Lubuto Library Partners is not a book donation program. The project is unique in providing comprehensive library collections of expertly selected and organized children's books. With the guidance of professional children’s librarians, gifts of books from corporations, publishers and individuals are cataloged by volunteers and shipped as a self-ready collection. On delivery, a complete 4,000-volume children’s library is available, organized according to the Lubuto Classification System.
This core collection is just the beginning of the life of a Lubuto library. Local language materials are identified and added, and new materials keep the library ‘alive’. Because of a dearth of children’s materials in print in Zambian languages, Lubuto partnered with the Zambia Library Association to establish the Zambian Board on Books for Young People, whose goal is to bring together writers, illustrators, publishers, and educators to produce high-quality bilingual literature for children and youth.
Offering a wide array of culturally appropriate and high quality children's books, Lubuto’s shelves contain world-class collections. In addition, the project trains Lubuto librarians with materials adapted to fit the local conditions under which the library operates. In addition to teaching Lubuto’s specialized classification system, instruction includes strategies for delivering innovative services and programs adapted to the specific needs of street children. Training also includes approaches to evaluation, local public outreach and solicitation of feedback on the collections, which is essential to maintain targeted and effective services in any library environment.
The library’s 4,000 book collection ranges from picture books and early readers to fiction, science and reference books. Fountain of Hope staff are being trained to help the children learn about the collection and how to use the library. The initial collection is being supplemented by books in Zambian languages, and new books, based on traditional Zambian stories, will be created a new Zambia Board on Books for Young People that is being established jointly by Lubuto Partners and the Zambia Library Association.