Here’s an uplifting idea for Christmas – Humanitarian Information for All. Some are intent on putting the world’s literature online (copyright permitting) – “Project Gutenberg”:http://promo.net/pg/ and the “million book project”:http://www.archive.org/texts/texts.php for example. Others like the “International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications”:http://www.inasp.org.uk/, “BioMedCentral”:http://www.biomedcentral.com/ and the “Public Library of Science”:http://www.publiclibraryofscience.org/ are attempting in various ways to make the latest in scientific (and particularly medical) research widely available.
The Humanitarian Information for All project has a simpler and more focused goal – ‘to provide all persons involved in development, well-being and basic needs, access to a complete library containing most solutions, know-how and ideas they need to tackle poverty and increase the human potential.’ At the moment because of the cost of Internet access to developing countries they are doing this by producing CD-ROMs. The total budget for the last four years has been around $200,000 – I hope that given the apparent usefulness of the project they get enough funding to complete it.
Thanks to Danny O’Brien’s Oblomovka for the link