African Library Project

The Stories We Tell: Our Blog

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Recent blog posts

Did you know March is Women’s History Month? Though technically celebrated only in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, we believe it's important to raise awareness of how women in other countries have contributed to society in ways that can - and should - be celebrated internationally. Before this month ends, we want to stop and consider some of Africa’s most prominent women who have challenged the status quo and changed history because of it.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many folks are rushing to their local supermarket to stock up on candied hearts, flowers, and decorative cards. No matter what flavor of love you want to share or how your Valentine’s Day celebrations may vary, we are all unified by the shared sense of love and happiness Valentine’s Day brings - and also by our shared love of books and reading.

In light of these two, African Library Project put together a list of some of our favorite multicultural stories for that perfect Valentine’s Day read. Whether you’re spending time with your family or reading for one, we encourage you to enjoy these stories that celebrate diverse culture and the universal bonds of love.

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Guest blogger, Michael Gottfried details his journey with African Library Project and sending libraries to African youth.

It was a crisp fall afternoon in October 2009, when my professor, Dr. Jim Nolan, asked our Education Freshman Seminar a question that would not only influence my Penn State experience and impact my life, but change the lives of many others as well. 

Dr. Nolan explained how a former student was working in the Peace Corps in Lesotho, and how his school was in dire need of books to help improve the quality of education.  That student reached out to Dr. Nolan and explained how an organization called the African Library Project helped schools like his, and he encouraged Penn State to get involved.  On that autumn afternoon, Dr. Nolan brought the idea to our class, explained its impact and pitched the idea to us.  He asked, “Who is willing to step up and take the lead on this?” 

I don’t usually make decisions or commitments that quickly.  With a split second to decide, I chose to take the risk and raise my hand.  As a future teacher, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to help others, while helping improve education. 

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books for africaOne 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.