Sylvia McGrath - Making a Difference Word by Word
You meet the most wonderful people when you provide a service focused on children. I just finished a conversation with Sylvia McGrath who is building a second career serving children and adults facing chronic illnesses. With business associate, Belinda Witsenhausen, Sylvia has created a series of web sites and resources to make a difference word by word. We agreed to cooperate to serve our mutual audiences.
After a successful career in business, Sylvia reoriented her life to serve children with books and tools to help those with severe health challenges. Sylvia publishes a monthly newsletter for children with special needs, chronic illnesses and learning challenges. The newsletter includes practical information as well as book reviews, games and craft projects. Sylvia will feature some of the books from our library. Sylvia is also an author completing her first children book that we hope to see on Sharing-Books in the near future.
For those of you with special needs children, we invite you to discover these free resources created thanks to Sylvia's dedication:
Professor Owl's Publication Centre
A Treasure Chest of Resources
Professor Owl's Book Corner
Room to Read publish their ten year review and vision
Our Charity partners, Room to Read, who have played a very productive role to develop and equip libraries in developing nations, and who have helped thousands of girls go to school, have released a ten year review and updated vision in a very interesting document: Envisioning Our Future: A Road Map for Learning.
As usual with Room to Read documents, their review is well researched and their plans are inspiring.
Enjoy the read!
Sharing-Books Quick Facts Sheet
As we are often asked for business details, our team has assembled a Sharing-Books Quick Fact Sheet (as of January 2010).
- Conceived in February 2007 - founded in October 2007 - website Sharing-Books.com launched in September 2008
- Built in Joomla open source platform
- website without flash - designed for low bandwidth regions of the world
- Shared Books Ltd (owner of Sharing-Books.com) is a privately held Canadian company, incorporated in British Columbia with a number of individual and corporate shareholders
- Became promotional partner of Room to Read at start-up
- Revenue sharing 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. Sharing Books is a for profit social enterprise that shares its revenue equally between the book creators, Room to Read, and operating the company
- Published 250 books in its first year, one of the largest publisher of new children's books in Canada and the world
- Sharing-Books.com is used in libraries and schools around the world from California to Ukraine to Australia
- 25,000 e-books downloaded reaching an estimated 125,000 readers
- Held three book creators contests in 2009
- A current project includes transforming our e-books into video-books for distribution on content selling sites.
- Publishing partner of Bookshare.org, the world largest online library for the visually challenged
- Sharing-Books acquires classic children books that are over 100 years old, scans them and republishes them as e-books
- E-books save trees - not printing 250 books saves one paper tree.
- Sharing-Books is an active participant in the annual E-Book Week (March)
- Sharing-Books has been recommended by a number of parenting and technology sites and blogs
- Sharing-Books operates a virtual office with participants from several cities in British Columbia and Alberta.
- Sharing-Books creators come from North America, Europe, India, Asia and Australia.
- We use a unique licensing agreement that lets the creators retain the copyrights to their work. The license grant Sharing-Books the rights to further develop the intellectual property of the books.
- Sharing-Books has a speed publishing process that can approve and publish a book in 48 hours.
- Sharing-Books' content is vetted by a team of volunteer librarians.
- The publishing process enables book creators to update their books with new versions.
- The PDF version of the books is available to anyone for free, and the video versions of the books will be sold for a micro-payment.
The Boldness of featuring a poet at the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremonies
I was delighted to discover the Canadian poet Shane Koyczan at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Featuring him was a bold and brilliant decision.
First as a Canadian, I loved what he had to say about our country. And as a participant in a project like Sharing-Books that supports literacy and new authors, I feel really inspired that maybe we will help a new author find his voice, or that through one of our e-books a child will discover that poetry is a calling worth following.
Maybe one day, they too will recite their poem in front of over two billion TV viewers.
Labels: Poetry, Shane Koyczan, writing
Roon to Read touches the lives of 4 million children
Our friends at Room to Read have posted their latest update. Take a few minutes to see how our friends at Room to Read have accomplished much despite a difficult economic environment.
Family Literacy Day - January 27
In honour of Family Literacy Day here in Canada, we are publishing the 1908 edition of Anne of Green Gables. It is a powerful story about an orphan, who is mistakenly sent to the Cuthbert brother and sister, who were hoping for a boy to help out with the farm. Anne takes on the challenge admirably, and through her chatter and her wonder wins the hearts of her adopted family and community.
Over the last hundred years, this Canadian book has become an enduring classic for many cultures. The book was given to Polish soldiers in WWII, as a gesture of friendship and encouragement. A little later, Green Gables was preserved, becoming a popular historical site for many young girls to visit, especially the Japanese. More recently, a movie trilogy directed by Kevin O'Sullivan and Stefan Scaini was released, receiving an Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
We hope this book inspires you to read a chapter with your young friends. Perhaps at bed time, or during quiet time. For your younger listeners, you can even encourage them to draw pictures of Anne or her new home. Either way, you will be inviting them to imagine characters and settings, as they expand their vocabulary and wonder of faraway places.
For the artists in our midst, perhaps you would like to illustrate the story and upload it for publishing at Sharing-Books. We look forward to seeing your interpretation of this Canadian classic. These are just a few of the ways you too can participate, and we encourage you to join us in celebrating Family Literacy Day.
Labels: Anne of Green Gables, children's books, e-books, e-readers, Family Literacy Day, Lucy Maud Montgomery, orphan
Ode To Joy
In the famous Peanuts cartoon by Charles M. Schulz, the character Schroeder is seen playing his piano, often recreating a tune of Ludvig van Beethoven's. Many times, the same song comes out, but somehow, he hits the right series of notes to emphasize his progress or frustration.
As we begin the New Year, we too at Sharing-Books continue to play our music. Our IT department regularly meets to find ways of enhancing the site. Our Classics department scours the globe in search of material that will somehow strike a chord in the minds and hearts of our readers. And of course, our Executive Team meet with those interested in supporting literacy and raising up the next generation of readers.
Our creators have brought you lively illustrations, such as those created by Catherine York and James Stroud, as well as topical written material that addresses the human condition. And that is to only name a few of our creators! Together, we create a global publishing company that has released over 150 e-books and posters in 2009.
So just as a pianist takes a fraction of a moment before beginning the next song, we encourage all of you to consider how truly splendid that feat is! It started with a single note, followed by a second hand on the keyboard, only to be joined by yet more players and more instruments. It seems only fitting of course, to encourage you to listen to this piece by Beethoven, as we ring in the New Year. Please join us in humming, singing and conducting this rendition of Ode To Joy.
Labels: Beethoven, Catherine York, children's ebooks, children's illustrators, children's writers, ebooks, James Stroud, Ode To Joy, Peanuts