“Let’s Read!”: Books for Asia and Library For All’s Partnership in Asia!

“Let’s Read!”: Books for Asia and Library For All’s Partnership in Asia!

Our partner Books for Asia, a program of the Asia Foundation, hosted an inspiring event last week at the HousingWorks Bookstore in New York City!

Nearly a month ago, Books for Asia kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 for a digital reading pilot program in Cambodia. For the past few months, Library For All and Books for Asia have worked together to curate and digitize a collection of Khmer storybooks and educational materials for 5 schools and 2 mobile libraries throughout the country.

Today, many children in this region lack access to these engaging, colorful storybooks that inspire a lifelong love of reading.

That’s why Books for Asia and Library For All have joined forces to achieve a common goal under the campaign, “Let’s Read!” Together, we aim to provide children in Asia access to locally relevant reading material through a scalable, sustainable solution: a digital library platform designed for low-cost devices.

The event itself was a celebration of reading and learning, with an emphasis on the importance of access to books.

Novelist Nell Freudenberger read an excerpt from her latest novel, The Newlyweds, about a Bangladeshi-American couple, Amina and George. In the excerpt, Freudenberger described the transcending power of a story: how people read books as a way to travel the world, even without ever leaving their own country. 

Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba, lawyer, conflict expert and 2015 Asia Foundation Development Fellow, spoke about how access to educational materials empowers individuals:  “I would like to express that Let’s Read! is a commendable initiative, as it provides everyone, especially the underprivileged children, access to libraries, information and the pure pleasure of discovering that reading is a powerful activity.” 

Books for Asia director Melody Zavala and Library For All COO Tanyella Evans gave an inspiring speech about our digital library launch in Asia. Tanyella mentioned that the most wonderful part about this campaign is that our organizations build off of each other’s strengths in order to bring a quality digital library to the children who truly need it. To improve educational outcomes, partnership is absolutely critical.

Other speeches were given by novelist and radio host Kurt Andersen, Vice President of the Asia Foundation, Suzanne Siskel, and former Luce Scholars Margaret Scott and David Gruppo.

As we gear up for the launch of “Let’s Read!” in Cambodia in early November, we are proud to support Books for Asia in their crowdfunding campaign. With just a few days left, we encourage everyone to join us – donate to our wonderful partner on Indiegogo here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-read-asia-a-digital-library