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Discover how nonprofit Library For All is giving Ukrainian children globally free access to e-books and learning using the cloud. 
  • Scalability: Can support Library For All's vision supporting thousands of children
  • Speed: Accelerated deployment of new learning resources
  • Up to 10,000 instances that Library For All can scale up to within minutes

When Russia escalated the ongoing conflict in Ukraine in February 2022, it triggered not just the largest refugee migration in Europe since World War II, but also disrupted the education of more than 5 million children in Ukraine. 

Australia-based nonprofit Library For All sought to use its expertise in delivering digital learning tools to ensure Ukrainian children could keep learning, wherever they found safety. However, given the ongoing conflict, Library For All could not distribute learning resources the way they used to – by preloading them onto Android-based tablets, and hand-delivering them. With Ukrainian children finding refuge all over Europe and even further afield, Library For All's previous offline, hardware-based solutions needed a revamp. 

In June 2022, Library For All began working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS Partner, Cognizant, to host its digital learning resources on a cloud-based app instead of on the devices themselves. The organization used the AWS Cloud to create a full library of culturally relevant books available for free on any Android or Apple device globally. 

Working in close collaboration, AWS and Cognizant designed and built a serverless platform guided by a best practice implementation that addressed the Six Pillars of an AWS Well Architected Framework, and which would deliver the outcomes Library For All demanded from its new platform.

Opportunity | Scaling up delivery of Learning Resources to Improve Educational Outcomes

Founded in 2011, Library For All provides high quality digital-first books, and distributes digital learning tools globally for children who have limited access to learning resources. It currently has over 3,000 digital books in its database and hopes to improve access to education for 20 million children by 2030. 

As of 2023, Library For All has provided learning materials for over half a million children across 16 countries, including Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. Its books have also been published in 17 languages, which ensures that children from different countries can access content that is meaningful and relevant to them, and learn in languages they understand. 

Prior to migrating to AWS, Library For All operated in a remote capacity delivering solutions almost entirely offline. Digital learning resources were loaded on Android-based tablet devices and hand-delivered to children living in marginal communities, including those with limited electricity, internet, and poor access to external resources.

To be able to enable digital learning for children in Ukraine, Library For All determined the best solution would utilize on-demand, scalable, and secure access on the cloud. Doing this would help the Library for All deliver digital learning resources to Ukrainian children with Internet access in a cost-effective, timely, and safe manner. 

“AWS and Cognizant took the time to understand our challenges and provided scalable, cost-effective solutions. Our collaboration exemplifies how businesses can work with nonprofit organizations to change the world in significant, impactful ways.” — Rebecca McDonald, Founder, Library For All   
Solution | Facilitating Learning in Times of Crisis

Library For All worked with AWS and Cognizant to create a free digital library app on the cloud with content culturally relevant for Ukrainian children. 

One of the key challenges for a nonprofit organization is budget constraints. Library For All had to keep the cost of backend infrastructure as low as possible and invest maximum resources into developing learning assets and delivering them to children. It used AWS Lambda to build a serverless infrastructure to lower costs, paying only for the compute time it uses. 

The AWS Cloud also helped facilitate the accessibility of learning resources drawn from disparate locations. The organization can now support children accessing Library For All’s resources without disruptions, and scale flexibly to reach its goal of supporting thousands of children by end of 2023. 

Leveraging Cognizant’s DevOps and Software Delivery Life Cycle (SDLC) expertise, dual delivery, and upskilling model, Library For All was able to significantly accelerate their deployment of new learning resources with the AWS Cloud by more than 20%. With its previous offline rollouts, Library For All had to produce a set of learning resources before delivering them to target communities. Now, the organization immediately rolls out learning resources as they are ready and can now operate separate workstreams for hardware builds and content development, with each team delivering its outputs as soon as possible without constraints from the other. Library For All can now deliver its digital learning resources in half the time it used to take. System uptime has also increased from 95% to 99.9% with zero downtime or outages required for software code changes.  Additionally, their new platform has experienced a five-fold scalability improvement as measured by the number of users it can service across various geographies. 

For data storage, delivery, and management across the entire cloud infrastructure, Library For All uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Specifically, Library For All uses Amazon S3 to store digital learning resources in the cloud. With Amazon CloudFront, Library For All can securely upload digital learning resources from Australia, where the organization is based, and make them available to users globally without delay. By running Amazon RDS, online user data is captured in real time, Library For All will reduce resource iteration times.

Library For All now uses AWS Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF) and AWS Control Tower to set up, govern, and protect its web applications and multi-account environment. With these time-consuming security-related tasks managed by AWS, Library For All can redirect resources towards creating new digital learning resources, and rapidly deploying these to children in need.

As it was Library For All’s first time running a cloud project, AWS and Cognizant worked with them to identify operational gaps and recommend relevant cloud services. This included multiple AWS-organized training workshops to upskill the Library For All team on serverless architecture. 

“AWS and Cognizant took the time to understand our challenges and provided scalable, cost-effective solutions. Our collaboration exemplifies how businesses can work with nonprofit organizations to change the world in significant, impactful ways,” shared Rebecca McDonald, founder, Library For All.  

Outcome | Supporting Ukrainian Children's Access to Education

As of March 2023, Library For All has launched and globally deployed its free cloud-based digital library of almost 300 books, making it available for for Ukrainian children. With the resources saved through deploying the app on the cloud, Library For All has also been able to provide hardware to reach around 200 digital learning centers run by the international charity Save the Children and the Ukrainian Government. 

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