Sugar Labs @ NDSU

Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND

Thinking about XO libraries

Nick Dorion from Carnegie Mellon contacted our team and shared some great literacy resources for Sugar. His email, and Negroponte’s interview with Colbert, got me thinking about the concept of an XO library.

I have been trying to figure out how to build a library on our 15 XOs for Southern Sudan, and just heard Negroponte make the claim again on the Colbert Report that 100 books on 15 laptops (my math) can produce a virtual library of 1500 books, but as you Nick pointed out in his email to us, most of the e-books available are not accessible for young learners or ELL learners. That’s part of the reason why we are going to ask the kids in Fargo to write books for the kids in Southern Sudan, but we would also like to be able to provide some more challenging books.

I am wondering how amenable publishers would be to making some of their books available to XOs. There are a couple of good children’s books, for example, about the Lost Boys of Sudan. I’d love to be able to load those on to the XOs we send to Southern Sudan. I also know of a small series of picture books that are in English and Somali–those would be wonderful, especially for a Somali deployment. And of course it would be great to load some Dr. Seuss (Hop on Pop!). That book seems random and silly, but it actually employs very specific “limited English” vocabulary–over, under, on, above, etc..


4 comments on “Thinking about XO libraries

  1. Joe R
    October 27, 2010

    The problem with getting special permission from publishers is that every time you want to use it you have to go back and ask for permission again – even to publish a translation you created yourself. Free licensed stuff is better if you can get it.

    Wikiversity has some books for preschoolers. Go to
    There are wikiversities in other languages too. Even if they don’t have what you want you could find a group there who can help you turn your ideas into books. has an enormous collection of free licensed images that might be useful too.
    has links to other sites with free licensed books.

    Hope this helps

  2. Chris Lindgren
    October 28, 2010

    Thanks, Joe!

  3. Eme McMeme
    November 2, 2010

    Yes. Collaboration and wikis seems to be the future of this. Let’s just hope they are quality…. and improve in quality.

  4. Chris Lindgren
    November 5, 2010

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This entry was posted on October 27, 2010 by in ebooks, XO.


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