African Library Project

Kenyasi No. 1

03/10/2011 to 04/25/2011
San Francisco CA

We are working with the African Library Project to provide books to eager readers in Africa who have very few books. Please help us by collecting and delivering gently used books or by raising money to help pay for shipping to Africa. It takes only 1000 books and $500 (plus a little elbow grease!) to start a single library and make a huge difference in children’s lives.

This book drive is organized by ...

Nicole Allensworth and Forest Hill resident Mira Foster are librarians at San Francisco State University. Nicole's daughter Juliana Grosvenor is a proud reader and student at Live Oak School in San Francisco.

We want to start a library in Africa because...

One reader's finished book is another reader's opportunity. We want to spread the joy of books and reading to our new friends in Ghana!

About our African Partners...

Kenyasi No. 1 is a new library and ICT center in the Asutifi District of Ghana’s Brong Ahafo region. The library is located in the middle of a gold mining community and will have an ICT center with Internet access. The facility will be a place where students go to study during their vacations, and learners of all ages will go for research, entertainment, and their personal hobbies.
Even public school costs money in Ghana, and some families cannot afford school fees for their children. Other children may be forced into illegal gold mining, and when students do graduate they are often hungry for resources to stay informed and educated. The Asutifi Graduates and Students Union started programs and facilities to meet these needs, including Kenyasi No. 1 and two other libraries in the area. Let’s help them fill their library with books to get the community reading!

Please contribute these kinds of books...

Books at U.S. pre-school to 8th grade reading level, especially paperbacks! In addition, here are the requests from our friends from the Kenyasi library:
a. English, Stories, Science, ICT and other guides for primary and Junior High School.
b. Economics, Accounting, Information Technology (ICT) and Management for Senior High School
c. Community Development books, Reference books and Public Administration books for Tertiary Students

Here's how you can contribute your books...

From now until April 15th, drop off books at the Live Oak school (1555 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94107) OR Mira's desk in Library Annex II of the SF State campus (Winston and North State Drive, San Francisco)
OR Bring your books to the Forest Hill Association's Egg Hunt on Saturday April 23rd! This will be your last chance!
Email to arrange a pickup!

We need to raise funds for shipping the books...

... and you really helped us out! We met our goal! Thank you!
- If you're feeling extra generous, you can make a tax deductible donation to African Library Project by check or Paypal. If you put “G1-19” in the notes/message field it will help us meet our $300 international shipping cost. Thank you!

Here are some ways that you can help...

We especially need fun science books and reference books for all ages. Email or call to arrange a pickup.

Contact us to find out more

Name: Mira Foster
Phone: (415) 823-3352

Name: Nicole Allensworth
Phone: (415) 823-3352

Progress Report

Our Goal 1000 books $550 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 4/27/2011)
1105 good books $795 fundraising

We've cleaned out our bookshelves, and now you can do it too! Our Librarians at Kenyasi No. 1 have sent us great requests for what they need, and the community would appreciate books and resources for all ages.

The Kenyasi No. 1 book drive is over and was a success! on April 25th we shipped 17 boxes (650 pounds of good books, some games and a Leapfrog Leappad ) via US postal service ($295 media mail) to the New Orleans warehouse where they will board a shipping container for Ghana. $300 will go to pay for the international shipping, and the rest will go towards ALP projects and/or other book drives.


Special thanks to our SF State eaters for helping us raise $181 from our April 12/13 bake sale. Thank you for eating cake in the name of literacy on Wednesday March 30! We made $200 from your generous donations (and appetites). Special thanks to Diane Merkadeau, Shiho Schummer, Chris Miles, Anne Ross, Henry Flynn and Kendall Jones for baking for our bake sale and for Isabel Zarrow, Helen Nadel and Riley Kramer for helping us sell with style.
Thank you also to our attendees at the Mancala tournament on March 19th. We raised over $100.
Henry Flynn of SF State's library rocks for keeping and giving us book boxes for shipping our library. Also, the SF State Lion's Club gave the proceeds to their spring coffee and snack sales for the cause! Thank you readers, eaters, fundraisers and all donors for your help!

Tips for Other Book Drive Organizers

- It might be more than $200 for domestic shipping, so be prepared. We avoided lines by going to a post office open late at night.
- If you're having a bake sale, cupcakes, 7 layer bars and anything chocolate sell well!
- Be clear with donors about where rejected books might go if they don't get accepted for the library. We said we'd give ours to the Friends of SF Public Library, where most of our donors would have sent their books anyway.
- We had the best luck when we asked individuals rather than institutions for support.
- Arranging for book drop-offs rather than pick-ups helps avoid donations of inappropriate books, but we didn't mind helping friends and neighbors with their spring cleaning for a good cause.

Share this Book Drive Page

About the African Library Project

Learn more about the African Library Project at
You can 'like' us at - get updates, inspiration and more!