Government funding for the humanities, the arts, and education has come under attack. The President’s budget proposal announced in March would eliminate the NEH and NEA. The US Department of Education wants partners to develop open educational resources, but has no funding to support them. So when the Free Ebook Foundation’s strategic planning process began last year, it was clear that our most pressing challenge was to diversify funding mechanisms for free ebooks that advance the humanities, the arts, and education.
Guess what! That’s exactly why we built Unglue.it. In fact, the Foundation itself was created because we felt that Unglue.it could best succeed in its mission as part of a charitable non-profit organization. We’ve been working to revise and re-focus the platform, and so we’re resuming our efforts to raise money for new free ebook projects.
The first of these projects is “The Jewish Unions in America: Pages of History and Memories” an ebook from Open Book Publishers (OBP). A memoir of life as an immigrant worker in New York and originally published in Yiddish, it’s been brilliantly translated by Maurice Wolfthal and will soon be available to read for free online and in affordable print editions, because of OBP’s strong commitment to making works like this as available as possible. OBP usually manages to break even on books using a combination of sales, a library subscription service and grant funding here and there, but wants to be able to publish books on merit rather than funding availability. For this book, ungluers, including donors to the Foundation, will be the “here and there”.
To support this campaign, go to https://unglue.it/work/252946/ and click “Support”. Ungluers can now choose to make their support a tax-deductible donation rather than a pledge. Facebook users can donate in support of the campaign at the Free Ebook Foundation Facebook page, or share with their friends.
Ungluing campaigns for 2 other free ebook projects are being prepared, and we welcome new project submissions. We’re also exploring ways for donors to support groups or categories of books.