African Library Project

African Book Safari: New Mexico and New York (Sharon Allen)

05/14/2016 to 03/15/2017
Los Alamos NM

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 ...

Sharon Allen. I am a very recently retired primary teacher with a life-long love of children's books and a long-lived fascination with the African continent. Knowing retirement was looming, I set a goal to somehow get my extensive personal collection of children's books to Africa where it might somehow make a real difference in the lives of children. I held fast to my hope that there might somehow be a way to make this connection both personal and educational to students on both sides of the globe. I thank God for the internet because I could not have found a more perfect match and answer to my dreams than the African Library Project!

With funds collected at my retirement party and from other generous friends, relatives and and school staff, I presently have enough books and shipping funds for 6 primary school libraries! My present plan is to first educate my former elementary school population and then to enlist the help of various service clubs to help collect more books, sort, count, pack, and ship at least these 6 libraries to Sierra Leone, Botswana and Kenya. (And if all goes well I'll eventually be able to visit those schools and see these books in the hands of smiling kids!)

Long term I'd like to see this become an ongoing effort at my former school and eventually branch out to include all the schools in our small community.

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

Books can change lives and open windows to the world of possibilities for every child!
From a child: "We want the African children to laugh and enjoy all the same books we get to read every day!"

About our African Partners...

Updated 12/2/16: Sending 4 primary libraries to Botswana, 3 primary libraries to Kenya, and 1 primary library to Sierra Leone. These are all IN THE MAIL as of this date!! Two more libraries scheduled for Swaziland in March.

Our first library has now been packed and shipped on the first leg of it's journey to the Education for All Primary School serving 117 students

Kambogo Primary School, Suna Migori
Dr. Williams Primary Baptist School, Mbita
Rongo Primary School, Rongo

Palapye Central Primary School
Maunatlala Primary School
Moreomabele Primary School
Sebeso Primary School

a primary school yet to be named
a middle school yet to be named

Please contribute these kinds of books...

For the primary school libraries: Books at U.S. pre-school to 4th grade reading level
For middle school library: Books from 4th-8th grade reading level

For any library: Educational games and puzzles, teacher materials

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

In Los Alamos, New Mexico: Please collect and save books! Books can be dropped off in Los Alamos at my house, 926 Tewa Loop or I can arrange to pick up the books from you. The next shipment will go out in mid-February 2017.

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

While some of the funding for the shipping of these libraries is already in place, we still need more! BOOKS JUST KEEP ON COMING, and we must have the funds to be able to ship them. I have committed to 10 libraries so the need is great! Please plan to support all fund-raising efforts of the Aspen School service clubs during the next school year. Watch the LA Monitor and LA Daily Post for progress updates and photos!

Here are some ways that you can help...

1. Clean out your bookshelves! Save good condition children's books in a safe place.
2. Pick up children's books at garage sales, thrift stores, the public library used bookstores etc.
3. We'll need LOADS of 2" wide packing tape.
4. Save heavy duty small and medium-size boxes.
5. We'll also need at least 100 large, heavy duty trash bags to line the boxes.
6. Save stickers to decorate the boxes and bookmarks we'll be making to include in the boxes.

Contact us to find out more

Name: Sharon Allen Donations accepted ONLINE (use code SL4-37) via the homepage or by check are welcomed! Please send to: Sharon Allen, 926 Tewa Loop, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Write: African Library Project on the memo line. If you wish, I will send you a receipt via email.
Phone: 505-795-1570

Progress Report

Our Goal 10,000 books $5000 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 12/2/16)
9,500 books $4500 fundraising

Keep those books and dollars coming in!

USE CODE SW10-11 or SW10-15.


Many thanks go out to all who donated shipping funds at my retirement party, during my classroom purging "donate-a-thon", in cards and letters of congratulations, in Buffalo, NY at Kenmore United Methodist Church, my parents (91 years young!), my close friends, especially Dawn, relatives, my Facebook friends, my college buddies, former students and their families, retired teachers in Lockport, NY and Los Alamos, NM, and those who donated anonymously. Special thanks to my sons Ben and Nik and my brother Paul who continue to haul books wherever and whenever I ask them! With much gratitude, I thank you for helping to make my retirement dreams a reality! These libraries WILL make a difference! Join me in the challenge to make this an ongoing and continuing effort by the prosperous communities in which we are privileged to live!

Tips for Other Book Drive Organizers

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About the African Library Project

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