September 30, 2011
I had heard about Lubuto's work before I traveled to Zambia, but after actually seeing the country for myself, I knew that the work the Lubuto Library Project does could be a game-changer for some of the neediest and yet overlooked in the country. I met many children in my own travels who are absolutely hungry for knowledge, and I toured schools that have all of the best intentions, but they struggle to accommodate full-to-overflowing classes of disparate age ranges with very few resources. Libraries are a perfect fix: they encourage community; they provide marginalized groups with inspiration, tools for learning, and much-needed skills; and they provide a window to the rest of the world in the diversity of their collections that many Zambian children seem to seek out. Jane Kinney Meyers and the Lubuto staff are dogged in their pursuit of such spaces for Zambian communities. In assisting with the cataloging of collections, I found people committed to a thoroughness and big-picture view that will help these libraries to become foundations for their communities. I also have been extremely impressed by Lubuto's commitment to quality resources in their libraries, as opposed to truly second-rate books and materials that send a message of lesser value to those who will use them. I think Lubuto would benefit of course from increased funding and also from a campaign for greater exposure. If more people know about this inspired project, they will be moved to support it.
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