Supporting public libraries

In many of the countries in which we work public libraries are often the only place where people can access books to improve their knowledge, further their education and read for their own interest and enjoyment.

This is because in many places, bookshops are scarce and even where they do exist, books are too expensive for most people to purchase.

In addition to giving people access to books and a space to read them, public libraries often also run programmes in their communities, working with schools, local groups and other organisations.

Many public libraries are funded by national governments but budgets are often very small . They therefore often struggle to keep up with the demand for new books in a broad range of categories.

Our book provision for public libraries

Sending books to public libraries means they can be used by the whole community. This includes national and city-level libraries as well as smaller, more rural libraries and those in informal settlements or slums.

The books we send range from children’s early readers and stories, fiction and non-fiction for young adults to leisure readers and adult non-fiction books on life skills such as health and agriculture.

As well as providing public libraries with new books we also partner with them on specific projects, such as our  Children’s Corners programme:

Our Children’s Corners programme aims to create child-friendly spaces in African public libraries filled with brand –new inspiring children’s books. In addition to new books, libraries also receive a grant to purchase local books and refurbish a space. In addition, librarians take part in training in working with children and help them discover books and the joy of reading.