Maybe it's just me but it seems like the question of how ICT can improve literacy has been on many people's minds these past few months. For example OLE Nepal recently announced that it had added Nepal's first audio book to its E-Pustakalaya digital library. The past two months of discussions over on EduTechDebate have also been focused on literacy: Reading Skills in Primary Schools and Literacy ICT Challenges and both of them are well worth a read.
Now following the recent OLPC San Francisco Community Summit 2011 SJ Klein (OLPC Foundation's Director of Outreach) blogged about a somewhat related project led by Sameer Verma of OLPC-SF which is called "Book Server 0.01":
This is a Pathagar server implementing the OPDS bookserver standard, running on a tiny Sheeva Plug device, accessible over a local network to XOs in the neighborhood. The Sheeva Plug is low power and has USB and SD ports that make it easy to expand such an offline library.
What this basically means is that it's now possible to build a book server storing up to 50,000 books which are accessible to XOs via the Get Books Activity for approximately $100!
The great thing here is that this solution combines simplicity, low cost, and lower power consumption into one simple package. SJ mentions that Sameer is planning on bringing the Book Server to rural India and it will be interesting to see how it all works out in the field.