AFRICAN LIBRARY PROJECT

Rating: 5 stars   33 reviews

Issues: International

Location: 5 Thistle Street Portola Valley CA 94028 USA

Mission: The African Library Project starts and improves small libraries in sub-Saharan Africa to promote literacy and education.
Results: Since 2005, we have started or improved 1,165 small libraries in Botswana, Cameroon, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Ghana. We have made over 800 partnerships in the U.S. with schools, companies, individuals, youth groups, Scouts, and families. We have shipped over 1,270,000 books to Africa serving over 1.5 million readers.
Target demographics: Africans, especially students, who have no access to books and information
Direct beneficiaries per year: 250,000 readers in new/improved libraries.
Geographic areas served: Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Sierra Leone and South Africa
Programs: small libraries in rural areas, librarian training and best practice Summits for our partners in Africa.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I became aware of the African Library Project about a year ago. As I have learned more about the organization and have gotten to know the founder Chris Bradshaw, ALP volunteers and board members, my respect and admiration have grown immensely for the important work this non-profit is accomplishing. I recently donated an item for their biennial fundraiser, Harambee, which I attended with a small group of friends. It was a party not to be forgotten with African food, dance and music, pulled together by an enormous team of volunteers! I can hardly wait for the next, however, that is not the most important part. What struck me most was how Chris and ALP are able to mobilize forces to accomplish their goals. They are a passionate group and have started over 1,411 libraries with over 1.5 million books. Wow! The collaborative efforts and sheer determination of this grass roots effort is moving and they are truly making a difference, one library at a time. I look forward to seeing their continued success.
- Barbara Hugli-Jones

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Our middle school library has been involved with the African Library Project for 9 years. This is my third year helping with the annual book drive. The organization is great because it provides plenty of information on what kind of school you are helping and supports us throughout our book drive. The website provides flyers, photos, fact sheets on African countries, and examples of presentations to advertise your book drive. African Library Project works because it is focused on building libraries and training teacher librarians. They are well organized and make helping easy. Chris Bradshaw has always been available to talk to and is ALWAYS enthusiastic about what she is doing. She inspires me to want to do all that I can to get the kids in Africa to read, to learn, and to grow.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our experience with ALP has been great on so many levels. First, the projects provide real, tangible results. We're paired with a specific school in a specific country, which really motivates donors to get involved.

Second, ALP provides so many resources and support mechanisms, it feels easy to get things up and running and to know what to do at each step. The organization is clearly well run, and the loyalty of their staff and volunteers really adds to the credibility of our project.

Finally, our ALP project has provided so many learning opportunities for my kids. We've done research on the country we're sending the books to, have planned logistics like storing and packing boxes of books, and did lots of creative work making flyers, videos, and our website to market the project.

All of these things combined have made this an experience we would highly recommend and do again in the future!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The African Library Project is an extremely well-run organization that provides an avenue for our secondary school students to engage in philanthropy on a global level. Participating in the ALP helps to create a culture of compassion and encourages students to think about how they can make a difference in the world.

I highly recommend this nonprofit!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Our middle school has been involved with the African Library Project for eight years, and we have started thirteen libraries. What's great about ALP is that the model is really easy to implement. Not only is it a truly rewarding cause, but all participants benefit greatly from the experience. It's been a great way to develop a community of service-learners at our school site. Many teachers, students and parents get involved in the collection of books, and historically we have covered the shipping costs by holding a student-run garage sale. We love this organization and will vigorously continue our support!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a book drive organizer for the African Library Project. ALP partners me with communities or schools that really wants the books we are collecting. This is a win-win volunteer project. You can save books from going into landfills here at home (yes our culture throws away good stuff) and give those books a new life where they will really be valued.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I love being able to declutter my book shelves and know that my donations will be valued and appreciated. Does it get any better that creating libraries for people that don't have them and really want them? I am so impressed with this all volunteer group. This is a real win-win all the way around.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our middle school has been associated with the ALP for a few years now. Last year was the 5th school that we helped get their own library. Our students see this as an opportunity to serve others. They willingly donate books that they have outgrown, count them, sort them and package them. They also raise the funds needed for shipping.
The African Library Project has a great organization, with helpful staff. Everything is completely explained up-front AND they also provide the opportunity to personalize their website so that we can advertise our book drive and show our progress. Our students also like knowing where the books are going and what school and grade levels they serve.
This is a great way to connect students to the world and to serve others. It also helps them to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. We are happy to be a part of such a wonderful organization

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

For several years my family has been collecting gently used children's books to support the African Library Project (ALP). I love how easy it is to connect with local groups doing book drives and how accessible the ALP staff are. This model of giving is so simple and the impact is so powerful! It's a great way for young children in America to learn about the power and importance of giving and helping others less fortunate.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I joined the African Library Project after a bicycle trip in South Africa, which made very visible the need for books and educational materials, particularly in rural areas. This nonprofit is a win-win for everyone -- African schools get books and training for librarians to sustain the libraries, U.S. volunteers get to learn about African countries, while they are recycling used children's books that otherwise would likely end up in a landfill. It's one of the few organizations which has a role for young people in the philanthropic efforts. It's a simple idea that works and changes lives one book at a time.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

We were so successful in our fund-raising efforts for the library books we shipped to Ghana this year that we have excess funds we would like to donate to your organization. It has been such a pleasure to work with the African Library Project, the whole process is so organized and the results gratifying. Keep up the good work!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?