Search-engine giant Google Inc. has unveiled a web site dedicated to literacy, pulling together its books, video, mapping, and blogging services to help teachers and educational organizations share reading resources. Google launched the site last month at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest gathering of publishing executives, in conjunction with the United Nations and a literacy campaign organized by fair officials. “Google’s business was born out of a desire to help people find information,” said Nikesh Arora, vice president of Google’s European operations. “We hope this site will serve as a bridge to even greater communication and access to important information about literacy problems–and solutions.” More than 1 billion people around the world over the age of 15 are considered illiterate, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. As part of the project, Google has asked literacy groups around the world to upload video segments explaining and demonstrating their successful teaching programs. The service also uses Google’s mapping technology to help literacy organizations find each other, and it offers links to reading resources.

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