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Wired for Books to be featured at the Asian Children's Festival
National Library Board of Singapore brings international recognition to WOUB endeavor

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 7, 2006) -- Wired for Books, the WOUB Center for Public Media's online literary archive, has recently been chosen as a supplement to the Asian Children's Festival, hosted by the National Library Board of Singapore.

In conjunction with the event, which takes place Nov. 17-19, the National Library Board of Singapore is putting together a variety of e-resources to help children explore literature. "Wired for Books" and the site's popular "Kids' Corner" will be featured as one of these resources on the National Library Board's blog.

"Wired for Books is very popular in Asia," said David Kurz, senior Web developer for the WOUB Center for Public Media. "A lot of times our Kids' Corner is used to teach English."

According the National Library Board of Singapore's Web site, the Asian Children's Festival "aims to create opportunities for the creative and joyous learning of Asian content and culture among children. ACF aspires to connect people and organizations working with, and for the interest of children to share, learn, research and develop ideas for Asian content, products and services that serve the educational, creative and emotional needs of children."

We are very proud of this recognition, Kurz said.

Wired for Books features interviews, discussions and debates with many of literature's finest writers. The site's biggest attraction is its collection of audio files of writers or actors performing books and poems ranging from "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" to "The Iliad." The site also has a collection of almost 700 full-length interviews with legendary authors from Don Swaim's CBS radio show "Book Beat."

"We have over a million visits a year to the entire Web site," Kurz said. "'Kids' Corner' started off with stories of Beatrix Potter, but since then we've also done dramatic audio readings, like old radio shows, for stories like 'Macbeth,' 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'A Christmas Carol.' Instead of just one person reading the entire story, these have actors voicing each part."   

Kurz points out that while no direct changes will be made to the site in preparation for the Asian Children's Festival, his staff works on the site everyday and changes are often subtle.

"We're currently working to enter the world of podcasting," Kurz said. "The first step is creating MP3 files of our collection." 

The site has received multiple accolades since its founding including an "A+" from Education World and the "Best of the Web" award from the New York Public Library.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu, or WOUB Center for Public Media Senior Web Developer David Kurz, (740) 593-6789 or kurz@ohio.edu

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