Establishing Public and Community Libraries in Rural Africa: A New Movement with New Challenges
A new social movement has emerged to establish and operate public and community libraries in Africa. Challenges abound. For example, it is unclear how rural libraries without electricity should adapt to the fast-growing possibility of e-readers. Currently, low cost e-readers have more books stored on one device than many small rural libraries have on all of their bookshelves. In addition, much of the funds and manpower for the promotion of libraries is coming from donors and international non-profit organizations. Can a reading culture be promoted effectively “from the outside”? How long might it take for a local reading ecosystem to secure local public funding? These are some questions addressed in the context of experiences of Friends of African Village Libraries (https://favl.org/).