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Byline: Sharon Noguchi
Jul. 18--Last month, after a gale blew off the tin roof of the village library in Bereba, Burkina Faso, the librarian picked up her cell phone.
Her plea for help almost immediately reached Michael Kevane, a Santa Clara University economics professor who founded the library. He approved the funds, and within three days the roof was replaced -- a critical move because the rainy season had started.
Linked by cell phones and e-mail, Kevane and his wife, SCU environmental studies professor Leslie Gray, fund and oversee libraries in seven West African villages. They're an example of how technology has revolutionized aid to the globe's most remote and impoverished areas.
Few countries are poorer than Burkina Faso, an agrarian nation with an annual per-capita gross domestic product of …