app, which helps schools to download free libraries and share it with their students.
Tanyella Evans and Rebecca McDonald in 2012 founded a Library for All. They realized that it might not be cost effective for schools to buy a large number of books, which can be beneficial to their students. Inspite, the New York based group tried to provide a technological solution to this issue, rather than just go buy books and stock them at schools. In a Kickstarter that happened in 2013, the organization raised more than $100,000, helping them build pilot projects in Haiti where only 49 percent of citizens had any basic education, with less than 15 percent of schools having any form of libraries. They started the program with a Port-au-Prince School at Respire Haiti, which has 530 students mostly former child slaves. The success was immense and now after two years, Library for All is operational in 10 schools with more than 1,200 titles at their disposal. These titles can be seen through the app, via low bandwidth computer and mobile phone internet connections.
In the next 5 years, Library for All wishes to reach more than 5 million children globally. Evans was also named the Forbes 30 under 30 last year, making her initiative visible to the world. Although Library for All does not wish to reinvent the schooling system, it only tries to bring the best titles for children within reach. Library for All has partner publishers, who provide latest and best titles. Library for All helps schools setup an infrastructure, although they do not provide the equipment themselves, they provide access to the whole library for a small fee. A school can buy low-cost tablets and can use it as per their need and student profile. Library for All helps design reading time and find books that can be easy to understand for the kids at all levels. In Haiti, Library for All has partnered with the biggest telecommunication network Digicel, helping schools access the internet at affordable rates.