African Library Project

Senior Project for Sierra Leone

05/01/2019 to 09/01/2019
Oregon City OR

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 ...

This drive is organized by two students from the Oregon City Service Learning Academy. We are raising books for a library in Sierra Leone as part of our Senior Project. We are organizing a book drive at our school and advertising around the community in order to get donations. We are also writing letters to businesses to help cover the costs of shipping the books. We would love it if you could help us reach our goal.

Our website link:

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

One of our teachers used to teach at the Dr. Steve Ware High School in Mokanji, Sierra Leone. She asked that we help her organize a book drive to help the current Peace Corps volunteer who is teaching at the school to expand the library and get them new books. As part of our senior project requirements we will organize the book drive this spring and help to sort and pack the books for mailing in the fall.

About our African Partners...

Our books will be going to the Dr. Steve Ware High School in Mokanji, Sierra Leone. The school is a junior and senior secondary school with students between the 7th and 12 grades. The school is a community school so teachers are paid by students school fees and they receive very few supplies from the government. The current Peace Corps Volunteer asked if we could help organize a book drive to help the school get reading materials for the teachers and the students.

As part of our senior project we called the principal and the volunteer to interview them about their plans for the library. We got great insight into the types of books they want for their library and how they plan to use them.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

Our school is requesting books for all ages. Since students have varying reading levels, we are asking for:
-Picture books
-Easy reader or learning-to-read books
-Chapter books for students
-Young adult books
-K-8 academic resources (Math, Science, and English)
-Teacher resources (Math, Science, and English)
-Paperback dictionaries

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

We have already collected almost twice our goal, so we currently are not looking for any additional books. We will be donating all the extra books we cannot send to another local ALP project to pay it forward.

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

For donations to cover the cost of shipping, you can donate to our book drive through the African Library Project to help cover the container fee (out book drive code is SL7-04), or donate directly to our project to cover the USPS shipping to New Orleans. Our school policy says that students cannot collect money for projects, so contact our adviser or the school directly to make donations to cover shipping to New Orleans.

Here are some ways that you can help...

We would appreciate any donations to help cover the cost of shipping. Donations can be made directly to our advisor to cover the cost of shipping locally, or donated through the ALP to help cover the container shipping fee. Share our website and help us spread the word!

If you are local, you can tell people about our book drive. If you know someone with books to donate in the Portland, Oregon area, contact our adviser to arrange pick up or drop off books at the school. If you are part of a local buy nothing group or have a connection to a local library, please ask for donations.

Contact us to find out more

Name: Ashley Keller Project Adviser
Phone: 503-782-8250

Progress Report

Our Goal 1,000 books $500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 6/20/2019)
1964 books $205 fundraising

The students successfully collected almost 2,000 books before the end of the school year. After an initial sorting, they are packed safely at school waiting to be packed into boxes in the fall. We are still looking for donations to help cover the shipping costs.


Thanks to all those who have donated books to our drive:
Ashley Smith
Brooke Schmidt
Andrea Jones
Mary Ellen Winterhalter
Debbie Cole
Matt Schulfer, Bethany Taft and staff at OCSLA
Alma Reick and the Happy Valley Friends of the Library

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About the African Library Project

Learn more about the African Library Project at
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