Book Aid International
In February 2015, we awarded Book Aid International £60,000 over 3 years towards the Digital future for Ugandan Libraries’ project
Book Aid International is the UK’s leading book donation agency supporting library development in sub-Saharan Africa. Our vision is of vibrant libraries that inspire readers and empower communities. Our mission is to work in partnership with libraries in Africa to provide books, resources and training to support an environment in which reading for study, pleasure and lifelong learning can flourish. The books we provide would otherwise be unavailable. Our criteria for support aim to ensure that resources are targeted to countries where we can have the greatest impact on literacy, education and development.
Our key objective is to develop the skills of librarians to establish better library services for children, to provide print and digital resources, and training for librarians, to support those services and to evaluate the added benefit of digital provision alongside books.
- So far the project has provided 20 Worldreader e-readers to 5 Ugandan libraries. A metal safe has been provided for each library for secure storage of e-readers and a custom made charging station for regular charging of e-readers. 10 librarians (2 from each library) completed a two-day training course for using the e-readers with children, who then conducted community training sessions, working with a total of 124 local teachers and at least 1,077 children to date. Librarians reported increased numbers of schools visits and individual visits by children to use the e- readers.
- The project also provided over 5,000 children’s books donated by UK publishers and worth an estimated £25,000 as ‘top-up’ books for six established Children’s Corner libraries.
- The project has resulted in local community leaders, teachers and parents taking an interest in the libraries. Interviews with children and with librarians provided evidence that children enjoy reading the books and quickly become adept at using new technology. Children with no previous exposure to any digital devices are able to use the e-readers with ease, have access to more books and can help other children to learn to use the e-readers.
- The project has raised the profile of most of the participating libraries both within their municipalities and within the broader education community.