Books for Kids

I posted this video to the meta blog this morning, but it is worth posting here because it relates not just to transformation of content, but also to ubiquitous access to words and sounds for everyone. Say what you will about Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive (and I have heard criticisms leveled about some quality and preservation issues) anyone would have to admit that he is doing it! Go Brewster.

I don't really know the practicality of the book machine being taken to developing nations to make books for kids, but I know many kids (and librarians) in Ecuador who would be so excited by the concept. Many kids there simply do not have books. Kids in the small pueblos have no hope of getting access to books. There are some workbooks in the schools, but to peruse the shelf to actually select something you want to read...unheard of.

Next summer we are planning a trip to a small jungle village that is near and dear to our hearts to make the final connections of laptops/solar panels for the schoolkids. If these kids could have access to the International Children's Digital Library - now that will be huge.


Greg Walsh said...


My name is Greg Walsh and I work for the ICDL...thanks for mentioning us! Why couldn't the kids get access to the ICDL from your remote area? Is it lack of internet connectivity?

Please let me know...

Mary Molinaro said...

Hi Greg,
The problem for Jatun Molino will be internet connectivity. We are trying to get the electricity for the school project. That doesn't preclude them having access to electronic book content, it just means we have to figure out a different way to deliver it.

There are some places in the jungle that have satellite internet connectivity, but they at least have electricity.

This place is VERY remote. A full day by motorized canoe or an hour plane ride.

I LOVE the ICDL - thanks for your good work.

Greg Walsh said...


Thanks for clearing that up. Good luck with your project.

One thought, you could have a small server with public domain ebooks that you find (unfortunately, ours are not downloadable) and post them there. That way the kids could access the central server. I'm pretty sure you can download a snapshot of wikipedia and put that on there, too.

Again, good luck.