African Library Project

Amlak's and Dagim's African Library Project

01/29/2014 to 05/01/2014
New Haven CT

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 ...

Hi! My name is Amlak Bantikassegn. I am a recent graduate of Williams College, and I am currently working as a lab research assistant at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. I am also a volunteer at New Haven Reads.

Hi, my name is Dagim Bantikassegn. I am a sophomore in high school. I love reading books and volunteering, and this project allows me to combine these two!

New Haven Reads is fortunate enough to receive a wealth of book donations. Our goal is to use New Haven Reads as a resource and collaborate with African Library Project to help start a library in Sierra Leone.

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

We are passionate about issues regarding Africa and ways of bridging the overwhelming disparity between the resources available in the U.S. and the needs of rural areas of African countries. I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and lived there for thirteen years before I came to America; and thus, I have come to appreciate how the small things we take for granted here in the States can easily change lives of many deserving people in Africa. Therefore, my brother Dagim and I have created a collaboration between African Library Project and New Haven Reads to collect donated books and help create a library in Sierra Leone, a country ravaged by civil war in the 1990s but now is in a period of healing and progress (you can read Ishmael Beah’s book: A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier to get an idea). Many people there are eager to put their past behind them and aspire for a brighter future, and what better way to contribute to that than giving them an opportunity to read and learn! In 2014, no country should be denied the opportunity to fight illiteracy; and in the process, eradicate poverty. So please help our cause as we try to open doors, spur the imaginations of young minds, and quell the educational yearning of the Sierra Leone people.

About our African Partners...

SLM Secondary School
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Please contribute these kinds of books...

We are looking to start a secondary school library. We need books at U.S. 4th grade to 8th grade reading level.

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

If you are looking to donate books, please email me at for more information. Or you may drop them off at New Haven Reads at 45 Bristol St, New Haven, CT 06511 (with Attn: Amlak Bantikssegn, African Library Project) between 1- 6pm Monday to Friday. You can donate now until early May!!!

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

We are selling T-shirts ($10 each) in order to ship the books to Sierra Leone, which is about $500.

Here are some ways that you can help...

You may ask, "This sounds awesome Amlak! How can I help?" Well, you are in luck! You can come to New Haven Reads and help us choose books and pack boxes to be shipped to Sierra Leone, or you can help by buying the T-shirts! Honestly, any amount of donations will help us! As we say in Ethiopia, it will come back to you a hundredfold!

Contact us to find out more

Name: Amlak Bantikassegn

Name: Dagim Bantikassegn

Progress Report

Our Goal 1000 books $500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 4/25/14)
1060! books $500! fundraising

We have done it! Thank you to all the people who purchased the T-shirts and donated the books. A special thanks goes out to the Williams African Students Organization (WASO) for donating $100. All of you have directly helped in putting books in the hands of children with very little resources, and for that I am sincerely grateful.

"If spider webs unite, they will tie up a lion" - Ethiopian proverb


Thanks to the staff at New Haven Reads and the good people at African Library Project. I want to especially thank the people in Sierra Leone for their desire to read!

Tips for Other Book Drive Organizers

The best way is to find a local library or a book bank! The resources are already there for you to start a book drive there.

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About the African Library Project

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