African Children Smiling holding books


Libraries within 12 Countries


million books shipped




 our mission


The 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. Learn more about our efforts during COVID-19.


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: Kathryn Sonnie

BDO Spotlight: Kathryn Sonnie

Kathryn Sonnie is a living example of manifesting success. She was a teacher working with Global Hope Alliance, an organization that builds schools and libraries in Africa. When others found out what she was doing, the amazing people in her networks wanted to fill the...

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Ways to collect books during COVID-19

Ways to collect books during COVID-19

Despite the disruptions COVID-19 has brought about, African Library Project is continuing to help change lives book by book. While our volunteers and partners in Africa work hard to make sure they're staying safe on the job, our book drive organizer's safety is of the...

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Appreciating our Supporters on the Ground

Appreciating our Supporters on the Ground

In case you missed it, we’ve highlighted some of our wonderful African teacher-librarians and partners to celebrate National Library Week. Here are some who you may not have heard about yet. Gift Phimba Gift is a librarian in the Dedza district of Malawi at Magaleta...

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