For the holidays, I bought Reed an awesome personalized book. While I still have the personalized book my dad made me when I was 3, I must admit that the storyline and illustrations are pretty lame. The one I made for Reed, Following Featherbottom, is beautifully illustrated and educational, teaching kids about geography (not that Reed is going to be ready for a geography lesson anytime soon, but someday…). For those of you do web programming, the web application for building the book is pretty darn impressive and made me feel like I’d had a good user experience before I even received the book!

I started corresponding with the creator of Following Featherbottom and he let me know about another project he just started that I thought might be of interest to librarians and user-generated content fans. It’s called Project OpenBook and its goal is to develop a community-generated book of poetry to sell for charity. People can contribute poetry or artwork and/or can rate the poems that others have contributed to help decide what goes into the book and what does not. Proceeds from the book will go to Room to Read to save a child in Nepal from slavery and pay for her education.

Please consider supporting Project OpenBook. Contribute a poem or artwork, rate a poem, donate to the cause, or buy the finished book when it’s out! I think it’s a really cool idea to get people involved in creating something special for children that will benefit a disadvantaged child tremendously.