Books for all
In the communities where we work many people live on just a few pounds a day, so they cannot afford to buy books for their homes. Schools are also often poorly resourced and a single book can be shared between many pupils.
Libraries in these communities offer the only chance to access books and read, yet they often lack funds to purchase new books. This leaves thousands without the books which might enrich, improve and change their lives.
Every year, we provide hundreds of libraries around the world with brand new books for readers from all walks of life. These books range from picture books for children just learning to read, right up to law and medical texts to support higher education students.
Supporting public, community and mobile libraries
The books we send reach government-run public libraries, community libraries led by NGOs and local groups and mobile libraries that take books by van, motorcycle and even donkeys out into communities. By supporting a wide range of libraries, we can create the opportunity for thousands of people to access books.
Librarians are key to communities being able to make the most of the books we supply. Therefore, all of our projects, whether focussing on children’s services and schools or hospital libraries, include a training element to develop the skills of the people in charge of the library. These workshops are designed and led by professional librarians and teachers from our programmes team based in both the UK and Kenya.
We also partner with the librarians on specific projects, such as our Children’s Corners programme.
Below are some examples of the different kinds of ways we support communities in accessing books.
Creating Community Container Libraries
Community Container Libraries focus on supporting those who live rurally and would otherwise have no access to books. These libraries are created by repurposing shipping containers to create a local learning hub. Each is filled with more than 5,000 brand new books to support a whole community. Click here to read more about our Community Container Libraries.
Advocating for reading
It is vital that librarians are empowered to promote the value of reading in their own communities, so every year we provide grants for our partners to hold reading promotion events. These events introduce thousands of people to their local library and to the value of reading.
Books for prisons
Many people who are incarcerated in African prisons did not have the chance to complete education, and so they may not have the skills to thrive upon release. Books provide people serving prison sentences with the opportunity to continue an interrupted education and even to gain qualifications that can help them rebuild their lives.
Every year, we provide thousands of brand-new books to prison libraries across Africa. These books range from early literacy books right through to law and higher education texts, offering everyone the chance to read.