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 1,481 small libraries in Botswana, Cameroon, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Ghana. We have made over 1100 partnerships in the U.S. with schools, companies, individuals, youth groups, Scouts, and families. We have shipped over 1,500,000 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  

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

Was this review helpful? 
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  

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've done six book drives now, with my most recent soon to be on its way to Ghana. This is a project that connects children, communities, and people in the US and in Africa with one another. I typically solicit donations from people at work, from schools, and from my community. I always meet new people and am able to spread the joy that comes from making a real difference in the world with this project. Being a hardcore bookworm, it is by far my favorite, and the most impactful work I do. The best part is the light on people's faces when they bring me their book selections; those who love to read love to share that with others, and knowing these may well be the first books children receive is all the more precious.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to spread the word. It is easier and more fulfilling than you might think to start a book drive.

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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Rating: 5 stars  

Running a book drive for African Library Project was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had as a volunteer. I received letters from teachers, librarians, and the school principal about how excited they were to receive the books I would be sending. African Library Project does a fantastic job at finding people and schools who will really appreciate the effort of volunteers and will put the books to good use. The fact that African Library Project is completely volunteer-run never ceases to amaze me. Anyone who has the time and the resources should hold a book drive!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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?

2013

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Thank you, Laura. Reviews like this warm our hearts:)

Rating: 5 stars  

The African Library Project has a unique and tremendously effective relationship with African partners in six (and counting!) countries. It is this partnership, along with model of organizing book drives in the U.S. to supply beautiful, gently used books to rural schools and communities in Africa that led me to be on the ALP board for six years and continue involvement as a volunteer and donor. Can you imagine an all-volunteer organization that can establish over 1,000 libraries in just seven years -- with lots of book-drive organizers thanking ALP for the privilege of collecting books and funds for shipping them? And wanting to do another book drive? This happens often because the process is fun and rewarding, and it works.

ALP's African partners are dedicated in receiving the book shipping containers, delivering them to the new school and community libraries, training the teacher-librarians, and following up. I have visited dozens of the libraries with ALP-donated books and seen the pleasure and learning the books bring to African children and adults.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Spread the word even more about the joy of giving books a second life in Africa and promote more messages/videos from ALP's African partners and post them on ALP's website and Facebook pages.

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?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with the African Library Project has been life-changing, not only for myself but for the hundreds of thousands of children in Africa over the next couple generations that will benefit from our efforts. The book drive I was a part of collected over 55,000 children's books, starting 47.5 libraries throughout 5 different countries of Africa. While the collection of books and funds to ship comes from book drives like ours, it takes an organization like the African Library Project to centralize these efforts and coordinate the logistics behind such a monumental project. They have sparked an educational revolution and created a streamlined process to provide a vital cornerstone of education to schools that otherwise wouldn't have any books. My experiences with the African Library Project have shaped the leader I am today, while helping spread literacy abroad.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Amplify publicity efforts to get this organization a wider reach and ultimately improve the impacts they have in Africa.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful?