Who we are
Lubuto has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and operates a regional office in Lusaka, Zambia. Lubuto is a 501(c)3 public charity and registered as a non-governmental organization in Zambia; both were established in 2005. Building from an initial funding base of individual donors and institutional gifts, the value of the Lubuto Libraries approach has been increasingly reflected in the awards and grants that have supported its growth.
Lubuto has received funding and support from a range of institutional and government sources, including the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), Comic Relief U.K. (through OSISA), the EIFL Public Library Information Program, the USAID/World Vision/AustralianAID All Children Reading partnership, a PEPFAR-DREAMS Innovation Challenge grant, USAID's American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program and the ViiV Positive Action for Children Fund.
Lubuto maintains strong management structures, transparency and a network of highly qualified staff and volunteers. Strategic decision-making is guided by a Board of Directors, an Advisory Board, a Library Services Advisory Council and a Zambian Board. It publishes a monthly newsletter and annual reports with audited financial statements.
Lubuto has received wide professional recognition and awards including repeated nominations for the Swedish Arts Council's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the American Library Association's Presidential Citation for International Innovation and a Special Mention from the International Union of Architects (UIA) Friendly and Inclusive Spaces Awards. It is listed as a Top-Rated Great Nonprofit and maintains a Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency.
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.