Book Aid International is the UK’s leading library development charity working in sub-Saharan Africa.

Across Africa millions of people are unable to reach their full potential because of a basic lack of books, reading materials and information.


Book Aid International believes that books and reading afford people the opportunity to improve their own lives and that is why they work with over 3,400 libraries each year to ensure that more people have access to the joy and value of reading.

Through book provision, library development, teacher support and librarian training, their work benefits around 35 million people in Africa annually. They have over 60 years’ experience of working in partnership with libraries in Africa and they know that reading can change lives.

Sizini Primary School Pemba  (3)

In many of the countries where they work, books are scarce. Most people do not have books at home and many of the libraries they support have no budget to buy books. It is common to see children in school sharing one old book between ten children and many universities and higher educational institutions do not have the right books to support the courses they teach.

Book Aid International works where the need is great – they support libraries in schools, universities, cities, slums, remote communities, prisons, hospitals and refugee camps.


A librarian leads a reading activity in Bonna Baana, Uganda

Community and public libraries are often the only places where people can further their education and learn skills for life as well as read for pleasure. They are often the best place for children to come and study, start their reading journey and discover the joy of reading.

A young boy enjoys his new book in Buru Buru library, Kenya

Here are some ideas if you want to support Book Aid International, as it costs them around £2 to send a book to Africa. All the books they send are brand new and kindly donated by publishers. Every book is then carefully selected for the libraries they support. Book Aid does receives no government funding and they are entirely reliant on donations to support their  work.

  1.  One way you can support them is by setting up a regular gift to ensure they can continue to send brand new books to libraries where they are so needed. You can find out more by visiting
  2.  Book Aid is supported by a great team of volunteers in their warehouse in South East London. They also have a brilliant network of Community Ambassadors who help to raise money and spread the word about their work in their local communities. To find out more about getting involved, visit
  3. Ordering their beautiful Christmas Card selection:

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