Room-To-Read builds and stocks school libraries in Asia

In 1998, Microsoft executive John Wood trekked to Nepal, intending merely to slip on his backpack and get close to real life for a few weeks. After visiting a village library whose collection of no more than 20 books was considered too precious to circulate, Wood was inspired to quit Microsoft and start up the philanthropic organization Room-To-Read. Room-To-Read provides “challenge grants” to communities in India, Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia for the construction of school libraries (and in some cases the schools themselves), and for the books to go in them. Because the people in these communities must raise at least 50 percent of project funds themselves, schools and their libraries have a greater chance of continued success. Wood’s hometown paper, The Evening Times in Sayre, PA, has a nice profile of him and the organization.