Book Aid International

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Book Aid International is an NGO that exists to encourage literacy and access to books particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East by distributing books to libraries and other locations that increase community access.[1][2] Book Aid International currently work in 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in Palestine.[3] Book Aid International was created under the premise that Western nations were in a position to help developing countries by donating books,[4] but the organization operates under the philosophy that literacy is best encouraged when donated books are targeted to their readers.[5]

In a recent research paper commissioned by the charity,[6] it was declared that the development of knowledge societies puts those without access to books and literacy at a distinct disadvantage, being unable to interact adequately with society. Thus they work with governments and local librarians to help determine the need for specific subjects and titles. They also provide professional training and mentorship programs to librarians in the region.[7]

Founded in the 1950s, the organization recently celebrated its 60th anniversary.[4][8] Since 2012, it has been directed by Alison Tweed, who replaced Clive Nettleton.[9]

In 2007 the Department for International Development ended their funding agreement with Book Aid International, requiring them to reduce in staff and countries they work in.[10] They now rely on publishers for book donations and are entirely funded by voluntary donations for funds. The annual World Book Day also helps to raise funds and awareness of their work.[citation needed]

In January 2008, Book Aid International became an official supporting organisation of Healthcare Information For All by 2015, a global initiative committed to a future where people are no longer dying for lack of knowledge.

Major book donors[edit]

Book Aid International is supported by the following publishers who donate new books to be distributed to the countries that the charity works in.

Countries of operation[edit]

Celebrity support[edit]

In 2008 Book Aid International launched a new strategy, 'Books Change Lives', to coincide with International Literacy Day (sept 8th 2008). The charity plans to raise £5m over 3 years to give more books to African countries.[11] The campaign is supported by a number of celebrities: Sebastian Faulks hosted the launch. David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman have all donated signed books to an auction in aid of the event.[12]


  1. ^ Harrity, 47-48.
  2. ^ Peace Corps Information Collection and Exchange (2005). Sources of donated books. DIANE Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 1-4289-5792-8. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2009-01-20.  Official Site
  4. ^ a b Eliot, Simon (2007). A Companion to the History of the Book. Blackwell Publishing. p. 416. ISBN 1-4051-2765-1. 
  5. ^ Harrity, 48-49.
  6. ^ Mchombu, Kingo; Cadbury, Nicola. "Libraries, literacy and poverty reduction: a key to African development" (PDF). Book Aid International. Retrieved 2009-01-27. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Harrity, 54.
  8. ^ Briggs, Philip; Danny Edmunds (2007). Mozambique: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 94. ISBN 1-84162-177-3. 
  9. ^ Official site Archived January 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine..
  10. ^ Book Aid International Annual Review 2007. 2007. p. 2. 
  11. ^ Ribeiro, Celina (8 September 2008). "Book Aid International launches new strategy and fundraising campaign". Professional Fundraising. Retrieved 27 January 2009. 
  12. ^ official site Archived January 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.


External links[edit]