Build a library for 500,000 Kenyans (Tranche 1)

by Maria's Libraries


A modern, fully-equipped free public county library in Busia, Kenya will serve 488,075 Kenyan residents to promote economic development, life-long learning, youth empowerment, and improved governance & democracy. A formal commitment from the central government will sustain the library in perpetuity as part of its system of nationally-managed libraries--based on past success of this agency (KNLS), we expect this library to sustain its mission for generations.
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This project has been in the Busia town plans for ~20 years, and has been in the mission of Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) for slightly longer. Though land was designated for this project in the 1980s, political and resource constraints precluded building. Overcoming some hurdles, the community has been operating and using a library in a small, donated space for more than 10 years, and has developed a plan for sustainability once the library is in existence. All they need is a building.


The library will be a space for parents to bring children to instill a love of reading; one of the only safe places in Busia for children to go after school; a place of quiet and group study for students; a place of life-long learning & basic literacy & computer skills development; an access point for research materials for business people & agriculturalists; & a community space for public debate of current events, meetings for self-help & civic groups, & display of cultural artifacts.

Long-Term Impact

The proposed library will offer many direct benefits to members of the community, and this proposal incorporates requests for specific library services and materials that have come directly from members of Busia County. Long-term social impacts will include economic development through life-long learning; enhanced communications and connectivity with other communities; and improved democratic outcomes such as youth empowerment and better governance.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Completed 2011 project funded via Global Giving

Organization Information

Maria's Libraries

Location: Brooklyn, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Maria's Libraries
Project Leader:
Ariel Schwartz
Austin, TX United States

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