Imagine a world without access to books in your own language.
It all began with a local idea to solve a problem facing students worldwide –
a lack of books in the classroom.
Moved by images she saw of the suffering in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, our co-founder Rebecca relocated with her husband from Australia to volunteer on community projects. What affected her most during her 2.5 years in Haiti was seeing classrooms with hundreds of children that had no books.
Rebecca loves to read, and after finishing the books she brought from home, she began to peruse digital e-readers for herself online. It was then that the idea for Library For All hit her like a lighting bolt. Rebecca researched the space and saw the potential of the widespread availability of mobile networks to provide content to fill this void.
The idea for Library For All was born in March 2012 to provide a scalable, digital library solution to the lack of accessible books in developing countries.
Months later, Rebecca and Tanyella were brought together over their first New York meal and a love for Haiti. They shared a common belief that access to knowledge is a basic human right, and since then, they have built Library For All from idea to organization.
The organization was incorporated in November 2013. Library For All was granted 501c3 status in May 2014.
In 2010 Rebecca and her husband moved to Haiti to help rebuild after the devastating earthquake. She visited schools with fewer than 30 books between hundreds of students. These books were so precious that they were kept under lock and key, rarely viewed and never taken home.
Despite extensive research, Rebecca could not find a single low-cost and scalable solution to address the lack of access to books. She founded Library For All in March 2012 with a vision to create a digital library from the world’s collective resources that would be easily accessible to those living in poverty.
Rebecca previously worked in the property and construction industry in Australia, where she was responsible for the delivery of a 1 billion dollar government stimulus plan, building housing for low income families and the disabled. She also served for more than eight years as an Ambassador for Opportunity International.
As President of Library For All, Rebecca leads the vision and goals for the organization, and focuses her efforts on business development.
In 2003, Tanyella volunteered as a teacher for a year in Uganda. The school she volunteered at had only one textbook for students in Grade 4 learning math, and so she wrote every lesson on the blackboard, which her students diligently copied down, leaving little time for fun or creativity.
When she met Rebecca in mid-2011, she realized that they were looking for the same thing – a scalable solution to the lack of access to books in the developing world. In June 2012, Tanyella left her consulting job and joined Rebecca in co-founding Library For All.
Tanyella has experience with development programs around the world. In her recent role as the Executive Director of Artists for Peace and Justice, she led a team to establish a high school serving 3,000 students in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Tanyella graduated from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
As CEO at Library For All, Tanyella leads the organization, specifically on product development, program implementation, and strategic partnerships.
As Director of Business Development at Library For All, Isabel is responsible for designing and implementing the development strategy for the organization.
While continuing to build this movement, she now focuses her efforts towards building sustainable business models and establishing creative revenue streams to support the rapid growth of the organization.
Isabel joined the founding team of Library For All in May 2013, only days after graduating from Georgetown University where she studied Philosophy and Psychology. Having dedicated much of her time at school to working with education-focused initiatives in the U.S. and abroad, Isabel immediately recognized the value of the Library tool and their need for a strategy to help get it off the ground. After college, Isabel served on the Junior Board of Girls Learn International, where she continues to volunteer as an Ambassador.