African Library Project

The Stories We Tell: Our Blog

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Little Steps Childrens Library librarian1One of the secrets to ALP’s success in creating libraries is the work and commitment of its librarians.  The following guest blog tells the story of what motivates one librarian in a village in Malawi and why he wants to do more. By organizing a book drive, you can help him and librarians throughout Malawi realize their dreams for the children in their communities.

My name is Emmanuel Mchintha.  I am sixth born in a family of nine. I am a librarian by profession, holding a Bachelor of Library and Information Science at Mzuzu University in Malawi.

Currently am serving as children's librarian in Nkhata-bay, a center that I have established. I am responsible for coordinating activities that promote reading interest among children. That leads to the enhancement of the reading culture in the school-learners surrounding the library. I have a passion for reading, and I believe reading can transform the lives of the children in the community.

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shielaWhen Sheila Lenius, Madison, WI. Girl Scout leader, learned about how volunteers working with the African Library Project can create libraries, she could see that a book drive would be a perfect project for her daughters’ first and fourth grade troops.

“I feel bad that there are schools with no libraries with no books, and we have so much in the United States,” she said. “Even children living in poverty in this country have more than the children in Africa.  I want to make a difference.”

Guest speakers who had lived in Africa talked to the girls about living conditions in Africa.  Their presentations, “opened the girls’ eyes about the world outside Wisconsin.”

Boy with book1

Changing lives book by book is the African Library Project’s tagline.  But do you ever wonder exactly how ALP libraries change lives? 

What follows is a thank you letter from the teacher-librarian at Middlepits Primary School in Middlepits, Botswana in which she explains the impact of the ALP library at her school. 

We still need Book Drive Organizers to help create libraries in Botswana. You can help change lives there by signing up today for a book drive.

 The thank you letter tells the story.


Dear ALP,

Our school has been struggling in the past years and producing extremely below average grades. Shortage of learning resources, such as books, was then identified as one of the major causes of such a painful experience.  Since the birth of our school in 1987, achieving quality performance has been an uphill challenge, which is clearly indicated by the school performance in the Primary School Leaving Examination results.

First time attendeedAt the recent Summit in Botswana, Board Members and volunteers from the US saw firsthand that our libraries are thriving, and the teacher librarians have a great deal to teach each other and us.

Pictured here ae first time Summit delegates Joel Wakesa from Rongo University and Abbas Swaleh from Project Humanity, who soaked up our best practices and contributed new ideas about how to create great rural libraries in Western Kenya.