Frequently Asked Questions
Africans speak so many languages. Why send books in English?
We work only in Anglophone countries where English is the national language. Children often learn English once they begin school and must take a test in Form 7 in English. Doing well in this test determines their eligibility for secondary school.
What age group are your libraries targeting?
We get requests for books for preschool, elementary school, secondary school, and community libraries. You can find the grade levels for each type of library on the registration form.
Why do you only send children’s books?
We believe focusing on young people’s access to books is one of the best ways to reduce illiteracy in the long-term. We send books to schools or community groups that serve youth whose ages range from early childhood to secondary school. We welcome donations of teaching resources and vocational or technical materials where appropriate.
How do you know the books are being well used?
It is a challenge to track the progress of libraries being set up in remote areas, often without electricity or telephones. We are implementing a tracking system that uses cell phone texting technology to monitor progress and target libraries that need additional training or support. Likewise, you can visit our partner page to learn about the work of our partners in each country. They receive and verify the applications and provide training of teacher librarians to ensure books and other resources are being used as efficiently and professionally as possible.
I know a place in Africa that needs your help. Can you help them start a library?
We often get requests from Africa and the US to help with single-library projects, but we are unfortunately not able to help. The model we have created is highly efficient and economical but does not lend itself to single-library projects. We partner with large organizations in Africa that have enough infrastructure to support the development of 30-60 library projects per year, year after year. That’s because we ship 30-60 libraries at a time in containers. If you represent an organization in Africa that is actively working to support the development of many libraries annually, please do contact us to explore the possibility of partnership.
I would like to volunteer to work in Africa with your libraries. Is this possible?
We currently do not have the ability to take volunteers in Africa, but welcome volunteerism in the U.S. Connect with us!
What kinds of schools volunteer to collect and send books? Can younger children help?
Children of all ages are already making a difference! Elementary, middle, high schools and colleges are all sponsoring book drives for the African Library Project.
Our school would like to collect books, but we don’t have an easy way to raise money to ship the books. Can we still participate?
We can help you with ideas about how to raise the funds to cover shipping costs. Fortunately, we are able to ship the books at a very low rate. You can mail 1000 paperback books for $150-$350. Simply use the U.S. Postal Service Media Mail rate to mail your books to our shipper’s warehouse, then send a check to us for $250 to cover the additional shipping and related expenses. Check out the fundraising section of our website for ideas or Book Drives in Action to see what other book drive organizers are doing.
I don’t have books to donate, but I would like to support this project. Can I make a donation?
Of course! We appreciate any contribution you can make. Click Take Action and make a donation online or send a check to PO Box 24556 Oakland, CA 94623.
I’m from a media organization. How can I get more information and resources to feature African Library Project?
Thank you for your interest in featuring African Library Project! You can go to our resource center to get photos, videos, and fact sheets about African Library Project, U.S. book drives, African Partners, and African literacy. For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you registered as a 501(c)3 organization?
Yes! Our Fed Tax ID# is 65-1261685.