By Iminza Keboge
Published March 16, 2016
A British charity that develops libraries across sub-Saharan Africa has been shortlisted for a London Book Fair International Excellence Award for the second year running.
The charity, Book Aid International, has been shortlisted in the Educational Initiatives category for its Digital Futures project which seeks to bring the joy of reading to more children through the joint provision of print and digital books.
Digital Futures, which is delivered in partnership with Worldreader and National Library of Uganda, currently operates in five public libraries in Uganda. Each of the libraries now has 20 Worldreader e-readers complete with 200 pre-loaded African and international titles as well as over 2,500 print books. Librarians from each of the libraries have attended specialist digital training to help them make the most of the new resources in their communities. The project is supported in part by players of Peopleâ€™s Postcode Lottery, who have supported Book Aid International since 2014.
Alison Hubert, Director of Book Aid International said: â€œWe are so pleased to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. Together with Worldreader and National Library of Uganda we aim to bring the power of the written word in all its forms to as many people as we can. Our Digital Futures project allows people to discover the joy of reading through new routes and we are seeing the positive impact of print and digital resources working together in these libraries and making a real difference in communities.â€
Zev Lowe, Senior Director of Global Insights at Worldreader said: â€œWorldreader is about partnering with organisations around the world to create a world where everyone can be a reader. Libraries in the Global South are sometimes under-funded, which makes it difficult for them to stock their shelves with relevant book titles. Weâ€™re proud to be partnering with Book Aid International and National Library of Uganda to reach thousands of Ugandans with the digital books they need to improve their lives and to reach their highest potential.â€
The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony at the London Book Fair on April 12, 2016.