International Book Project is this week's Member of the Week!
The International Book Project is committed to promoting literacy. With a focus on sustainable programs, they build global partnerships that foster cultural understanding and bring people together for common goals. They believe that focusing on individual requests for books from around the world will help communities develop literacy skills and a culture of active reading among school children, adults, and universities. Since 1966, the IBP has sent small, customized shipments of books to their partners based on their needs. They ship books to schools, libraries, churches, community organizations, and Peace Corps Volunteers throughout the developing world and in the United States. In fact, IBP has sent more than 6 million books to over a 140 countries since their founding.
When founder Harriet Van Meter visited India in 1965, she found long lines of people waiting not for food, but for books. She was so moved by her experience that upon returning home, she placed an advertisement in an English-speaking newspaper in India offering to send books to those in need. She received a phenomenal response and started sending books from her basement in 1966.
In the 49 years since International Book Project began, the organization has not only grown, but also stayed true to its grassroots beginnings. The IBP still sends individually crafted small shipments of a few dozen books to small organizations. In the 1990s, International Book Project began sending sea containers of 20,000 books to organizations with the infrastructure and capacity to handle a large shipment of books.
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