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By providing needed quality books to the people of the developing world, the International Book Project seeks:
- To promote education and literacy in developing countries and in areas of need within the United States
- To broaden American11s' understanding of their neighbors, and
- To foster global friendships and strengthen world unity
IBP was started in 1966 by Harriet Van Meter. When Mrs. Van Meter visited India in 1965, she found long lines of people waiting not for food, but for books. She was so moved by her experience that upon returning home, she placed an advertisement offering to send books to those in need in an English-speaking newspaper in India. She received a phenomenal response and started sending books from her basement. You can learn more about IBP's history by watching our video, www.intlbookproject.org/wrk-vid.php
In the 40 years since IBP began, the organization has not only grown, but also stayed true to its grassroots beginnings. We still send individually crafted shipments of a few dozen books to small organizations. In the 1990s, IBP began sending sea containers of 20,000 books to organizations with the infrastructure and capacity to handle a large shipment of books.
In 2007, IBP started a new program to keep Harriet's legacy of culture-to-culture, pen-pal friendships alive called Books as Bridges. Books as Bridges (BAB) partners classrooms in Central Kentucky with recipient classrooms in the developing world in order to exchange letters, artwork, and culture. To learn more about Books as Bridges, go to www.booksasbridges.org.
- Tracy Taylor
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