Six Degrees of Separation.
It’s eponymous with Hollywood, Will Smith, and of course Kevin Bacon. My own brushes with Six Degrees have me randomly connected to Ned Kelly, Kylie Minogue and Magic Johnson. And now with Twitter it has become even easier to connect with anyone around the globe. But what if we could use this for good? What if there was a way in which our interconnectedness could improve the lives of millions of people, instead of just being a talking point at a party? Enter “Six Degrees of Education” by Library For All.
There are more than enough riches on this globe so that no one need live in abject poverty and lack the ability to learn about themselves and the world. The human race has been accumulating information and learning for thousands of years, all of which should be available to whomever desires it. Millions of people do not have linguistically, culturally or age appropriate books or content available to them, but there are people in this world who could change this reality. People like Carlos Slim, Sheryl Sandberg, and Steven Schwarzman. Library For All wants to reach these “Keylisters” – people who have the technology, clout, or philanthropic means to spread curated digital libraries to developing communities – bridging the “knowledge gap” so that anyone can have access to information and books.
Sitting here in the NYC office of Library For All, it is easy to see how extraordinarily privileged those with access to information are. Information breeds ingenuity, creativity, inquisitiveness, and collaboration. It also provides the mental space to think about ourselves, our place, and our communities. This is not to say that it is the only way these things can be fostered, but goodness, it makes it easier. It has also been shown that 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if students in low-income countries attained basic reading skills, skills which cannot be attained if there are no reading resources available.
Recently I gave birth to a gorgeous (if I do say so!) daughter. In Australia she will grow up amongst a wealth of information, and I can’t wait to be able to read to her – anything from adventure stories to animal books to poetry and rhymes. She will not want for knowing or reading. But I can’t say the same for 250 million children who currently don’t have access to the books and resources necessary to attain basic literacy skills.
It is with excitement and gumption that Library For All launches Six Degrees of Education – a strategy to get the best people to the table for the benefit of these 250 million children around the world. Join with us to reach these Keylisters. You could be the crucial link in this extraordinary campaign!