Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 13, 2013.

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Unlocking knowledge to those living in poverty by providing access to ebooks and other digital content in low bandwidth communities.

This extra funding will help us add new features in Phase II and scale more quickly!
This extra funding will help us add new features in Phase II and scale more quickly!

Library For All was founded for those who have little or no access to books in developing countries.

Imagine

Imagine walking into a library with stacks of empty shelves. You reach the back of the library and find a table with a small stack of worn books on it. What if the span of knowledge available to you was just those thirty books?

This is the situation for 260 million children globally.

This is why we are building Library For All, a digital library platform for the developing world.

Robelain's science textbook is in such poor condition that she can't tell which organs the lines are pointing to - its just a black smudge.
Robelain's science textbook is in such poor condition that she can't tell which organs the lines are pointing to - its just a black smudge.

Our Solution

We are harnessing the power of technology, and mobile phone networks found across the developing world, to give low-cost access to a digital library of relevant content. 

The library brings together content from Open Source providers and top global publishers. It is designed for low-bandwidth environments through the use of a local network topology. The platform is designed to be device agnostic. That means it can be accessed via mobile phones, e-readers or even low-cost tablets.

A 4th grade student at our pilot school in Respire Haiti, trying out an Aakash tablet, that retails at just $40. With your backing, we will launch Library For All here in October!
A 4th grade student at our pilot school in Respire Haiti, trying out an Aakash tablet, that retails at just $40. With your backing, we will launch Library For All here in October!

Those living in poverty will get access to the Library through government services, NGOs, charities and other agencies in developing countries who are Partners and Members of the Library. 

We believe we have a massive opportunity now to create a scalable solution to the lack of access to books for those living in poverty. With your backing, we can reach the poorest communities across the world with ebooks!

Product Development and Timeline

Our MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is essentially an aggregation system, bringing together e-book content from different sources. Our development shop partner is ThoughtWorks, a company with a dedicated Social Impact Program with extensive experience working in Haiti and other impoverished communities across the developing world.

A snapshot of our MVP functionality during a recent worksession with ThoughtWorks, which shows our student user experience
A snapshot of our MVP functionality during a recent worksession with ThoughtWorks, which shows our student user experience

We have completed the design phase, and will begin coding after the successful completion of this Kickstarter campaign. We expect to complete the first release of the platform in September 2013, and pilot at our first school site in Haiti beginning in October 2013. We will keep our launch community in the loop with a quarterly email newsletter.

The MVP will allow us to test our value hypothesis in a relatively low cost way with a streamlined system that can host and add content, authenticate users, enable downloading of content to a reader and track some usage metrics. 

Later releases of the product will include a custom reading application and increased opportunities for student-teacher and peer-to-peer interaction.

A snapshot of Release 4 of the Library
A snapshot of Release 4 of the Library

Research and Monitoring and Evaluation

Our goal is to reach 5 million users within the next 5 years. To do this, we need the most effective strategy to scale across the developing world. 

So, we have partnered with a team at the Stern School at New York University to do a research project at our pilot site at Respire School in Gressier, Haiti. The results will help us improve our model and scale our impact. 

New York University will conduct a research project at our pilot site in Haiti, to enable us to scale our model effectively to users living in poverty across the world.
New York University will conduct a research project at our pilot site in Haiti, to enable us to scale our model effectively to users living in poverty across the world.

Haiti is our pilot country because our CEO and COO have worked on the ground there and have built strong relationships. But Haiti is just the beginning. We are currently in discussions with government-level partners to pilot the project in another country, and we are inviting inquiries from potential partners of all sizes through our website.

Tax-deductible!

Library For All is a non-profit effort.  This is great news for you as it means your donation is  tax-deductible and may also qualify for matching funds from your employer if they support such a program for charitable contributions.  While we file for our own non-profit status, which can take 6-9 months, we have teamed up with a reputable 501.c3 fiscal sponsor, I-58 Network. For any contributions you make you will receive a letter from I-58 Network/Library For All verifying that your contribution qualifies as tax-deductible.

How Kickstarter Works

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing model; if we don’t reach our goal by the end of the fundraiser, your account will not be charged.

To pledge to a project, just click the green “Back This Project” button on this page. You will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. Note that you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. Again, some people run into trouble completing their donation-- If you encounter a problem, please contact us through our website at www.libraryforall.org.

Here’s a link to the Kickstarter Frequently Asked Questions

For more information

Visit us at www.libraryforall.org

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Risk of working in developing countries:

Working in the developing world is inherently riskier then working in the developed world where laws and governments are more predictable. This is one of the reasons we are launching in Haiti. Our CEO has lived in Haiti since December 2010 and has built a strong network of connections and partnerships. Through these relationships we have minimized the risk to our pilot, and plans are already underway to launch in October 2013.

Platform Development delays and cost overruns:

This is one of the reasons we have chosen Thoughtworks as our digital partner. Thoughtworks has extensive knowledge designing and implementing projects in the developing world, including in Haiti. They also have a dedicated Social Impact Program at the core of their business and are committed to being engaged with projects that will create positive social change.

We are confident in our budget planning for the project and Thoughtworks ability to deliver as per our roll out strategy. We have a significant buffer period in our development timeline to allow for any unforeseen delays.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    CONTRIBUTOR: Congratulations! You have just helped build the Library For All platform version 1.0. enabling individuals across the developing world to unleash their personal potential. We will WRITE YOUR NAME on the donor wall on our website. We will also keep you updated on all the goings on at Library For All and we will give you a front seat to watch our pilot unfold and the impact of the library as we scale across the developing world + LFA BOOKMARK: while we love digital books, we also love curling up with a good old physical book. Have the best of both worlds with a custom designed Library For All bookmark. Unique, beautiful and made from renewable resources.

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    CONTRIBUTOR PLUS: All the above + a very cool “I made this happen” LFA MUG so you can be the envy of all of your workmates. 
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    LFA CHEER SQUAD: Get a custom LFA T-SHIRT printed on super-soft cotton. Plus website recognition and sneak peek updates. 
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    LFA CHEER SQUAD PLUS: LFA BOOKMARK + LFA MUG + LFA T-SHIRT.

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    INDIVIDUAL MEMBER: Become an official MEMBER of the Library For All. You will be specially recognized on our Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP CARD + BOOKMARK. Receive Members-only updates. Plus your pledge is tax-deductible.

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    LFA SCHOLAR: Become an official SCHOLAR of Library For All. Receive all rewards from Individual Member above, + LFA T-SHIRT + LFA MUG. Plus your pledge is tax-deductible.

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    FAMILY or GROUP MEMBERSHIP: Your family or group can now all be official members of the Library For All. Imagine explaining to your kids how they helped bring books to children all over the world who previously had no access to books of any kind. Or why not get your work friends or book club together to change the world? You will all be specially recognized on our Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP CARD including your family members or group name + up to 4 LFA MUGS + up to 4 LFA BOOKMARKS. Plus your pledge is tax-deductible.

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    FOUNDING INDIVIDUAL MEMBER: Funding is never more important than in the beginning. We want to highlight the members who really jumped in and supported this vision from day one. You will become an official Founding Member of Library For All. You will be specially acknowledged on our Founding Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed FOUNDING LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP CARD + LFA BOOKMARK. Receive Members-only updates. Plus your pledge is tax-deductible.

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    FOUNDING FAMILY OR GROUP MEMBER: Funding is never more important than in the beginning. We want to highlight the members who really jumped in and supported this vision from day one. Your family or group can now all be official Founding Members of Library For All. You will all be specially recognized on our Founding Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed FOUNDING LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP CARD including your family members or group name + up to 4 LFA MUGS + up to 4 LFA BOOKMARKS. Receive Members-only updates. Plus your pledge is tax-deductible.

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    FOUNDING FRIEND OF THE LIBRARY: A friend is someone who has your back from day one. As a friend of the Library, we will recognize your vital contribution to bringing this vision to life. You will become an official Founding Friend of Library For All. You will be specially acknowledged on our Founding Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed FOUNDING FRIEND MEMBERSHIP CARD + four TICKETS to the official launch party of Library For All (location TBA) + leather embossed LFA NOTEBOOK.
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    FOUNDING PARTNER: Join us as a partner in unlocking knowledge to the developing world. In recognition of your valued partnership in founding Library For All, you will receive a LIMITED EDITION PRINT of your choice from the Library For All watercolor collection, signed by the award winning Australian artist Deb Mostert. You will become an official Founding Partner of Library For All. You will be specially acknowledged on our Founding Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed FOUNDING PARTNER MEMBERSHIP CARD + four TICKETS to the official launch party of Library For All (location TBA) + leather embossed LFA NOTEBOOK.
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    FOUNDING PATRON: A patron is as vital to founding a library as fuel is to an engine. To highlight your essential contribution to the founding of Library For All, you will receive an ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR of your choice from the Library For All watercolor collection signed by the award winning artist Deb Mostert. You will become an official Founding Patron of Library For All. You will be specially acknowledged on our Founding Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed FOUNDING PATRON MEMBERSHIP CARD + TICKETS to the official launch party of Library For All (location TBA) + leather embossed LFA NOTEBOOK.
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    FOUNDER'S CIRCLE: You are a thought leader in writing a new chapter in global education. You will become an official Founder's Circle Member and invited to join the exclusive annual Founder's Circle High Level Meeting. The 2013 meeting will he held in New York in November, and will bring together entrepreneurship and social impact leaders from a range of industries. You will be specially acknowledged on our Founding Member’s Board on our website plus you receive a personalized framed FOUNDER'S CIRCLE MEMBERSHIP CARD + four TICKETS to the official launch party of Library For All (location TBA) + leather embossed LFA NOTEBOOK.
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    Promote your business as a WORLD CHANGER not just in your industry, but in unlocking knowledge to the developing world. Your business will be RECOGNIZED as a corporate leader on our website and we will also include your logo and a link to your website. Plus your pledge is tax-deductible.

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- (45 days)