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

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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Family Literacy Month

Family Literacy Month

November is Family Literacy Month! Reading as a family is so important to children’s development, plus it is amazing for adults as well. Reading to children starting at a young age can instill a life-long love of reading. So, we wanted to share a few ways to celebrate literacy this month.

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