In 2005, Lubuto Library Partners (then known as the Lubuto Library Project) was formally incorporated as a non-profit organization. Jane Kinney Meyers, a professional librarian for over 35 years, had gotten involved with Fountain of Hope drop-in center in Lusaka in 1998 and was very moved by her experiences there. She spent extensive time reading to, getting to know, and advocating for the center’s children—most of whom were affected by HIV/AIDS, out-of-school and living on the streets — and served on its board. The opening of the first Lubuto library in 2007 was the product of years of collaboration and groundwork. From working with children, staff and local community members over a period of years, Jane realized that the library profession provides approaches that could address the myriad needs of these marginalized young people and help them re-enter and thrive in society.
Today, Lubuto Library Partners is an innovative development organization that builds the capacity of African libraries to create opportunities for equitable education and poverty reduction. Our mission is to enlighten and enrich the lives of children and youth in sub-Saharan Africa, especially those not in school and highly vulnerable.
We construct enduring open-access libraries whose design is inspired by traditional and contemporary social, economic and cultural patterns and which freely offer comprehensive collections of well-chosen books and technology resources. These libraries serve as safe havens and are the center for dynamic library programming offering education, psychosocial support and self-expression through reading, music, art, drama, computers, mentoring and other activities.
We maintain a continuous learning relationship for children and youth public library services with a growing network of Lubuto libraries owned and operated by Zambian organizations, developing a model poised to scale regionally.