Saturday, 1 July 2006

Welcome to Zanzibar Library Services' blog

Help Zanzibar to build
libraries for learning,
libraries for life.

Books are something of a rarity in Zanzibar, as are libraries. Many schools and homes are without books and most people live far from the nearest library. Those books that are available are usually donated generously by charities in the UK and USA but are often old with out-of-date information or irrelevant to the culture, context and education system in Zanzibar.

Providing children with books that reflect their context, written in their own language, is the surest way to promote reading but when schools do not even have funds to buy desks for their pupils, finding money for Swahili storybooks and locally published textbooks is a pipe dream.

Zanzibar Library Services (ZLS) is committed to promoting libraries for literacy and lifelong learning in Zanzibar, by:

  • Managing the two public libraries in Stone Town (Unguja) and Chake Chake (Pemba) in line with the needs of local communities.
  • Supporting the development of educational libraries in Zanzibar through the provision of training and the distribution of library stock donated by library donor agencies such as Book Aid International, Books for Africa and Books Abroad.

In an environment with little history of any reading culture and very limited resources for education and culture, developing relevant libraries is no mean feat. As this weblog demonstrates, ZLS is constantly trying to come up with new ways to promote reading and libraries, and to help the people of Zanzibar to access the information they need to lead free, informed and productive lives.

If you would like to learn more about any of the projects mentioned in this blog, or would like to find out about projects in the pipeline and how you can help ZLS to get books into the hands of children and adults in Zanzibar, please DO contact us - we are always looking to build new partnerships, with individuals and organisations from around the world:

Zanzibar Library Services
PO BOX / SLP 4270
Tel: +255 24 2236414


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