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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Net books for needy kids

There's a wonderful project, Anywhere Books, that's putting books into the hands of children who wouldn't otherwise have them. Using Internet sources such as Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive, Anywhere Books's "digital bookmobile" - "a van outfitted with a laptop, laser printer, bookbinding machine, and cutter," Wired News reports - recently visited Gulu, Uganda, for example. It provided books for "children commonly referred to as night commuters," according to Charles Batambuze, a librarian with the sponsoring National Library of Uganda who was in Gulu for the event. "They move from their homes every evening to spend the night in the safety of Gulu town. These children displaced by war together with their teachers and parents attended a children's reading tent event held on 27th-28th March 2004 at Gulu Public School," Charles reported, adding that English is the language of instruction in Ugandan Public Schools. Peter Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland were among the more popular books printed for the Gulu students. Anywhere Books told Wired News that "on average, there is one textbook for every six kids in Uganda."


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