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 frequently asked questions

If your aim is school & practical education, why do you produce fiction too?

Fiction motivates children to practice reading. It is an important part of developing literacy, enabling a life of practical learning.

When will you translate X into language Y?

Translation into other languages is a large long term project. Translation is done by volunteers, so while the Library steadily grows, there is no way to know which books will be translated into which language when.

If there are any languages you can help with, please let us know. It's much needed.

What's the progress on the library so far? What topics are covered?

In February 2014, we have about 350 books in various stages of production from incomplete writings to print ready.

Topics include:
Growing food on barren land
Cleaning dirty water
Children's & adults' literacy books
Printed tools
Blanket making from garbage
Reducing cooking fuel use
Making tools from garbage
Sewing skills
Maths skills & tools
A series teaching electronic engineering
Pipe making from scrap materials

Work on the books is an ongoing project. We look forward to Penny Library steadily growing into a large bank of the kind of knowledge that changes peoples' lives.

As of November 2015, over 100 of these books have been completed.

In February 2017 we have over 130 completed titles.

What's the situation with research?

2014: For the future we also have a few reseach projects planned that will be completed when funds allow. There are also some research projects that people at home can take part in, such as making and testing some blanket replacements.

2015: We've now carried out 43 experiments of which 27 have been successful.

2017: Over 40 successful outcome experiments so far.

Do you provide anything other than books?

We've also developed a range of ultra low cost tools. These are used in children's education, and sometimes to get jobs done that can make people money to buy food and so on. We provide them and also show people how to make their own, making them affordable to lots of people that couldn't pay for traditional tools.

In 2017 the tools we supply include rulers, protractors, tape measures, level, set square, precision wedge gauges, sewing gauge and a cheap micrometer substitute. We also send out information only on how to make hammer stapler, mallet, metal bender, plastic rulers & protractors, workbench, clamps, cord maker, plane, pH strips, guillotine, etc. People can make these to use or to sell.

We're also developing a range of educational posters, for both school and home use.

What's Penny Library's biggest challenge at the moment?

Funding. If this project is to grow to serve people on the scale we hope for, we need to raise the funds to open a shop which will provide ongoing funding. This is a critical step of Penny Library's development, without which we would not be able to scale the project up.

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you can help

We want to do something about that

A small school pack costs 40
A large school pack costs 100
Can you help us?


Together we can

Penny Library is a non profit organisation producing a library specifically for people in poverty around the world.

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