By Morgan Tarpley
The love of books can bring much to one’s life. We, privileged readers, are among those in the world whom extend our knowledge, imagination and joy through the written word.
And thankfully there are many of us worldwide whom share this love and wish to share it with others – either on a global or local scale. Two such opportunities have recently come my way through online information.
Taking the World One Book at a Time
Sometimes it only takes one person and one thing to make a difference in the lives of thousands. Thus is the story of a young woman from Minnesota and her love for books.
Thirteen-year-old Maria Keller took a stand to tackle world literacy at the tender age of eight and set a goal to send over a million books to children all over the world by her 18th birthday. She started collecting books through the nonprofit organization she founded called “Read Indeed.”
|Maria Keller (photo from readindeed.org)|
Her book collection dream was birthed from her mother telling her that many children in the world do not hear bedtime stories or have access to libraries and books in general. There are also many around the world whom cannot read. According to the World Literacy Foundation, one-in-five adults cannot read or write, 57 million primary aged children are not in school, and 123 million young people are unable to read or write.
But this is why Keller and those involved with her organization keep on working. In the interview, she said she has a ton of help from the community and from all the people on the organization’s board. She added that it is amazing that so many people can care about her cause enough to help and that if more things were happening like it the world could be changed.
Keller is one of two recipients nationwide for the Jefferson Award and she was also recently honored for the ‘Outstanding National or Global Service by a Young American’ at the National Award Ceremony in New York City.
For more information about Keller’s organization, visit her website www.readindeed.org.
Books in the Yard
The other book distribution bit of news is quite unique and shares books with others on a community level through a movement called Little Free Library. These so-called “mini” libraries are mostly housed inside giant mailbox-like contraptions and anyone is welcome to borrow a book and replace it with another.
|Two Little Free Libraries (photo from littlefreelibrary.org)|
He filled it with books, marked it with a “Free Books” sign, and placed it in his front yard by a little flower garden. He was soon building similar little book boxes and giving them away to his neighbors and friends who loved the idea.
|More Little Free Libraries (Photo from littlefreelibrary.org)|
For more information about The Little Free Library, visit their website at www.littlefreelibrary.org.
Have you seen an actual “Little Free Library” or perhaps have one of your own? Do you know of other amazing book collection organizations in the world?
Morgan Tarpley is an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in Louisiana. She is also a historical novelist currently seeking representation. Besides writing and traveling to over a dozen countries, her interests include acting in her local theater, photography, historical re-enactment and singing.
For more information about Morgan, visit her website (www.morgantarpley.com) and blog (www.pensonaworldmap.com). You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.