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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 17, 2007

WiderNet Project supplies computers to Ethiopian schools, seeks volunteers

Computer technicians at the University of Iowa WiderNet Project have refurbished more than 270 donated computers, which will be shipped to Ethiopia this weekend. The computers will be given to educational institutions there, benefiting students who would not otherwise have access to technology and digital information.

WiderNet invites volunteers to lend a hand loading the computers into a 40-foot cargo container. The packing will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at 201 Communications Center, located at 116 S. Madison St., directly across from the UI Main Library.

The donated computers will be used in conjunction with the eGranary Digital Library, an offline educational resource. Known as "The Internet in a Box(TM)," the eGranary provides people in developing countries access to information from the Internet. The device stores approximately 10 million educational documents, including Open Courseware from Massachusetts Institute of Technology course offerings, Project Gutenberg's complete collection of classic literature and the entire Wikipedia Web site.

The WiderNet Project is a service organization based at the UI School of Library and Information Science. Since its launch in 2000, WiderNet has distributed more than 150 eGranary Digital Libraries to locations around the world, including Africa, India and Haiti.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Cliff Missen, WiderNet Project, 319-335-2200,; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,