African Library Project

Your Donated Books + Trained Librarians = Literacy + Learning

ALP’s formula for creating libraries that change lives relies on book drive organizers to fill library shelves and librarians trained in running a library.

Richard Msachi, Assistant Librarian at Chaminade Secondary School in Zomba, Malawi, explains the impact of the ALP library at his school: “The books have improved the reading culture among our students. There were some students who rarely visited the library but with the coming of these books, I can see that almost every student wants to be in the library. The books have also helped our students prepare for their year-end exams. Teachers are using these books for their lessons. Thanks to you, Chaminade is not the same any more. It has changed for the better.”

Richard was one of 21 teacher librarians, who attended a two-day training session in December at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. The training was organized by teacher librarian, Jessy Mphunda, who had won a $1000 grant from the Tate Family Foundation at ALP’s 2017 Summit in Botswana.

Lidia Chiota1


As Professor Richard Tambulasi, Chancellor College Principal, said, “The success of libraries depends on how knowledgeable the people managing them are. The significance of a library can never be overemphasized. A good library, apart from having a good collection, needs a well knowledgeable librarian.”

Guided by the ALP Manual, each facilitator selected content he/she was comfortable with and developed his/her own content and training modes. Trainees were involved in group discussions, practical work as well as lectures. Most facilitators used learner-centered approaches.

Topics included:

  • Why have a library
  • Setting up the library—the committee, the room, the materials
  • Library records
  • Classifying books
  • Shelving
  • Sending thank you notes to book drive organizers

Professor Tambulasi charged the libarians to take their lessons seriously. “It is our hope and belief that you will make a difference in as far as school libraries are concerned. Go out there and let your light shine. Make your libraries vibrant and let people notice the difference. The success of school libraries is in your hands. Use the knowledge and skills you have gained here to create better school libraries. I am assuring you that our support does not end here. We will continue to provide our support where we can.”


April 2018