Biennial International Best Practices Summit
This weeklong gathering is a platform for ALP Partners, the local African-based organizations we partner with, the opportunity to exchange best practices. Every other year, our Partner community comes together to strategize on how to strengthen library work. There are engaging and thoughtful discussions on how to be more effective in improving library development. Past summits have revolutionized Partner operations and ALP libraries, such as the implementation of Culture Corners in many ALP libraries.
Several activities take place over the course of the weeklong gathering.
- Touring local ALP libraries
- Sharing program administration and funding best practices
- Sharing library development and management best practices
- Sharing librarian training best practices
- Facilitating library management workshops for local teacher-librarians in the host country
- Strategizing about how to strengthen the impact of our work
- Celebrating our accomplishments with honored guests
- Share national traditions during a cultural evening
- Getting to know each other and have fun with our global community!
The next Summit will be in March 2024. The African Library Project is delighted that the Kenyan partners, Kibabii University and Rongo University, will be hosting all of ALP’s partnering organizations, core staff and volunteers, and local teacher-librarians. Most of the activities will take place in Migori County in the Southwestern region of Kenya. If you are a representative of an ALP Partner organization, please refer to the Global ALP chat for more details and/or contact your Country Liaison for details!
The African Library Project supports the attendance of Partners and Teacher-Librarians through its donations. If you want to donate to support the summit, please learn how here.
What’s a Culture Corner?
A Culture Corner is an area of the library that displays items from the community and helps preserve local cultures. Many ALP libraries keep a table or area to display traditional tools, foods, crafts, clothing, weapons, and/or household objects. Typically, objects are labelled in the local language and/or English.
Many Botswana primary school libraries build a low round wall in the library to house their Culture Corner and represent a rondavel. A rondavel is a traditional circular structure or hut with a dry grass roof, popular in Southern Africa. Cultural Corners are a welcoming area for people of all ages, and oftentimes used as a space for telling stories.
Culture Corners became a best practice among ALP libraries and is included in the ALP Librarian Manual, “How to Set Up and Run a Small Library in Africa” (page 122). The idea was shared during a Best Practices Summit and is now a common addition to many libraries to help carry on a library’s community history and traditions.
View photo albums and more!
- 2022: Virtual Sessions (Watch Malawi Session | Watch Kenya Recorded Session)
- 2020: 7th Biennial Summit took place in Lesotho (view photo album)
- 2017: 6th Biennial Summit took place in Botswana (read the blog post)
- 2015: 5th Biennial Summit took place in Ghana (view photo album)
- 2013: 4th Biennial Summit took place in Malawi (view photo album)
- 2011: 3rd Biennial Summit took place in Eswantini (view photo album)
- 2009: 2nd Biennial Summit took place in Lesotho (view photo album)
- 2008: 1st Biennial Summit took place in Botswana (view photo album)
2022 Virtual sessions
Due to COVID-19 policies and enforced travel restrictions, the 2022 Summit was held virtually as two mini sessions. This allowed us to invite everyone who supports our work to join. Although the virtual sessions do not come close to replacing the power of an actual in-person gathering, they did allow for our community to hear from our Malawi and Kenyan Partners to present about their country and best practices for their work. There was also time for an open dialogue for the entire community.
Promoting African Children’s Literature
African Library Project is proud to do its part in expanding access to books in Africa one library at a time. However, we know that tackling this issue requires supporting the growth of local publishing within Africa. We also believe children in the United States equally benefit from having access to more African literature. To shine a spotlight on these efforts, here are some African literary partners we are proud to support!