At a time of rising economic inequality and festering ethnic nationalism, [Robert] Dawson sees libraries as symbols of democratic engagement—places of connection in what seems an increasingly disconnected world. ‘Libraries are especially useful in this moment, because they’re open to everybody,’ he says. ‘They can be a way for us to talk to each other. Throughout the world, they’re symbols of hope.’ Michael Hardy, “The Spectacular Wonders of Europe’s Libraries,” Wired, May 6, 2018.
Each Lubuto Library provides children and youth with a sense of place in their community. The libraries are designed to reflect indigenous culture, enhance the pride and self-esteem of its users, and to afford maximum functionality and sustainability.
Lubuto's Zambian libraries consist of three to five separate structures that accommodate 150,000 visits annually, with associated outdoor spaces that support activities such as drama performances and social gatherings.
The largest building, the Reading Room, houses the book collection and features reading alcoves and central "talking circles for group activities
The Tech Hub supports computer use and arts programs
The Insaka serves as a social space ideal for drama, games and storytelling
The Teen Space supports book discussions, mentoring, film screenings and other programs specially geared to young adults
Early Literacy Stations support a range of educational and dramatic play activities that facilitate reading readiness by building motor skills, oral language, and comprehension abilities in children between the ages of 0-6