TITLE: Lubuto Libraries for Street Children in Africa
SPEAKER: Jane Meyers
EVENT DATE: 2008/12/03
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 63 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Across sub-Saharan Africa, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic is most severe, a growing number of orphans are heading their own households. In 12 African countries, it is projected that by 2010, 15 percent of all children under the age of 15 will be orphans.
To bring literacy and hope to Africa's vulnerable children, Jane Kinney Meyers founded the Lubuto Library Project. Meyers discussed the goals and accomplishments of the project at the Library.
Lubuto is a word in the Bemba language, spoken in central Africa, that signifies knowledge, enlightenment and light. In that spirit, the Lubuto Project was created to provide the burgeoning numbers of Africa's street children with opportunities for non-formal education, improved language and literacy skills, acquisition of general knowledge and participation in society. Simply stated, the project brings the simple pleasure of books to children who are alone in the world.
With a collection of 4,000 items, the first Lubuto Library opened its doors on Sept. 21, 2007. The project was recognized as the "gold standard" of international library projects at the 2008 American Library Association annual conference in Anaheim, Calif.
Speaker Biography: Jane Kinney Meyers is a professional librarian with 20 years of experience working and living in Africa. While living in Malawi for four years, she developed a network of research libraries for the country's Ministry of Agriculture under the auspices of the World Bank. Ten years later she returned to neighboring Zambia, where she worked on projects for the American Library Association and Johns Hopkins University. While there, she became involved with services to street children offered by the Fountain of Hope, a drop-in shelter in Lusaka, Zambia. Serving on the shelter's board, she established a reading program and created a library for the children. Upon her return to the U.S. in 2001, she developed the concept, approach and organization of the Lubuto Library Project, based on the success and impact of the library in Lusaka.