A Leader for African Libraries

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Lubuto has begun a campaign on Indiegogo to support our Library Services Advisor, Thomas Mukonde, earn his Masters in Library Science at the University of Illinois. Building local ownership and professional capacity is central to Lubuto, and crucial to improving a sustainable future for public libraries in Africa as spaces for education, community and development. Thomas is a terrific example of this leadership and ownership. Lubuto believes that supporting his professional education is the key to the future not only of Lubuto, but of children’s libraries across the continent.

Thomas joined Lubuto in November 2013, and immediately became a integral part of our team. Since joining our staff, Thomas has met and formed important new partnerships with local publishers and technological innovators, revitalized library services for teens through book clubs and movie nights, and fully embodied the holistic, supportive mission of Lubuto Libraries.

While there are many professional librarians and some library schools in Zambia, there is no coursework available in library services for children. Thomas has been accepted to the Master’s in Library and Information Science program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, giving him an opportunity to study children’s library services at the perennially highest ranked MLIS program.

While Thomas has been offered both an assistantship and small scholarship, $25,000 is still needed to support him while he earns this essential degree. This amount includes the cost of his travel to and from Zambia, living expenses, books and academic supplies, and some remaining tuition costs. Please help contribute to this amount and play a vital role in the life of Thomas, and the lives of countless youth in Africa transformed everyday by visits to libraries made just for them.

Please contribute to the campaign here. Every little bit counts!

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About Lubuto Library Blog

A Lubuto library is a special place designed for street kids and other marginalized children and youth in Africa. In the safe haven of the library, children can look at books, be read to and read for themselves. They can develop their talents and express themselves through the visual and performing arts, or communicate and learn with OLPC laptops. They can receive mentoring and guidance and participate in programs on health and the environment. Lubuto libraries open the world to children with no opportunities, allowing them to explore their heritage and learn about others through varied and enriching library programs.
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