African Library Project

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African Libraries

How we select our
African Partner organizations


Finding great African Partners is a top priority. We look for groups whose mission and organization fit like a glove with ALP. We require a solid track record in education or library development. And we make sure that the books we offer are precisely what our partners need to increase their impact on literacy. Solid, proven leadership is key.

For efficiency and economy’s sake, each African Partner organization must have sufficient infrastructure to support the development of 30-60 libraries per year, year after year. We are glad to collaborate with local NGOs, governments, U.S. Peace Corps, or others to build on their current work and to ensure long-term sustainability.

» Learn more about our African Partners here.

» Learn about our offer and the criteria for partnership with ALP here.

How ALP library sites are selected

African communities are involved at a grass-roots level to ensure that our libraries are sustainable and well used. Any local community can apply to an ALP African Partner organization to be matched with an ALP book drive. The African Partner will vet each application to ensure that the village or school can and will contribute the space, staff, and furniture for a library. We also require a local library committee to provide supervision, create an atmosphere that encourages learning, and measure and maintain the progress of their library using ALP’s tracking system.

Our libraries come in all shapes and sizes, but each offers local students and citizens an opportunity to read a variety of material to enrich their lives.


Where we start libraries

The African Library Project establishes partnerships with African-based organizations that specialize in education, library or community development. For efficiency and economy's sake, our partners must be capable of supporting the development of 30-60 libraries per year. We work in English-speaking African countries that meet our criteria for sustainable library development. We look for countries that have a significant need for books and feature political stability, reliable transport of books to destinations, and a network of local organizations capable of organizing our books into real, working libraries. We pay close attention to a destination's ability to sustain a working library.

We have helped start libraries in 11 of Africa’s 22 English-speaking countries. We are currently active in Botswana (pdf), Ghana (pdf), Kenya (pdf), Lesotho (pdf), Malawi (pdf), Sierra Leone (pdf), and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) (pdf).