Library Everywhere: a library for everyone
A volunteer project in which everyone can participate
Developed by Alfredo Di Nola, Nico Sanna and Gianluca Sbardella
In the world, especially in developing countries, but not only, many schools and many small communities, which actually represent a large portion of the world population, do not have a library and they will never have one. This is because a traditional library, however small, is very expensive. It requires a fairly large room, equipped with shelves, tables and chairs.
In addition, it needs to weather conditions (such as humidity, temperature and other) controlled to ensure that the books do not deteriorate over time.
Again, it should be constantly updated and needs a librarian, more or less experienced, that is, a person who is able to buy books, to catalogue them and to manage the loan.
We can calculate that a library of about 4000 books, where already there are the walls, should cost about 15-20 ,000 Euros, whereas there is still work to do inside and the furniture (shelves, tables, chairs etc.) to buy.
Books are for us a very common thing, but for these communities are often a very rare thing because, perhaps the nearest village where to go to pick up a book, is several kilometres away, or because the roads are difficult to access.
Today, however, with the ability to have digital books, things are much simpler and we have decided to create a library of digital books, which offers many advantages over a paper library.
Feature of this library is to be contained in a pen-drive. You can easily install it in one or more PCs, where you will find the catalogue and, of course, the books.
You can freely duplicate it, as it was designed to be viral.
The books can be read on the PC screen, either on a digital book reader, called e-readers. The catalogue also contains information about the individual authors and books.
The cost of all these objects is about the following: a PC that can hold a catalogue and the books can cost around 250 € and a digital book reader around 70-80 €, even less, and then with 500 € you have something functional. The pendrive is provided without charge.
It must consider that in many cases the schools or communities already have one or more PCs and therefore, at least initially, will not spend anything.
This library does not require any internet connection: this may seem counterintuitive, since it is a digital library, but it should be noted that about 50% of the world population has no direct access to the internet and often, when it does, it is very problematic, because, e.g. the supply of electricity is discontinuous and only for a few hours a day. This drawback can be overcome with a small solar panel (now are portable and at a relatively low cost) and / or a small accumulator.
The e-reader have a battery lasting a few weeks.
We will continuously implement the library with the addition of books and the library will be updated by connecting to our server. To do this you need an internet connection by going to an internet point, if you do not already have an independent connection.
As we have mentioned above, the catalogue, updating and classification of books will be made by us and therefore will not need an expert librarian.
Currently we extracted from the network books, written in English and French, which are copyright free. We have selected about 1600 books (1050 English and 550 French) and created the catalogue.
Unfortunately, the books exempt from copyright arrive until the early twentieth century. These are suitable for all tastes, ranging from fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm or Perrault, to books by Austen, Alcott, Brönte, London, Conrad, Dumas, Flaubert, Forster, Verne, Conan Doyle, Hugo, Kipling, Maugham, Melville, Balzac, Dickens, Walter Scott, Shelley, Stevenson, Defoe, Twain, Tolstoj, Dostoevskij, Proust, Wallace, Woolf, etc.
We hope that publishers want to help us giving us some more recent classic books.
In addition to the literature books, we also have a full school program from first to twelfth grade, for over 200 books in English.
In 2016, we tested the library in two schools in Kerala-India.
In 2019 the Library was installed in two schools in South Sudan and in ten schools in Jharkhand-India.