One million brand new books provided to readers around the world in 2021
Date Published: 5 January 2022
Book Aid International is delighted to announce that in 2021 it sent a total of 1,007,449 brand new, carefully selected books to readers in 24 countries. All of these books were donated by UK publishers and the book trade, and they ranged from picture books for the youngest readers right up to the latest law and medical books to support practising professionals.
In addition to returning to near pre-pandemic levels of book provision, the charity trained 609 librarians and teachers – giving them the skills and confidence to support reading in their own communities – created 133 school libraries and funded the purchase of over 28,000 locally published books.
Other highlights from 2021 included:
- The launch of the charity’s new Books to Go programme which has given more than 14,000 children in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Zanzibar and Kenya the opportunity to read at home in future lockdowns
- The opening of the charity’s second Community Container Library in rural Zanzibar which brought books to 57,000 people for the first time
- The charity’s London Book Fair Excellence Award winning programme Inspiring Readers exceeding its goal of reaching 250,000 African primary school pupils
At the heart of all of these accomplishments is the charity’s network of partners who receive the books the charity provides and work to ensure that people have the opportunity to read in their own communities.
These partners range from grassroots groups to international NGOs to networks of schools and universities – but they all share a belief in the power of books. In 2021, the charity welcomed 55 new partners into its network and supported a total of 150 partners around the world.
None of Book Aid International’s accomplishments in 2021 would have been possible without the support of the UK publishing industry. 107 book donors supported Book Aid International’s work in 2021, donating over 880,000 brand new books.
The charity’s Chief Executive Alison Tweed, thanked everyone who supported the charity in 2021, saying:
“I am delighted that this year in spite of all the challenges we faced we were once again able to provide more than one million brand new books to readers around the world. Those books are giving millions of people the opportunity to read – and with that opportunity comes the power to realise their ambitions. We could not do what we do without our many supporters – the publishers who donate books, the individuals, trusts and companies who support us financially and the many friends who help us spread the word. We look forward to continuing to support readers together in 2022.’
You can read more highlights from 2021 here: https://bookaid.org/news/2021/12/20/reasons-to-celebrate/
Notes to editor
High resolution images can be downloaded using the links below. More images are available on request.
The final shipment of books from 2021 on its way to Tanzania: https://bookaid.brightdash.app/sharing/cbe994e5-901f-49d6-82e5-c3dc826a8916?shareType=ASSET_SHARE
The new Community Container Library in rural Zanzibar: https://bookaid.brightdash.app/sharing/194000bf-cf64-42fc-b5b0-e6822f7e80cf?shareType=ASSET_SHARE
Reading at home together in Kenya thanks to the Books to Go project: https://bookaid.brightdash.app/sharing/c4efa751-38fa-4a9d-b959-d1f4a810458d?shareType=ASSET_SHARE
A teacher supporting primary school pupils at an Inspiring Readers school in Gwanda, Zimbabwe. © KB Mpofu/Book Aid International https://bookaid.brightdash.app/sharing/aba30cc3-891f-4744-bd6c-b39797ab50e6?shareType=ASSET_SHARE
Interviews and further comment
Book Aid International staff are available for interview.
About Book Aid International
Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Every year, the charity aims to ship around one million brand new books to thousands of communities around the world where people have very few opportunities to access books and read.
Book Aid International works with an extensive network of libraries, schools, hospitals, NGOs and other partners to ensure that the books it sends reach as many people as possible. The charity estimates that the books it provides are available to 24 million people every year.
In addition, Book Aid International runs projects which build the capacity of librarians and teachers to support people and communities. Visit www.bookaid.org for more information or join the conversation on twitter: @book_aid.