African Girl Smiling with book

Where we start libraries

African Library Project establishes partnerships with African-based organizations that specialize in education, library or community development. Our partners must be capable of supporting the development of 30-60 libraries per year.

We work in English-speaking African countries that meet our criteria for sustainable library development. We look for countries that have a significant need for books and feature political stability, reliable transport of books to destinations, and a network of local organizations capable of organizing our books into real, working libraries. We pay close attention to a recipient’s ability to sustain a working library.

Our partners in Africa are the key to our success. Together, we change donated books into life-changing libraries.

Learn More About The Regions We Serve

Kenya flag

Kenya

To walk the land of Kenya is to walk the history of humankind. Did you know some of the earliest fossils of prehistoric humans have been discovered in Kenya? A former British colony, Kenya achieved independence in 1963. Since then, the country has seen vast economic growth both in agriculture and technology.

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Uganda flag

Uganda

Uganda, officially known as the Republic of Uganda, is one of the youngest countries on earth with half of its population under the age of 14. Although control of the country passed to the British Colonial Office in 1905, Uganda was never fully colonized.

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Botswana flag

Botswana

Botswana, a former British protectorate, gained independence in 1966. The country’s economy depended primarily on livestock until the 1970s when Botswana became a major exporter of diamonds. Currently, Botswana has one of the most successful economies and stable democracies in Africa.

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Lesotho flag

Lesotho

Lesotho is a tiny country nestled in the middle of South Africa. Founded as a kingdom in the 1820s, Lesotho was a British protectorate for almost 100 years before regaining independence in 1966. Today, the country is one of the world’s smallest constitutional monarchies known for its beauty and unique culture. Since 2000, primary school education in Lesotho is free and as a result, enrollment has increased.

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Malawi flag

Malawi

Known as “The Warm Heart of Africa”, The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country with a population of 18.7 million. The history of Malawi goes back to the 10th century, when the area was first settled. Today, Malawi is one of Africa’s poorest and most densely populated nations. Malawi’s economy is based on agriculture. Maize (corn) is the country’s main staple food while tea, coffee and sugar are some of its biggest exports.

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Ghana flag

Ghana

Previously an African Empire and then a British colony, Ghana gained independence from the UK in 1957. It was the first sub-Saharan nation to achieve autonomy from colonial rule. Ghana was also the first place in sub-Saharan Africa where Europeans arrived to trade - first in gold, later in slaves. Archaeological evidence shows that humans have lived in present-day Ghana from about 1500 BC. Today, Ghana is a model of democracy for the continent and the world.

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Sierra Leone flag

Sierra Leone

According to archeological findings, people have been residing in the Sierra Leone for at least 2,500 years. In the sixteenth century Sierra Leone was a very important center for the transatlantic slave trade. However the country’s involvement with the slave trade ended in 1787 after Freetown was established by repatriated former slaves. Due to its rough beginnings, over 70% of the population in Sierra Leone lives under the poverty line.

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Capacity Building for Teacher-Librarians

Our African partners train local teacher-librarians on effective library management practices and help create a support network for continued learning. The African Library Project’s library manual How to Set Up and Run a Small Library in Africa forms the basis of this training, and each new teacher-librarian is provided with their own copy before receiving their library. The manual contains complete guidelines on library set-up and organization, borrowing systems, how to encourage library use, reading games for children, and more.

HIV/AIDs education

HIV Banner hanging in Library

We work in countries that have been hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and where millions of children have been orphaned. Stigmatization and silence have often thwarted effectively curbing the epidemic.

To support HIV/AIDS education in local communities, we send additional learning resources to libraries in our partner countries that have some of the highest incidences of HIV such as Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, and Kenya. The Ministry of Education and Skills Development in Botswana directly provides these resources for its schools. These sets of colorful and easy to understand HIV/AIDS readers cover basic knowledge and life-skills related to HIV/AIDS and are written by African health educators especially for African children.

AFRICAN LIBRARY PROJECT

Changing Lives, Book By Book