African Library Project

Book Drive Success Stories

Book Drive Success Stories

Book Drive Success Stories


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Teacher Librarian Kristen Lee of Escondido Elementary in Stanford, California, partnered with a local high school for a successful and educational service project.

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In 2008, River Trail Middle School of Johns Creek, Georgia, assigned the same book to every student and teacher to read.  After reading The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall, the school decided to help change the world using their own gifts.  They began starting libraries in Africa through the African Library Project.  Now they are at 27 libraries…and still counting.

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School Librarian Amy Sears of Sperreng Middle School united the schools of Lindbergh School District of Missouri to start 5 libraries, learn about Africa, and have lots of fun during Spirit Week!

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The principals of California School District in Missouri “got punked” to reward their students for their amazing book drive.

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Scouts and Other Youth Groups


When Samantha and her Brownie leader agreed that their second-grade troop would do a book drive for a library in Africa, they thought that the troop would collect 1000 books for one primary school library in Malawi. But when the PTA president at Field Elementary School in Elmhurst, Il, heard about the book drive, she suggested including all the Girl Scout troops at Field. The book drive grew from one troop to five, and the parents and children at Field donated not 1000 books but over 5000. The result: four new primary school libraries in Malawi.

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Children, Teens, and Families 

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Four year old Amelia is our youngest book drive organizer ever!

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Sixth Grader Spencer Ames started a library in Swaziland and did a TedX talk about it.

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Starting a library with ALP is a popular service project for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.

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College Students


While an undergrad at Penn State, Mike Gottfried mobilized sports teams, fraternities, sororities, and more to start 33 libraries!

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The Unite Africa club at the University of Maryland brought together African students as well as other students and community members who wanted to help start a library in South Africa.

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In May of 2016, I retired after 30 years of teaching mostly kindergarten and first grade. Primary teachers tend to be book lovers and I am no exception! Over the years I had created an extremely extensive library of high quality children’s books to use in my classroom.

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Carol Younge thought only groups could do book drives, but after being inspired by another retiree book drive organizer, she signed up and surprised herself by exceeding her goal.

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Marilyn Walters was 79 when she started her first book drive. She had some unexpected help.

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