African Children Smiling holding books

 What do you picture when you hear the word “library”?

Perhaps a large building, or a room lined with books? Libraries come in different forms and spaces, but many students do not have access to a library or to the valuable content a library can hold.

Libraries that provide access to reading material and resources hold the key to advancing literacy and nurturing growth in and out of the classroom.

The mission of the African Library Project is to change lives book by book, together with partners in Africa and North American volunteers to create, improve, and sustain libraries in African communities. African Library Project’s vision is to expand opportunities by creating spaces that nurture literacy. Libraries in Africa don’t always match what we picture when we hear the word, but they serve the same purpose and provide much needed opportunities to build literacy.

In the last 16 years, African Library Project has helped to create 3,425 libraries across 13 of Africa’s 24 Anglophone countries to date. That’s nearly 4 million books shipped to Africa! An accomplishment like this can only happen with the support and work of many people in North America and Africa. 

Won’t you join the mission to continue to change lives and provide opportunities that nurture literacy?


Libraries within 13 Countries


books shipped



Our Mission: The African Library Project changes lives book by book, together with partners in Africa and North American volunteers to create, improve, and sustain libraries in African communities

Our Vision: expand opportunities by creating spaces that nurture literacy.

1000 books + 500 Dollars = One Library
African Girl Reading Book In Library

Why Organize a Book Drive with the African Library Project?

• Too many African children grow up without books, while U.S. bookshelves and landfills overflow with books no longer read.

• In many of the communities we serve, young people have little to no access to reading materials beyond textbooks (when provided).

• We serve Anglophone countries where students are tested in English for standardized exams that are required for advancement. However, these students lack books to support their reading development.

• Reading fosters critical thinking skills and creativity.

• Teachers in many rural areas may teach reading, writing, math and English without a single book to use as a resource.

 Our Approach

 Our volunteers in the United States and Canada organize book drives by rallying their communities to collect gently used children’s books and raise funds for shipping. Thanks to our international network of partners, volunteers, and community supporters, these donated books are transformed into sustainable community-based libraries. Here’s how we do it!

Holding Hands for partnership


1. Partner

We partner with local organizations in Africa to find and vet schools and communities in need of books.

Shipping Box


2. Mobilize

We mobilize volunteers and match each U.S. or Canadian book drive to an approved African school or community.

African Library Book Shelf


3. Distribute

Working with our partners, we ship and distribute each library to the recipient school and provide support and training for sustainability.

Youth Leadership

Our book drives are great opportunities for young people to sharpen key organizational and leadership skills, while making a difference for others. Our Youth Ambassadors work within their local communities to spread the work of the African Library Project, advocate for global literacy, and mobilize and support their peers to get involved. Through this program, young leaders explore unique ways to make impact as global citizens.

Seal of transparency 2019 Gold
GuidesStar Exchange Gold Participant
Great Non Profits 2017 Top-Rated
Great Non Profits 2016 Top-Rated
Great Non Profits 2015 Top-Rated
Great Non Profits 2014 Top-Rated
Great Non Profits 2013 Top-Rated

Our Blog

BDO Spotlight: Grace Tulinsky

BDO Spotlight: Grace Tulinsky

Grace Tulinsky was inspired to start her first book drive with African Library Project during the Summer of 2018 after she learned, through a research project, about the empowerment education can provide girls in Africa. Since then, she organized five book drives with...

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The First African Library Project Library

The First African Library Project Library

Chris Bradshaw has had a connection to Africa since she spent her junior year studying at Fourah Bay College, part of the University of Sierra Leone. She wanted to help the communities she visited, but wasn’t sure what to do at the time. It wasn’t until years later...

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