To coordinate book drives in the United States and partner with African schools and villages to start small libraries.
About the Organization:
Founded in 2005, the African Library Project mobilizes volunteers in the United States to collect, sort, pack, and ship gently used children's books to rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa, where local partners organize the received books into libraries. As of May 2013, the organization had provided more than a million books for over a thousand libraries in ten of Africa's twenty-two English-speaking countries — including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria, and Cameroon. An all-volunteer organization, ALP directs 100 percent of donated funds to library development.
The African Library Project currently is active in Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Lesotho, Ghana, and Botswana. To request books for a library, African schools and communities apply through a local partner organization and agree to provide space, bookshelves, and staffing for the library and then specify the types of books most likely to create the greatest impact. Approved library projects are then matched with U.S.-based schools or organizations that agree to collect a thousand books and raise $500 for shipping costs. For newly established libraries in Africa, ALP provides a detailed manual and limited training with respect to operating and sustaining a small library, as well as follow-up assistance in the areas of evaluation and best practices.
Visitors to the site can view videos about ALP's work, the children who send books, and those who read them; check out book drives currently under way; or start a book drive of their own. Visitors also can check out volunteer opportunities, sign up for the organization's e-newsletter, and/or make a donation.
The African Library Project is supported by funding and/or in-kind gifts and services from individuals, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations.