Addendum to Access to Books is Crucial for Kids — Ebooks in Developing Countries

A comment on my post yesterday jogged my memory, and prompted me to write this brief post highlighting how ebooks are becoming a valuable educational tool not only for the wealthier segment of the world’s population, but for those we might not expect.

As with yesterday’s post, these links are not to be construed as an endorsement or an advertisement for these organizations, this is merely informational.

As this article in the Guardian (UK) points out, nearly all people in Africa have a mobile phone, not always a smartphone, but at least some form of mobile device. Increasingly, these mobile phones are providing access to ebooks to people who find it very difficult to access books in any other way, and this is something to be celebrated.

This March 2011 article in Publishing Perspectives gives a glimpse of how literacy and publishing are both being enhanced in developing countries through the use of ebook technology.

USAID is working to get reading devices and ebooks into the hands of children in rural Africa, in the Punjab, in other areas of the world where educational materials are at a premium. This is not always easy — that which is worthwhile seldom is — but it looks to be working. You can read more about their work in this Frontlines article.

Worldreader has a project called One Million Books that is endeavoring to bring widespread access to ebooks to children in Africa.

These efforts all have great potential to encourage literacy and to enhance people’s lives through literacy. It is a joy to see efforts like these succeeding.

4 Comments

  1. Wow, that is amazing that people in Africa are more likely to have access to phones than books, but how wonderful that by having phones the world of books can now be accessible!

    1. Isn’t it amazing? I’m so glad Julie’s comment yesterday jogged my memory and made me go searching for this information.

  2. Excellent and important addendum, Beth. I especially enjoyed the Guardian article and this link in the comments : http://www.worldreader.org/what-we-do/our-app/ showing that there is an increasing amount of local fiction and nonfiction being accessed in developing nations. Yay!

    1. Thanks, Joanna. The information about the local fiction and nonfiction is so wonderful! Thanks for highlighting that aspect.

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