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Colin McElwee of Worldreader, interviewed by Sandeep Mahal

Worldreader‘s mission is to “work globally with partners to support vulnerable and underserved communities with digital reading solutions that help improve learning outcomes, workforce readiness, and gender equity.”

It was set up in 2010 when Colin McElwee and co-founder David Risher visited a school in Ghana, taking with them a bunch of Kindles loaded with books. They didn’t know what to expect. They watched the kids start to read, and the curiosity in their faces was every bit as exciting as it is when you look at your own kids. After finishing a book, they would look up and say “can we have another one?” and within 90 seconds they would be reading again. Very quickly Colin and David realized this was going to work.

They first brought e-reading programs to schools, then libraries. In 2013, they launched Worldreader for mobile phones, making it possible for anyone, anywhere with a data-connected phone to access thousands of digital books. They have brought the pleasure and advantages of reading to an astonishing 17+ million people in 62 countries.

In this pre-recorded event, Sandeep Mahal from Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature interviews Colin about Worldreader and the work that they do, and Pippa Hennessy from Five Leaves finds out how independent bookshops and publishers, and you, can help with their mission.

To be released as a premiere on our YouTube channel. Tune in at 7pm on March 23rd to watch (or watch any time after that at your leisure).