How we create Libraries in Africa
All it takes to create a single library in Africa is 1,000 gently-used children’s books and approximately $650 toward shipping.
In North America, our volunteer book drive organizers 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!
Each book drive is matched with a specific African school or community that has applied for a library. Each school or community that applies is vetted to ensure that are able to provide the space, bookshelves and staffing for the library. They also specify the kinds of books needed for greatest impact. Over the course of a book drive, North American book drive organizers learn about the African country and communities they are impacting.
Check out our calendar below to see our upcoming mailing deadlines!
Throughout the year we seek book drive organizers to collect 1,000 new or gently-used children’s books to start libraries in various countries in Africa. Applications come from communities, primary schools, and secondary schools. For more detail on the specific grade levels, see our book drive organizer sign-up form for more detail.
In 2023, we will be shipping approximately 30 – 60 libraries to each of the following countries in Africa: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho, South Africa, and Uganda. Countries are added to the book drive sign-up form approximately four months from its mailing deadline. Stay tuned for announcements when sign-ups open on our social media accounts or sign-up to receive email alerts.
Winter/Spring Book Drives
Summer/Fall Book Drives
September 1, 2023
October 1, 2023
November 1, 2023
5-step overview of a successful book drive
Step 1: Register and Plan the Perfect Book Drive
- Register for a book drive by clicking the ‘Start a Book Drive’
- Identify places where you can find books
- Spread the word about your book drive
- Brainstorm how to fundraise about $650 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
Step 4: Mail, Donate, and Leave the Rest to Us
- Mail your boxes using US Postal Service Media Mail (this can cost up to $400 depending on postal rates)*
- 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.
Step 5: Multiply your impact
- Write a review on your experience on GreatNonprofits.org
- Share your book drive story and inspire others by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send our team photos of your book drive experience to share with our community
- Spread the word by telling others about African Library Project