The Shelter Buddies Reading Program is collaborating with the Humane Society of Missouri to make a huge difference in the lives of both children and animals. Since shy and fearful dogs are less likely to be adopted, it’s important that they have a chance to interact with others. That’s why the program’s director, Jo Klepacki, came up with the idea to have children read to these dogs. “Ideally the shy and fearful dog will approach and show interest. If so, the kids reenforce that behavior by tossing them a treat,” Klepacki told The Dodo. “Hearing a child reading can really calm those animals. It is incredible, the response we’ve seen in these dogs.” READ MORE: Kids Are Practicing Their Reading Skills to Soothe Shy Shelter Dogs | My Modern Met
In less than two decades, Bob Brown has donated more than 5 million books to Africa. Through his International BookSmart Foundation, Brown, an 86-year-old civil rights activist, friend of Martin Luther King Jr., advisor to the Mandela family and former White House Cabinet member, hopes to contribute many, many more to the continent.
Facebook is working with the United Nations to enable refugees from the Syrian civil war to access the Internet so they can more easily communicate while seeking resettlement. In a speech to the UN on Saturday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Internet connections in refugee camps will help refugees get better support from the aid community and maintain links to family and loved ones. Access to the Web is key to increasing quality of life, Zuckerberg added, saying it not only helps people communicate but can also help lift them from poverty. READ MORE: Facebook partners with UN to bring Internet access to refugee camps | CNET
The Purposeful Gaming and BHL project recently launched its first two browser-based video games, Smorball and Beanstalk. Both are designed to offer players a fun online diversion while helping the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) enable full-text searching of digitized materials. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which was awarded in December 2013, the project is exploring how games might be used to entice people to participate in crowdsourcing efforts at libraries and museums. READ MORE: Biodiversity Heritage Library Launches Crowdsourcing Games | Library Journal
In Indonesia, one man and his horse have created a walking, braying mobile library to bring books to the remote villages on Java island.
Ridwan Sururi, 42, travels between schools and villages with a tamed wild-horse called Luna who is loaded with boxes of donated books. Sururi named his project Kudapustaka, meaning ‘horse library’ in Indonesian, according to the BBC.
When I was little I wanted to be a doctor, and imagined myself sweeping across continents providing invaluable medical assistance as part of Doctors Without Borders. I came to accept that I’m a writer, not a medical professional, but now I have an opportunity to realign those early dreams with my actual life: I’m interning with the coolest group I know of – Librarians Without Borders. Same basic concept, slightly different product.
Snip: Wikipedia and its stated ambition to “compile the sum of all human knowledge” are in trouble. The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia—and must defend it against vandalism, hoaxes, and manipulation—has shrunk by more than a third since 2007 and is still shrinking. Those participants left seem incapable of fixing the flaws that keep Wikipedia from becoming a high-quality encyclopedia by any standard, including the project’s own.
Quoteable: “This tremendous response is apposite for Tolstoy: not only of course is he one of the most beloved of the Russian greats, but he believed in the extraordinary possibilities of collective effort.”
Digitized books are available for download on the Tolstoy website. The website is in Russian for now, with an English version still under construction.
Months after he was born, in 1948, Ron McCallum became blind. In this charming, moving talk, he shows how he is able to read — and celebrates the progression of clever tools and adaptive computer technologies that make it possible. With their help, and that of generous volunteers, he’s become a lawyer, an academic, and, most of all, a voracious reader. Welcome to the blind reading revolution.