Lubuto Library Project Newsletter -- March 2014

eXe Workshop, the Zambian Publishing House, the Libraries' Reach, Movie Night
Lubuto Library Project
Newsletter #42 - March 2014
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Lubuto Library Project

Lubuto Libraries’ Reach

Our 2013 numbers are in! Here’s a glimpse of the range of young people who visit our libraries every day.
     •    Over 100,000 visits to our two Lusaka libraries
     •    1232 youth participated in at least one of our structured programs
     •    8500 new visitors to the libraries
     •    Number of new visitors has grown at both libraries, particularly at Fountain of Hope, where the number of girls visiting for the first time has grown by 11% since 2012.
     •    Our programs continue to reach the most vulnerable. 23% of participants in 2013 are single or double parent orphans, while 13% are out of school.
     •    10% do not live with any adult family member. Many of these children live in a shelter, while others are on the streets, or simply report that they live on their own.
Lubuto Libraries are unique in their ability to reach these children who so often fall through the cracks of other services in Zambia.

eXe Workshop

The new and improved LubutoLiteracy lessons are moving to a new platform! The original 700 reading lessons in 7 Zambian languages were created in eToys, but during the past month Lubuto developers began re-creating an improved set of lessons in an HTML5 platform called eXe. This means the open source lessons can be adapted for use on mobile phones as well as big-screen use and that user data will be automatically reported. EXe’s author, Mike Dawson of Ustad Mobile, has held two week-long training workshops with our lesson developers. Prior to this, Dr. Joseph Mwansa, a mother-tongue literacy expert and designer of the new government reading curriculum, redesigned the LubutoLiteracy lessons so that they will be extending the curriculum to a digital environment. 978 children used eToys-based LubutoLiteracy in our libraries in 2013, and now that lessons are improved along with the new reading curriculum and will be available in an engaging new format with built-in progress assessments, we are eager to see and measure how effectively they teach children to read!

Lubuto Supports Zambian
Publishing House

One of Lubuto's important initiatives is our digital repository of Zambian stories, which you can find at We work hard to preserve this literary heritage for the next generation of Zambian readers, and recently our efforts were appreciated by Zambian librarian-journalists Jabulani Moyo and Lumpa Mbanga, who interviewed President Jane Meyers when she was in Zambia in January. You can read their article here. This publicity in turn caught the attention of the Zambian Educational Publishing House (ZEPH) who still print and sell many of these classic Zambian story books. Now, Lubuto and ZEPH are launching a partnership that presents a new paradigm for library-publishers relations in the digital age. ZEPH will begin selling their books in kiosks alongside our non-circulating libraries, building a market for the literature, and giving the print books a new, wider audience!

Movie Night at the Library!

Along with new Lubuto services for teens, like the book club we wrote about in our February newsletter, Lubuto has begun hosting film nights for the many youth who visit our libraries. Not only do these films attract children who may have limited literacy, they also demonstrate to young viewers how inspirational stories can be told in a variety of media, not just books. Recent showings were Red Tails, George Lucas’ historical film on the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, and Themba, a South Africa film about a boy who hopes to join his country’s football team, despite a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. While films like these are great entertainment for children at Lubuto Libraries, they are also narratives of overcoming real-world obstacles and finding leadership within, topics which these youth reflect upon in the post-movie discussions.

Join Us As a Sustaining Supporter

As a Sustaining Supporter, you will receive an email with each donation to keep you informed of Lubuto's latest developments, of which you are a key supporter. And as you know, this support gives thousands of children, who may otherwise never see the pages of a book, the opportunity to learn, communicate and grow in beautiful, safe and welcoming libraries, making a real and lasting difference in their lives. A modest donation charged to your credit card each month or quarter helps Lubuto tremendously.

Click here to make a difference every month.

Volunteer of the Month  
Volunteer of the Month
Our March Volunteer of the Month is Carol McClarnon! Carol was a deeply involved member of our Board of Directors for six years.

Learn More  
Lubuto is now featured on Giving Library!
Learn more about our work by watching the Q&A video.

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