AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, librarians and friends of Lubuto all pitch in!


On Saturday, March 9th, an army of terrific volunteers descended on DC’s St. Paul’s Lutheran Church to pack up the cataloged collection and resources for shipment to Lubuto’s newest library, the Mumuni Choma American Youth Library. The largest contingent came from AmeriCorps, nine energetic young people from their National Civilian Community Corps’ Southern Regional campus in Vicksburg, Mississippi, who learned what we were doing and approached us to ask if they could help. We were so impressed with the group and happy to learn more about AmeriCorps, and have chosen them as Lubuto’s Volunteers of the Month (see below).

In addition to the AmeriCorps volunteers, we were joined by two returned Peace Corps volunteers who had served in Zambia, who could readily understand from their experience who Lubuto is serving and how Lubuto libraries can make an important difference in their lives.  Another group of volunteers – old friends of Lubuto – came to us from the DC chapter of the Special Libraries Association, and they updated their knowledge of Lubuto’s work during the several hours of packing up and loading the collection onto a truck for shipment to Zambia. Finally, various individual friends and members of the Lubuto family came forward to help see this final U.S.-built collection off and into the hands of Zambia’s children. 

This is the last collection Lubuto will have purchased and cataloged here in the U.S. because, in the intervening time since our founding in 2005, we have built the capacity for collection building and cataloging to be carried out by our staff and volunteers in Zambia (in the process, imparting valuable knowledge and skills to library & information science [LIS] students at the University of Zambia [UNZA]). In the future, books will be purchased directly from the Zambia office (as always, from both American and African sources) and cataloged at UNZA. In addition to learning how to create an online union catalog and a specialized classification system that is responsive to evolving needs, future librarians will be able to benefit from courses on children’s and young adult literature, collection development, children and youth library services and other classes taught by Lubuto and UNZA LIS faculty.

Construction of the library buildings is slated to be completed, and the library officially opened, in September.  Both the construction and all of the resources in the library (purchase of the 4,000-volume balanced book collection, computers, projector and other equipment to fully serve the needs of children and youth in Choma) have been supported by USAID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program. Critical additional in-kind support from World Vision will transport the collection via sea to Zambia.

Lubuto shortlisted for London Book Fair’s Library of the Year Award


Lubuto Library Partners was shortlisted at the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019 for The Library of the Year Award. We were well represented at the LBF International Excellence Awards ceremony on 12 March at the Conference Centre, Olympia, London by our U.K. Representative Caroline Gee. (Our U.K. Director of Professional Services, Angela Flottemesch, was under the weather and unable to join Caroline.) The other shortlisted candidates were the Espoo City Library (Finland) and the Parque Villa-Lobos Library (Brazil), and although we were not selected from a field of three outstanding contenders, we were honored and happy for this recognition by the LBF and the Publishers Association.

Volunteer of the Month: AmeriCorps!


This month we recognize and thank the great AmeriCorps team who “found” us and were the backbone of our Choma Library collection pack-up:  Lauren Davidson, Randy Al-Ghawi, Annie Stein, Isaac Stopeck, Aaron Quarles, Kloie Hart, James Burton, Alyssa Monterusso, Jessica Robitaille.  Click here to learn more.