Libraries are magical
Libraries introduce new ideas and open up new worlds. For millions, they offer the only chance to read.
But many libraries also lack the funds to buy new stock. People are faced with empty shelves and outdated, tattered books. It makes it much harder to discover how far a book can take you.
So we support libraries across the globe – providing everything from high quality children’s books to the latest medical and legal texts, always guided by what our partners tell us will make the biggest difference.
We provide brand new books to every kind of library imaginable. These include everything from large public libraries to small community and mobile libraries. These inspiring local groups are often run by volunteers and they take books into communities in vans, on motorbikes or even towed by donkeys.
We work in prison libraries too, and in refugee camps – where a library might simply be a selection of books laid out somewhere quiet – and we have a special focus on supporting libraries where book collections have been lost to disaster or conflict.
Creating places to read
In places where there are no libraries, we work with communities to set up new ones.
For example, we create Community Container Libraries, transforming shipping containers into thriving libraries. Each one contains 5,000 brand new books, funding to buy more books locally and training for the staff who will run these thriving libraries in the long-term.
We’ve also opened 150 Children’s Corners across Africa since 2010. Each gives children their own place in a library to fall in love with reading and empowers librarians to support them as they begin to read.
Sarah Ogembo, a librarian at the Kenya National Library Service, tells us how one school library programme is transforming lives.
For the past two years, Mohamed has been the librarian in charge a prison library filled with brand new books.
In rural Zimbabwe, women are using books to take charge of their families’ futures.