Library for All

The world's largest collection of mother tongue language ebooks designed to help children across the world learn to read.

The Problem

Currently, 250 million children across the world are not learning the basics of reading and writing, even after four years at school. Yet literacy is the central pillar of all development, and has ramifications for everything from access to public health resources, to defending oneself against exploitation. We see illiteracy as the greatest and most urgent challenge of our time, for if something doesn't change we risk losing another generation to the cycle of systemic poverty. The challenge is both the limited supply of relevant, multilingual and multicultural content, and also lack of distribution of existing content into the hands of those who need it most.

The Solution

Learning to read in mother-tongue languages is proven as the most cost-effective way to fast-track young learners to literacy. At Library For All, we are harnessing the power of technology to make mother tongue books accessible to all.

To do this, we have built a digital library platform that is optimized for low-bandwidth environments, in partnership with the New York Public Library. The platform enables the delivery of mother tongue e-books, as well as books in English and other international languages. We distribute to children, parents and teachers alike. Schools and institutions get access to the library on low-cost tablets, and individuals can access the library on the Google Play Store.

We have also designed a writer workshop model which enables local community members to create children’s books, written and illustrated by others within their community member. In partnership with libraries and community groups, we are seeking to expand this writer workshop model to the US and engage diaspora communities across the world in building the pipeline of diverse storybooks.

Currently, Library For All reaches 10,000 users in Haiti, Rwanda, DRC, Cambodia, and Mongolia.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Library For All will use the funds won through Shared Nation to support a writer workshop and the creation of additional and original stories for the platform.

This project was nominated by: