Last year’s SLA attendees will undoubtedly remember the standing ovation that librarian Jane Kinney Meyers received after winning the 2007 Dow Jones Leadership Award for her work on the Lubuto Library Project. And Meyers is still generating applause from here to Zambia.
This year, Meyers is back at SLA at the Dow Jones booth with an update on the success of her project. Stop by the booth to see the highlights of last September’s opening celebration as the first Lubuto library in Lusaka changed the landscape of Zambia. The events are captured on a DVD that is being screened in a running loop at the exhibit.
Meyers was “thrilled” with the launch of the library, but her work continues. The library and those that follow will “open the larger world to some of the most vulnerable and marginal children and youth on earth.” The children of Lusaka are now using the 4,000-book collection, which was sent from the U.S., in the trio of round thatched structures that replicate local traditional architecture. The library opened its doors to more than reading and education for the children; the library comes alive with story-telling, drama, mentoring, and song.
Meyers and her team are gathering funding in earnest to continue the campaign. She’s pleased to report that she has received a $10,000 grant from Oprah’s Angels Network toward construction costs and met the $20,000 Challenge Grant offered by patron and advisory board member Marilyn Hollinshead for another Lubuto library in rural Nabukuyu in Zambia.
One of her next stops is ALA in Anaheim later this month where she’s getting ready for a panel discussion about the project with several of her other Lubuto team players.
Meyers’ passion is unwavering. The project team plans to build at least 100 libraries in Zambia and surrounding countries in the next decade one building at a time.
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