Street Library Project

Project overview

Faced with a lack of infrastructure and low secondary school attendance, Ghana's literacy rate is estimated to be just 58%*.  The aim of the “street library” project is to help more children and adults, particularly those in rural areas, discover reading.

We run a mobile library moving from village to village in order to reach people who would otherwise have limited or no access to books.

To create the “street library” we work with the community select a place in the community for library set-up. Our team display collection of books. Children are invited to meet at the location to read individually, or to listen to a book being read. 

The “street library” also provide a way of offering people additional educational opportunities, such as writing workshops and competitions.

We have a dedicated team of volunteers working on this project.

Why is this project so important?

There is an overwhelming need for a project like this in Ghana. Currently, the country's literacy rate is estimated at just 57.9 %*. Amongst Ghana's adult population only 63% of the men and 46% of the women are literate. Amongst Ghana's youth (15–24 years) the literacy rate is improving with 80% of males literate and 76% of females. Primary school enrolment is 73% for males and 71% for females. However, numbers decline dramatically for secondary school enrolment which is just 47% for males and 43% for females**.

In Ghana libraries are scarce and particularly outside of the capital city of Accra, access to books is very limited. The country's biggest libraries are concentrated within principal universities, for example, the Balme Library (University of Ghana), the University of Science and Technology Library, the George Padmore Memorial Library (Research Library on African Affairs). Ghanian publications are also rare.

*Data sources: (CIA World Factbook - 2008, UNESCO - 2000-2007, including the Education for All 2000 Assessment).

**Percentages calculated as a ratio of number of children enrolled in a particular level (primary or secondary), regardless of age, divided by the population of the age group that officially corresponds to the same level.