create Libraries in Africa
To create a library in Africa, collect 1,000 gently-used children’s books and fundraise approximately $650 for shipping.
Anyone in North America who is interested in creating a library in Africa can register to become a volunteer Book Drive Organizer with the African Library Project. These volunteers run a book drive to collect, sort, pack, and ship gently-used children’s books and raise modest funds to ship books to a school or community in need of books. Hosting a book drive is a fun and engaging way to make a positive global impact with your friends, family, classmates, fellow scouts or club members, and colleagues!
Know your impact
Each book drive is matched with a specific African school or community that has applied for a library. The application process enables us to ensure the recipient has the proper structure to create and sustain a library (space, bookshelves, and staffing for the library, etc.) and to also learn what kinds of books are needed for the greatest impact. Over the course of a book drive, Book Drive Organizers learn about the country and communities the books they send will impact.
Paying for International Shipping
Each book drive will have international shipping expenses to pay for. To pay for shipping, please only use the links that are for book drive shipping and be sure to enter your book drive code (ex. M10-98).
We are matching book drives to schools and communities in need of books in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho, South Africa, and Uganda. Each country receives a sea container that is between 30 – 60 libraries. For these reasons, we only accept book drive registrations for a couple countries at a time and dates are spread throughout the year.
Winter/Spring Book Drives
February 15, 2024
March 15, 2024
May 15, 2024
June 15, 2024
Summer/Fall Book Drives
November 15, 2023
what is a mailing deadline?
Mailing deadlines are the dates when Book Drive Organizers need to ship the books by. Books are shipped via USPS media mail to a warehouse in New Orleans, LA, USA. And we will provide you with the mailing labels to print.
How Far in Advance Can I Register?
Countries are added to the registration form approximately four months from the mailing deadline. To receive notices of new book drive opportunities follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, or visit this page often. Or select ‘A shipment at a later date’ at registration in the Book Drive Preference section to get on our radar.
a successful book drive in 5-Steps
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