African Library Project

Estelle M Black Book Drive

03/01/2013 to 04/30/2013
Rockford IL

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 ...

The Rockford Public Library Black History Committee, an organization dedicated to remembering the past experiences of African Americans, especially within the Rockford area. We strive to provide knowledge and opportunity for all to learn about Black History in Rockford.

Our website link:

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

We want to increase literacy in children in Malawi as well as highlight the importance of sharing knowledge across the African Diaspora. Our resources can be a resource for the children of Malawi to improve their lives and the world.

Mary McLeod Bethune, an African American educator and civil rights activist once stated "The whole world opened to me when I learned to read." As a part of the Rockford and global community, we hope to help the children of Malawi find out more about the opportunities of the world through reading.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

Fiction and Nonfiction books for reading levels pre-school through 8th grade. We especially need books for levels pre-school through 4th grade! However, any gently used, good condition book for levels pre-school through 8th grade will be accepted.

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

You can donate books in person at any Rockford Public Library location, including Main, Rock River, Montague, Lewis Lemon, East,and Rockton Centre. Location addresses are available on our website ( or call us at (815) 965-7606.

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

Contact us via email or give us a call if you or your organization would like to donate towards the shipping costs. We need $500 to ship all 1,000 books to Malawi.

Here are some ways that you can help...

To help, you can donate your used children's books or collect from friends or neighbors who have gently used children's books. You can also purchase used children's books to donate from places such as the RPL Friend's shop, Goodwill stores, Salvation Army stores or Rockford area thrift stores. We will also welcome any donations of new boxes, packing tape, or to lend a hand to pack the books for shipping. Any donation or aid is appreciated to help us provide a literary resource for the children of Malawi.

Contact us to find out more

Name: Jendaya Clark, Book Drive Organizer
Phone: 815-965-7606

Progress Report

Our Goal 1000 books $1000+ fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 6/1/13)
+2700 books $558 fundraising

Check out some examples of age-appropriate books at your local Rockford Public Library that you can donate. Donate your favorite books by well-known and lesser known authors too!

March 13th, 2013 :Wow! We have received donations from all over Rockford and even from as far as California. We appreciate all of our donations of children's books on topics including history, the rainforest, animals, space, and many other topics that can help children in Malawi learn. Don't forget that we will continuing collecting until the end of April!

April 5th, 2013: We have just over 3 weeks left of the drive and have officially received over 75% of our targeted goal! We are still accepting all donations, and remember that every book towards, and OVER, our goal means one more book to help with children's literacy in Malawi.

April 19th, 2013: WOW! We have had an enormous response from the community and not only reached, but exceeded our goal! Over 1,300 books and STILL counting. We appreciate every single book and dollar donated and our drive still isn't over yet, so we still appreciate monetary and literary donations.


Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!!!!!
We give thanks to all who supported us in the collection of our books. We more than DOUBLED our goal, and we are in the process of getting donations towards sending over 2,400 books to the children of Malawi!

We give special THANKS to:
Mr. Noel Devine for helping with storage of the books,
Ms. Truitt from Brookview Elementary School, for donation of books,
Ms. Vickie Sanders, for a long distance donation of books,
Ms. Erope Beckum, for donating towards the shipping costs,
Ms. Elizabeth Lazdins, for donating towards the shipping costs,
The Friends of the Rockford Public Library Foundation for their support,
Rockford Public Library staff and patrons, for their donations and support,
and especially Ms. Estelle Black, for honoring our library committee and our Book Drive with her legacy, and donating towards the shipping costs.

****Our acknowledgements will continue to be updated as we receive donations. We appreciate all of the help!

Tips for Other Book Drive Organizers

Be sure to ask many different people and organizations for book and monetary donations. Teachers, parents, adults and even teenagers will be willing to give their old children's books, especially to do a little Spring Cleaning!

Keep in mind the goal: To get books to the children of Africa who need those resources. Every book can bring a smile to their faces, every word helps to educate and entertain, and every dollar brings that goal one step closer to success.

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About the African Library Project

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