African Library Project

Tia, Eli, Melanie and Diane's Book Drive!

01/08/2017 to 06/30/2017
Oakland CA

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 ...

Diane volunteers at the Friends of the Oakland Library bookstore whose sales benefit the public libraries. She and her daughter, Melanie, lived in East Africa in the late 1980s, and Melanie lived in Southern Africa after college. Melanie holds a library degree and is on the library board in San Rafael, California.They both love reading and have shared this love with grandkids/niece and nephew Tia and Eli (9 years old). Tia right now is reading the Little House on the Prairie Series, and Eli is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

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

None of us can imagine not having a community library as a resource, so we are really happy to share what we can to start one somewhere else.

About our African Partners...

We are gathering about 1000 gently used or new books to help start a primary school library in Malawi They will be for Pre-school to 4th grade.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

We are looking for books at a pre-school to 4th grade reading level. Educational puzzles and games are great as well. We prefer paperbacks for shipping purposes!

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

You can send or bring your books or donations to: Melanie Cantarutti in San Rafael (316 C Street San Rafael, CA 94901) or Diane Leavitt in Oakland (6684 Sims Drive Oakland, CA 94611).

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

We need to raise about $250-$300 to send the books to New Orleans and we need to send another $250 to African Library Project to ship them from New Orleans to a port in Africa for distribution. Any funds you would like to share towards these costs would be appreciated!

Here are some ways that you can help...

You can help by donating books
You can help by donating money towards shipping
You can help us pack books (we'll have a packing party the weekend of
You can help us by telling us your favorite pre-k-4th grade books so we can include them!

Contact us to find out more

Name: Melanie
Phone: 510-292-7364

Progress Report

Our Goal 1000 books $500 fundraising

We have about 400 books and $100 collected already. Thanks to all who have donated! We can still use more and appreciate all the help.

Note- we had been working towards a book drive in December but Melanie broke her finger in October and needed surgery and we decided to delay until the next round. We are now finalizing our collection for delivery to Malawi in June!

Share this Book Drive Page

About the African Library Project

Learn more about the African Library Project at
You can 'like' us at - get updates, inspiration and more!