Support Our Partner’s Kickstarter Campaign for Ghanaian Library

Goal: $50,000 to launch a digitally-enhanced, community library

Campaign Ends: April 4, 2013

Since January 2012, Librarians Without Borders has been working with Libraries Across Africa to help develop their model and make this idea a reality in Accra, Ghana.

By backing this Kickstarter project YOU will be the first in the world to see these designs go into construction and have your name hand-written on the wall of the library to recognize your contribution to this innovative library model.

From LWB’s perspective, we think this library has the potential to help fulfill the educational needs of many young Ghanaians who don’t have access to post-secondary learning and training opportunities.

With the rising rate of Ghana’s youth population and an increase in secondary school graduates each year, many qualified students do not gain admission in the tertiary education institutions due to lack of space and financial assistance. The greatest challenge for Ghana will be to provide sufficient places in school or gainful jobs for the 5.5 million youth in 2015.

And we think that the Librii has the potential to help with these learning needs. Can you support our partner? Please spread the word throughout your networks.

Ottawa Feb 13 Event: E-readers and community generated e-collections in Ghanaian society

Research Conversations at the University of Ottawa School of Information Studies

Feb 13 from 1-2:30 in Simard Bldg, Room 12

LWB Student and Ghana Team member Rebecca Ross will be presenting her research from her directed reading course on the LWB-Ghana Team.

Topic: “E-readers and community generated e-collections: opportunities and challenges of print on demand in Ghanaian society”

If you’re in the Ottawa area, consider joining the lunch conversation and hearing about Rebecca’s work with LWB.



Developing a Reading Culture: Worldreader in Ghana

Amanda Oliver

Encouraging and promoting reading will help inculcate it as habit. With ereaders and digital books, many are exploring the question of leapfrogging from print to digital – can it work? LWB-Ghana team member Amanda Oliver writes about Worldreader and its efforts to introduce digital books into communities.

Worldreader is a non-profit organization whose goal is to supply children in Africa with free e-readers. David Risher, the founder of Worldreader, believes that providing access to digital books to children in sub-Saharan Africa is a key component in developing a reading culture there. He aims to send 1 million Kindle e-readers to Ghana, Kenya and Uganda within the next year.

Earlier this year, Worldreader released the results from its pilot study, which took place in Ghana between October 2010 and July 2011. 481students and teachers at participating pilot schools were given Kindles and data was collected during the length of the project. The report divides the findings into positive and negative effects:

Positive Effects
• Increased access to books and enthusiasm towards reading
• Increased resources for teachers
• Increased technological skills (students and teachers learned skills quickly)
• Increased performance on standardized scores
• Increased exposure to Ghanaian literature
• Students shared their e-readers with friends and family

Negative Effects
• Breakage – over half had some form of breakage occur during the study
• Dissatisfaction with some features (such as unintended book deletion)
• Sample population was not geographically representative
• Exposure reduced due to unforeseen events (teachers strike, device breakage)

Worldreader and Amazon are working together to make improvements to the devices to decrease the breakage rate and eliminate unwanted features. Worldreader believes that if the cost of e-readers continues to decrease, “…the e-reader would be an efficient, cost effective method to distribute textbooks and educational material” (IREAD Ghana Study, 2012, pg. 7). This project demonstrates that with the access to books and some encouragement, a reading culture may develop organically.

Download and view the report here from the Worldreader website.

Library 2.012 Online Conference Kicks Off Next Week: Attend & Volunteer

The Worldwide Virtual Library 2.012 Conference kicks off next week. This conference is free for everyone around the world to attend and the conference schedule has just been released: check it out.

Librarians Without Borders is an official partner of this conference. Because it’s entirely online, international librarians across the global can present, volunteer,  and attend.

If you’d like to volunteer (they still have spots), there is free training provided on the software and how to moderate.

Join LWB next week in what looks to be some really great sessions, reflecting our professional field across the world.


Library 2.012 Global Online Conference: Submit a Proposal

The virtual Library 2.012 conference (October 3-5) is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future state of libraries.  Subject strands include physical and virtual learning spaces, evolving professional roles in today’s world, organizing and creating information, changing delivery methods, user-centered access, and mobile and geo-social information environments. 

LWB is a Library 2.012 Advisor

Why is Librarians Without Borders supporting this conference? Because it’s entirely online, international librarians across the global can both present and share ideas. We’re all doing innovating things for our communities and can learn from one another. 

And, best of all: attendance is free! Sign up at to be kept informed.

Proposals for presenting are due by September 15th.  (View last year’s sessions for inspiration.)

Some statistics from last year’s conference attest to its truly global and inclusive nature: 9,000 logins, 150 sessions, 36 time zones, and 153 countries!


Vote Today! LWB is a 2012 Nonprofit Tagline Award Finalist

We’re excited to let you know that our tagline — “Putting Information in the Hands of the World” — has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards.

Our tagline was judged to be among the most effective 2.6% of the over 1,400 nonprofit taglines entered in this year’s award program. That’s why the judges panel deemed it a finalist in the 2012 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards

Please support us by voting for the LWB tagline today! Voting ends October 5.

Our 2011-12 Annual Report is Released

The 2011-12 Annual Report for Librarians Without Borders has been published online today. We invite you to read it and learn more about our work.

The report covers in detail our activities and programs over the last year, including our work in Guatemala and Ghana. Other content includes messages from our Board of Directors and Co-Executive Directors, highlights of our student committees’ work, organizational financials, and recognition of our donors and partners.



LWB Annual General Meeting: July 18, 2012

Librarians Without Borders is hosting our 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Members: Please join us to hear about LWB work since last October!

LWB saying farewell in Guatemala



Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time: 7:00-8:30 pm EST

Place: Online via FuzeMeeting



Like the past three years, the AGM will be held as a webinar. The instructions for registration have been sent via email to all of our members. If you did not get your AGM package and invite, please contact to request a new email be sent. We look forward to convening with you.

Vote for Librarians Without Borders: Help Build a Library in Haiti

YOU can help us win $15,000 to build and develop a library for Lycee Jean-Baptiste Cineas, a public school located in the city of Limbe, Haiti. The voting is now over, so we wait now to hear the results! Thanks to all of our supporters for voting over the two-week time period. Your voice counted!

How did it work? Your ONE vote daily until June 25 could help to bring a school library to 2,000 students.

#1 Vote via Facebook daily for us to win this literacy grant!

#2 Use this calendar reminder to remember to vote every day.

#3 Share this voting link with your friends.

#4 Read more about our proposed project in Limbe!

#5 Join our Facebook conversations (and meet other voters!)

The school has only basic amenities and lacks a library with reading materials. Without supplemental reading and research materials, says the school’s director Mr. Jean-Baptiste, students rely on rote classroom learning. Staff, students, and school administration identified a library as being one of their greatest needs, and LWB has offered our support to them.

From  Gerald Jean Baptiste, Director of the School:

Je tiens a apprecier le courage et la determination de toute cette belle equipe de LIBRARIANS WITHOUT BORDERS pour leur devouement a la cause du Lycee Jean-Baptiste Cineas du Limbe. J’ai pris note de tous vos efforts et vous en serai toujours reconnaissant. BONJOUR AMICAL a Chacune et a Chacune de VOUS!

Our relationship began by seeding their library collection with a book-drive run by our LWB McGill University committee, and has evolved into a pledge to the staff and students by LWB International to mark their 20th school anniversary in January 2013 with an in-progress library to commemorate the occasion.


Systems for Establishing a Lending Library at Asturias Academy

Article contributed by Stephanie Osley

Miguel Angel Asturias Academy would like to develop a lending library program for their students, families and the wider community of Xela. Lending libraries in Guatemala are very rare, and the Academy wishes to build a sustainable community library with free access to information.

LWB worked with the Academy in 2009 to set up their collection in LibraryThing, an online service that they have been using since that time to inventory and catalogue their library materials.  They are also using DB2 (a database software) in conjunction with LibraryThing. However, the library has outgrown it and they were looking for another solution. LWB established a Library Lending Project team who developed possible models ranging from manual systems to Integrated Library Systems (ILS). After discussions with the LWB-funded volunteer librarian at the library, the model selected was an integrated library system.  Next, the volunteer librarian and the team began research on open source ILS, such as BookCat, Evergreen, Koha and OpenBiblio. One of the essential requirements is finding a system which has a Spanish version and is a good fit for the library.

LWB Volunteers Shannon Marrinan and Monica Gagne with Barcode Labels for Books

During the trip to the Academy in May 2012, the team discussed the project further with the librarian, and examined DB2 more closely. They also brought barcodes with them. The project is currently ongoing and the team is excited about the progress made so far. We’ll share updates periodically on the status of this initiative.

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