African Children Smiling holding books

3,086

Libraries within 12 Countries

3.1+

million books shipped

1,500+

Partnerships

African Library Project changes lives book by book by starting libraries in Africa. Our grassroots approach mobilizes volunteers, young and old, in the United States and Canada to organize book drives and help establish small libraries in rural African communities. Our method makes a concrete and personal difference for children and communities on both continents. 

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

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1. Partner

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

Shipping Box

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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

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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: Zawge Daniel

BDO Spotlight: Zawge Daniel

In 2019, Zawge volunteered with African Library Project to collect books to start a library in Malawi and his drive ultimately collected a total of 1,100 books! As the book drive organizer, Zawge’s experience went beyond the books collected. He created relationships...

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Hack for Africa: A Microsoft Challenge

Hack for Africa: A Microsoft Challenge

African Library project aims to end the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by working with rural African libraries to improve literacy and support the spread of education. A few actions include starting libraries, training local teacher-librarians, supporting HIV/AIDS...

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BDO Spotlight: Laurie Holding

BDO Spotlight: Laurie Holding

Laurie Holding is an internationally awarded poet, children’s book author, and mother of five, whose love of literature served as the foundation for her work as a book drive organizer. At 61 years old, Laurie lives in the Village of Sewickley, PA. After a career in...

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