We want to welcome Kristina Pappas as the new Bookshare International Program Manager.
Prior to joining the team, Kristina worked at Farmigo, an Internet startup company that creates web-based software for community supported food programs such as CSAs; at the Natural Resources Defense Council; and at Fair Trade USA. She worked for over 10 years in international sales and foreign rights in the publishing industry, at IDG Books, McGraw-Hill, and Chronicle Books. Kristina holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Stanford University and an MBA in Sustainability from Presidio Graduate School. Kristina provided the following update on the international program.
Bookshare’s international presence continues to grow, with members in over 30 countries. We recently welcomed three new partner organizations who are reaching out to the community with print disabilities in their countries: NLB (Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille) in Norway, Hoerbuecherei des OSBV (Talking Book Library) in Austria, and the Dorina Nowill Foundation in Brazil.
International members now have access to more than 50,000 titles in most countries, including books in Spanish, German, French, Hindi, and Tamil, and a robust collection of textbooks in Afrikaans! A diverse Bookshare team is working on a special project with Qatar’s Mada Assistive Technology Center to add Arabic-language books to the collection; these will be available in early 2012.
Meanwhile, in India, 500 of our chopped-up books have found a new life with Vedavalli Vidyalaya in Ranipet (rural Tamil Nadu). Vedavalli Vidyalaya serves over 20 villages in and around Ranipet and is one of the few schools in a 100-mile radius to deliver high-quality education to students who cannot travel to the nearest city, Chennai. This is their very first library and the children are quite thrilled with the books they inherited (all nicely rebound, thanks to Bookshare’s local book processing partner, Worth Trust).