For millions of people who have no local library, books are out of reach.
Families struggling with poverty cannot afford to buy books for their homes and in many communities schools can offer only a few tattered textbooks.
The need for books is greatest where people face conflict, displacement and discrimination – yet it is exactly these communities which are the most likely to be without a well-stocked library.
Reading offers the chance to discover new possibilities, to continue an interrupted education, to look through windows into new worlds and to start the journey toward a better future – and no one should be without books.
Creating Community Container Libraries
Every Community Container Library brings a shipping container to life as a library to support a whole community – from children learning to read to adults looking for the skills to set up a business to students studying for exams.
Stocked with more than 5,000 brand new books donated from the UK, every Community Container Library includes built in shelves, funding for locally purchased books, training for staff and volunteers to run the library and funds to run a launch event, introducing the community to their new library.
Libraries offer the chance to read about new possibilities, to find new information, to look through windows into new worlds and to start the journey towards a better future – so every Community Library will give thousands of people the opportunity to change their own lives for the better.
The first Community Container Library
The first Community Container Library has now opened in Rwanda with a focus on supporting children who would otherwise have no access to books. It is a beautiful, welcoming space packed with inspiring books and surrounded by a veranda where children can gather together and read.
Rwanda does not have a public library network, so community libraries which are often full of old tattered books or a few curriculum books or old uninspiring fiction books in schools are many children’s only opportunity to read. The books in the new Community Container Library are a vital new resource, and children particularly love sitting together sharing and interacting with the sound and pop-up books. See how the library is changing lives in our short film:
We would like to thank the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting the first Voyager Container Library. Find out more about how players support our work.
The new Zanzibar Community Container Library
Thanks to funding from the African Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) – a grant co-led by Dubai Cares and implemented by the International Publishers Association (IPA) – we’ve been able to create a new Community Container Library in the city of Dunga in Zanzibar.
For a community that had little to no access to high-quality reading materials, this library offers a space where children can enjoy reading, young people can study for exams and adults can read for pleasure and learn new skills.
“We are excited that a library has been set up in our region. This library will help us greatly. We can now access books easily within Dunga area. We used to spend a lot of time and transport money to go to Ungunja library. This library is a great relief. We can simply walk or cycle to the library. The library has a variety of books to cater for all age groups. Everyone in the community can find a book to read.”
– Said Musa, Head of Administration Department, Kati District
Be a part of the next Community Container Library
We hope to open many more Community Container Libraries in the years to come and focus on bringing these thriving libraries to those who need them most – particularly displaced people. It costs around £30,000 to create a Community Container Library.