How we create Libraries in Africa
All it takes to create a single library for students in need is 1000 gently used children’s books and $500 toward shipping.
In the United States, our volunteers collect, sort, and pack gently used children’s books and raise modest funds to ship each library. Hosting a book drive is a fun and engaging way to make a positive impact with your friends, family, and co-workers!
We match each book drive with a specific African school or community in need. Each school or community is required to provide the space, bookshelves and staffing for the library, which encourages sustainability. They also specify the kinds of books needed for greatest impact. Over the course of their project, U.S. book drive organizers learn more about the African country and communities they are impacting.
Check out our calendar below to see our upcoming mailing deadlines!
We are still accepting book drive registrations! However due to the COVID-19 epidemic, many of our 2020 shipments may be postponed. We are currently seeking active book drive organizers to collect 500 to 1000 gently used children’s books to start libraries in Uganda and Kenya.
Winter/Spring Book Drives
Feb 1, 2021
Summer/Fall Book Drives
December 1, 2020
5-step overview of a successful book drive
Step 1: Register and Plan the Perfect Book Drive
- Register for a book drive by clicking Take Action
- Identify places where you can find books
- Spread the word about your book drive
- Brainstorm how to fundraise about $500 for shipping
- Learn about your school match and the African nation and community you’ll be contributing to
Step 2: Collect and Sort Your books
- Figure out the types of books you’ll need to collect
- Create collection opportunities in convenient locations
- Strive to collect books that are culturally diverse and representative
- Be creative and keep people updated on your progress
- Sort your book donations (as you go) using our Book Drive Guidelines and Do and Don’t list
Step 3: Pack Your Books Carefully
- Gather the recommended packing materials
- Keep count of the number of books packed in each box
- Pack your boxes securely and to a weight of no more than 40 pounds each
- Affix your African Library Project mailing labels
* The mailing label and packing slip will be provided by your container manager.
Step 4: Mail, Donate, and Leave the Rest to Us
- Mail your boxes using US Postal Service Media Mail (about $250)* or use an alternative method
- Send the remaining $250 as an international shipping donation to us
- Email your book drive summary stats
- Celebrate! You did it. Stay tuned for updates about your books and be sure to follow us on social media.
*Note: A typical library of 1000 mostly paperback books will weigh about 400-500 pounds and cost around $250. A library of more than 1,000 books or comprised of a lot of heavy, hardcover books will increase mailing costs.
Step 5: Multiply your impact
- Share your book drive story and inspire others by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or filling out this form
- Send our team photos or a written essay of your book drive experience to share with our community
- Spread the word by telling others about African Library Project