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Lubuto Model

Lubuto’s full range of preservation, reading promotion, educational and social service activities are a model for the valuable role libraries can play in national development, particularly in countries like Zambia where over half of the population are youth and one-fifth have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS and find themselves outside the reach of mainstream services. The significance of publicly accessible libraries as a gathering place and safe haven cannot be underestimated.

Reading Promotion for All Zambians

Though Lubuto identifies and includes Zambian language materials in our collections, there is an insufficient number of local-language books available to maintain and develop reading fluency. To address this, Lubuto initiated several important activities:

Preserving Zambian stories on LubutoCollections.org Lubuto volunteers identify and digitize Zambian stories long out of print but preserved in libraries worldwide and created this website as a repository for these books to inspire young readers and encourage adaptation of the stories to new picture books, radio plays and other uses.

Hear Lubuto Library Project Advisor, Mulenga Kapwepwe, speak about the significance of Lubuto's accomplishments in bringing back Zambia's great literature for children and preserving it for future generations in a digital archive of these previously lost materials, and how Lubuto believes that

Teaching children’s librarianship With the University of Zambia (UNZA), Lubuto proposed and identified a scholar to teach children’s literature and library services in Zambia. Professor Mary Wagner is a 2010-2011 Fulbright Professor in UNZA’s Dep’t. of Library & Information Studies. One of her goals is to create a service-learning relationship that will give students experience and knowledge of high-quality services to children and youth in Lubuto Libraries. Zambian Board on Books for Young People (ZBBY) In partnership with the Zambia Library Association, Lubuto established ZBBY to bring together writers, illustrators, publishers and educators to produce high-quality bilingual literature for children and young adults. Affiliation with the National Arts Council of Zambia will enable expansion of ZBBY’s activities in the coming years.

Making books to preserve oral literature With support from the U.S. Board on Books for Young People, Lubuto and ZBBY organized and hosted two workshops in October 2010 on the importance of preserving traditional stories and making cloth books for children in local languages.

Lubuto Library 2011-2012 Annual Report (.pdf 2.2MB)

Lubuto Library 2012 Audited Financial Statement (.pdf 331 KB)

Lubuto Library 2009 990 Report (.pdf 2.2MB)

Lubuto Library 2010 Annual Report (.pdf 2.2MB)

Lubuto Library 2009 Annual Report (.pdf 2.2MB)

Lubuto Library 2008 Annual Report (.pdf 2.9MB)

Lubuto Library 2007 Annual Report (.pdf 2MB)

Lubuto Library 2006 Annual Report (.pdf 1.19MB)

Memorandum of Understanding Between Zambia’s Ministry of Education and the Lubuto Library Project (.pdf 925KB)

View Jane Meyers's presentation, "Principles and Good Practices for Sustainable International Library Development," from the 2009 SLA Conference. You can also find the webcast of a talk given by Jane Meyers at the Library of Congress entitled "Lubuto Libraries for Street Children in Africa" on the LOC website here.

Lubuto Library Organization and Staff

The Lubuto Library Project (LLP) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and operates a regional office in Lusaka, Zambia. The LLP is a 501(c)3 public charity, registered in the District of Columbia. The regional office is registered as a non-governmantal organization in Zambia.

The project's President is Jane Kinney Meyers. Eleni Coromvli heads the project's regional office in Lusaka. U.S.-based operations are assisted by a network of volunteers including librarians, educators, architects, and students. The regional office is assisted by consulting staff including Ms. Naomy Mtanga and Professor Maurice Lundu. Biographical information on the staff is presented here.

Lubuto Library Project Origins

The Lubuto Library Project® grew from a seed planted at the end of the 1990s. From 1999 to 2001, Jane Kinney Meyers, the Lubuto Libary Project's President, was instrumental in establishing a “street kids library” at the Fountain of Hope ,drop-in shelter in central Lusaka, Zambia.

More of a reading room than full-fledged library, it grew out of a weekly reading program that Jane Meyers began, which attracted a whole cadre of volunteers. As word of the reading program spread, individuals, publishers and schools in both the United States and the United Kingdom donated thousands of new and used children’s books.

A used 20 foot shipping container was adapted for use as a library by adding a door, windows, shelving and carpeting. Local embassies, businesses, charitable organizations and members of the Zambia Library Association facilitated the opening of the library. Two Fountain of Hope staff members were appointed to run the library.

The street children loved the library, and treated the books with respect. Some children used the library to study for the secondary school entrance exam, and were able to pass, earning a right to attend public high school, which in Zambia are boarding institutions, and a better future. The need to build on this experience was clear, and the Lubuto Library Project was born.

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