African Children Smiling holding books


Libraries within 12 Countries


million books shipped



 Our mission

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. Visit our COVID-19 updates page to learn more about our approach to the novel coronavirus and how it may be affecting our book drives.

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: 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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Ask an Expert: Jennifer Swanson

Ask an Expert: Jennifer Swanson

Jennifer Swanson Q&A Q: Tell us about yourself.  A: I am the award-winning author of over 40 books for children, mostly about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). My love of STEM/science comes from a very young age. When I was 7 years old, I...

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African YA Books to Read Over Summer

African YA Books to Read Over Summer

As we continue into the summer, it’s a great time to start reading! Whether you are looking to fill your shelves or do some casual summer reading, here is a list of five incredible young adult books by African authors to check out: Between Sisters, by Adwoa Badoe...

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