Lauren’s 10x10x10 Story: Bringing a Love of Books to Schoolchildren in Developing Countries

My name is Lauren MacArthur and I am a rising senior at Muhlenberg College.  Library For All found me this past semester while I was in France, looking for an internship for the summer.  In order for me to apply for an internship, however, the company or the cause had to intrigue me.  I was not going to apply to work somewhere or be involved in a cause that I didn’t believe in just because it would look attractive on a résumé.  As I was looking on my college’s career center page, I noticed they had suggested Library For All as an organization that I would be interested in working for.  I clicked on the link to the homepage and looked through the website.  I saw that Library For All’s mission was to create a digital library with eBooks for the developing world while also planning on taking care of the issues that often hinder schools in developing countries from utilizing technology to its full potential by creating a low-cost and local low-bandwidth networks.

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I had never been confronted with a cause and a mission that I so strongly believed I could help.  At that time, I knew I had to apply to work there. I remember thinking that it didn’t matter what I did once I got there, as long as I got to help further the cause.  This cause spoke to me because I am an English major who is greatly attached to books, and the more ways I learned of that I could help expose other people to a quality education, the more passionate I became about the program.  Also, I had never heard of an organization being so prepared for any issue.  Library For All is making an application that can be downloaded on any device, no matter how much it costs, making the application available to schools for which cheaper tablets are the only viable choice.  We are creating a low-cost network for each place we are involved with as a response to the lack of network connectivity in more rural areas.  It was so new for me to see a start up being so logical and working for a cause so close to my heart that I had to make sure I got involved.  I sent in my résumé, and I was so happy to hear that I had an interview.  I have now been working at Library For All for a little less than a week, and I am so excited to be a part of this team.

I believe in Library For All because I believe the issue of a lack of access to educational resources has never been addressed adequately.  In the United States, we often donate books to address the literacy gap in other nations.  However, donating books is not as helpful as we think because there often aren’t enough textbooks for students, and those that are present may not present the material in the language and cultural context that the students can understand.  With Library For All’s digital platform, the opportunity for success will skyrocket for these students.  With our Kickstarter campaign, more people can get involved and help Library For All bring the students of our pilot school, Respire Haiti, the education they deserve.  Until June 22nd, we are having a 10x10x10 campaign.  Over a period of ten days, we are telling 10 friends to support us with at least ten dollars, and then telling those friends to spread the word.  I hope that you all help us spread the word about this amazing cause!