The Library Project Trust
The Bookery was founded in 2010, and our main objective has always been to put libraries in public schools. Our mission is to fight illiteracy in South Africa, one library at a time. When we started 9 years ago, statistics revealed that 92% of public schools in S Africa did not have libraries.
Since then, The Bookery has set up 62 libraries, not only in the Western Cape, but also in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng. The core of what we do is twofold : library creation and library support. We recognise the huge importance of a functional library in our schools, and its impact on learners.
The libraries we establish provide between 3 and 5 books per learner; but a library is much more than the books it contains. A trained Library Assistant can bring a school library to life, using his or her skills and knowledge to develop the learners’ curiosity, improve their learning and literacy skills, and inspire a love of books which will bring them joy throughout their lives. That is why, in association with the schools and our partners, we also train and pay our young Library Assistants (LAs).
Our training starts with providing our LAs with knowledge of how a library works. This involves
- Classifying and cataloguing the books.
- Shelving Non-Fiction books according to the Dewey Decimal System, and Fiction books according to the author’s surname.
- Teaching LAs how to use the Libwin software to manage their library. This includes submitting monthly reports which give a detailed breakdown of books issued, class visits to the library, library activities, themes etc.
- Giving LAs plenty of ideas for running library sessions with different grades of learners.
- Assigning each LA to a Cluster Group which is supported by a Bookery Cluster Leader. These leaders run monthly Cluster Meetings for the LAs, at which ideas and best working practices are shared. Specific support is given where needed.
- Cluster Leaders visit the schools regularly to monitor progress.
So far, we have distributed more than 250 000 books countrywide. With your help we can achieve much more.