- Open Access – Our curators search the internet for content that is open access, meaning it can be copied and shared freely. In some cases, we receive permission from content creators and organizations to freely copy and share their content on our library. Any new content we create is also open access.
- Relevant – We know that for information to be useful, it must be relevant. This is why we carefully and thoughtfully curate content that is relevant to our library users and their unique information needs. Our model includes working with in-field partners to determine content needs and requests.
- Localized – We provide resources that are applicable locally and tailored for each region in which we work. For example, we work with in-field partners to include local textbooks, lesson plans, and other materials specific to their geographic location and culture.
Our Library Features Content that is:
Library Creation Process
Our content curation process consists of contacting and collaborating with organizations that have curated or created relevant content. With proper copyright permissions, we make this content available and downloadable via our libraries. During the library creation (or content curation) process, we carry out metadata tagging and keywording of every library resource, to enable search functionality and to ensure that all content is easily discoverable by library users.
We have a very diverse team of interns and staff members that consist of undergraduate and graduate students, librarians, and international development practitioners. The diverse backgrounds in our team allow us to draw knowledge from work experiences all over the world, including members that have previously served in the Peace Corps.
SolarSPELL Education Libraries:
The Pacific Islands collection includes open-access, educational resources for primary and secondary school students, as well as for the teachers and Peace Corps volunteers who live and work in the Pacific Island communities that we serve. The Pacific Islands collection features locally relevant resources for schools and communities in Fiji, Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tonga, and Samoa. While the collection is primarily in English (by request), it also includes content in various local languages and refers to topics that are specific for communities in the aforementioned countries. We also include textbook collections from the Ministries of Education of various countries, in order to support the national curricular standards.
The East Africa collection includes open-access, educational resources for primary and secondary school students, as well as for the teachers and Peace Corps volunteers who live and work in the East African communities that we serve. The East Africa collection features locally relevant resources for schools and communities in Comoros, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and South Sudan. While the collection is primarily in English (by request), it includes content in various local languages and refers to topics that are specific for communities in the aforementioned countries. We also include textbook collections from the Ministries of Education of various countries, in order to support the national curricular standards.
The Latin America collection includes open-access, educational resources for primary and secondary school students, as well as for the teachers who live and work in the Latin American communities that we serve. This is our first collection with resources primarily in Spanish. Currently, we are curating a collection of educational materials specifically for communities in Mexico – including digital textbooks from their Secretariat of Public Education and location-specific topics that are relevant to these audiences. Our expansion into Mexico is also supported by an ongoing collaboration with Tecnologico de Monterrey.
SolarSPELL Health Libraries:
The Nursing and Midwifery collection is designed to serve instructors and students at Nursing and Midwifery schools across East Africa. It includes university-level educational resources that cover various medical topics, like Women’s Health, General Medicine and Surgery, and Standards of Practice and Patient Care. The collection features a large selection of midwifery educational content, especially relevant for instructors and students who may be working in rural areas where modern medical resources may not be available. Additionally, this collection includes credible open access textbook alternatives that have been requested by in-field collaborators, in order to support and supplement their curriculum and the courses that these students cover in preparation for their careers. The content is primarily in English.
The Biomedical Technology (BMET) collection serves Biomedical Engineering Technicians and clinical workers in rural clinics and hospitals with limited access to the internet. Often, these locations receive donated medical equipment but do not receive the manuals or documentation necessary to use, maintain, and repair this medical technology. The BMET collection has a focus on user guides and repair manuals for biomedical equipment, and provides easy and equitable access to oftentimes life-saving resources for trained biomedical technicians and clinical workers that need to use this equipment to effectively treat their patients. The content in this collection is applicable globally but has been diligently located and tagged with an emphasis on relevance for locations in East Africa.
SolarSPELL Specialized Libraries:
The Agriculture Library is our newest collection of resources designed to serve rural farmers and agricultural extension agents. This library’s content features credible, crucial farming information aimed at increasing food security and agricultural productivity. The collection covers topics such as climate adaptation, livestock management, organic farming, and rural income generating activities.
In total, our collections comprise over 45,000 resources (and counting!) that library users can access.
A Library is Never Finished
The SolarSPELL team strives to continuously improve our digital libraries. We gather data from the field and feedback from our library users to determine what content should be added, removed, or enhanced.The library is routinely updated with quality content to meet our library users’ information needs.
If you have content you would like to contribute to our library collections, please contact us by emailing us at [email protected].
Our libraries feature content from the following organizations:
- Wikimedia Foundation
- Khan Academy
- Peace Corps
- Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO)
- The Global Library of Women’s Medicine (GLOWM)
- Infonet Biovision
- Hesperian Health
- Big History Project
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- SIL International
- Science Learning Hub
- Voice of America
- University of Colorado Boulder–PhET
- The African Storybook Initiative
- World Health Organization
- Ministry of iTaukei Affairs (Fiji)
- Ministry of Pacific Peoples
- Ministry of Health Tonga
- Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock, Solomon Islands
- Ministry of Education, Heritage, and the Arts, Fiji
- Ministry of Education and Training, Republic of Vanuatu
- Ministry of Education of the Union of Comoros
- Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda
- Ministry of Economy South Sudan
- Ministry of General Education South Sudan
- Ministry of Education Ethiopia