Do-Tell: Tanyella Evans

Tanyella Evans represents one of my favorite types of people in this world. Passionate. Driven. Likes books. Travels to Haiti.  Builds libraries. You know, the usual for a young, down-to-earth New Yorker.

I met Tanyella through a friend online and have been fascinated by her story ever since. She helps run Library for All, a new digital library platform for the developing world. I love the idea of using technology for good, so had to catch up with her via e-mail…


So, why a digital library for the developing world?

Because no one else is doing it. My co-founder, Rebecca, was actually working in Haiti for just about 3 years and was really hoping to find someone who had created some kind of digital library that was designed for low bandwidth environments that she could just link up to her local school partners. There are some people distributing ebooks, or providing huge libraries of out-of-copyright material, but no one has thought through the curation of a digital library collection for specific developing countries. And no one has adequately thought through the local network topology needed to distribute content in low bandwidth environments. That’s our space.

Tell us two things you’re excited about right now.

I’m really excited about our Kickstarter! We raised half of our goal – $50,000 – in the first 10 days and right now we are just encouraging everyone to give like $10, $20, $35 so they can get our insider updates and just be a part of it. Its so awesome the doors that are opening as we approach our goal. I’m excited about new partnerships with governments and major NGOs that are opening up.

And second, I’m really excited about the OER space. We are partnering with publishers, but I’m as excited about all of the content that is already out there and freely available and that we can feed into the library that we’ve created. I also think that crowdsourcing the creation and translation of content has huge potential in helping us to get content in local languages to those living in poverty.

You can find out more about Tanyella and how Library For All hopes to unlock knowledge in the developing world on their website. Check out the video from their Kickstarter campaign below, which you should back here.