Enriching education

We provide brand new books to over 1,000 school libraries every year and support teachers to bring those books to life.

Home What we do Enriching education

Without books, education suffers

School libraries help teachers teach and children learn. They can transform the quality of education and send literacy rates soaring. 

But in the communities where we work, few schools have libraries. In far too many classrooms, the teacher’s only option is to read aloud from a tattered textbook or write on a chalkboard, while pupils try to copy down every word. Children’s education is limited from the start.

All over the world, we support existing school libraries and work with partners to set up new ones. We also provide books to higher and further education libraries.

Creating vibrant school libraries

There’s no such thing as a typical school library. Each one needs to respond to its students’ specific needs, which is why we always work with partners to provide carefully selected book collections. 

Last year, we provided books to 1,846 school libraries. They ranged from picture books for the youngest readers right through to revision guides for secondary school pupils preparing for exams.

We also run projects which establish new reading spaces in schools of all shapes and sizes.

The Discovery Book Boxes we provide create a mini-library for any classroom – no matter how informal. Packed with 200 books specially chosen for the pupils who will read them and a guide to support teachers, these boxes can be found everywhere from under-resourced schools to makeshift classrooms in refugee camps and disaster zones.      

Our Inspiring Readers programme provides primary schools with a larger, permanent cupboard library containing 1,250 brand new books, along with training for teachers in how to use books to enrich classroom learning and a grant to buy more locally sourced books. We also link Inspiring Readers schools with local Children’s Corners – increasing the support available for pupils and teachers.

And our Explorer Libraries programme transforms empty classrooms into libraries pupils love. We provide at least 2,000 books, plus a grant for refurbishment costs and to buy locally-published books. Our partners also train teachers to run the libraries and spark children’s imaginations.

School libraries contribute to:

SDG 4

Quality education

SDG 10

Reduced inequality

Our impact since 2017

530

School libraries established

136,725

Local books purchased

2,599

Teachers and librarians trained

Why school libraries matter

Rich, vibrant school libraries give children the power to realise their ambitions. Here are just a few stories of why books in schools are so important.

Reader story

A career shaped by books

As head of the library department at Amref International University in Kenya, Dr. Penninah Musangi shares how books have shaped her life and why they are so important to the medical students studying at the university.

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Reader story

Expanding education with books

Aaron grew up in rural Kenya with little access to books or education. Now a qualified nurse, Aaron is using books to further his studies and meet the needs of his local community.

Read more