Monday, 30 January 2012

Children's books available electronically -when can we give them e-readers?


See: Project Gutenberg Children's collection


"African publishers lag in shift to electronic books
Electronic readers are transforming the way people enjoy their books. However, there is very little African published content on the online stores. For a reader looking for a Kenyan book or literature published in Africa, one has to get the ink-and-paper version as few publishers have moved online."

There are programs in place to provide one-laptop-per-child and the latest is getting e-readers to children. One of these is an organisation called Worldreader.org. What is the possibility of Namibia recognising this as a future trend and start planning for it.

I recently completed together with an international team, a study for the University of Washington on "Libraries, Telecenters and Cybercaf├ęs: A Comparison of Different Types of Public Access Venues".

It is sad that we neglecting our children's access - I just look at the example of our public library in Windhoek.

Worldreader aims to put a library of books in the hands of families worldwide, using e-reader technology.

Literacy depends on access to written material. E-readers can deliver written material anywhere, quickly and easily. But there is little known about the effect these devices have in classroom settings or in developing countries.

Worldreader.org completed several classroom trials using e-readers to explore the use of digital content in the developing world.

Our working hypotheses are that:


  • E-readers will increase access to books due to lower distribution costs and immediate visibility of millions of books available online.
  • This will result in a larger number and greater variety of books read, and increased excitement and exchange of ideas around these books.
  • The result will be a higher value placed on reading within the classroom, family, and community.
  • The results will be specific and measurable, and will, in the long term, increase literacy and opportunity for those involved.