Se7en’s Readers Have Raised Another Library Book by Book…

Since World Book Giving Day earlier this year we have been collecting books, sent to us by our readers from all over the world. We cannot thank you all enough.


I always say at the start of our library project that you can build a library book by book… and then I worry just a little, that no books will arrive… and slowly but surely the books always come in… package after package has been arriving and we drop the books in a box and pop them in the garage. Well yesterday when we got all the books out of the garage we had twenty big boxes of books. I had no idea we had managed to accumulate so many books… just goes to show: Little by little you can really make a difference and the proof is in the pictures, you can build a library book by book…

Delivery Day

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We settled in the library with piles of books and a group of children… and every one was very polite and formal… at least one person couldn’t believe the boxes were full of books…

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And then we opened the boxes up and there were piles of books, books for everyone…

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And the more we unpacked the more everyone got involved…

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If you are wondering if the books you donated were received with excitement…

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Just take a look at these pictures…

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We discovered packages from far away friends… thank you all so much!!!

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So many treasures and so many of our own favourites were donated…

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A round of applause and thank you to all for sending books…

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Reading Together

I always see reading as a chance to go places, to escape the here and now and go anywhere in the world, not to mention anywhere in time. But today these books did so much more, books brought these young people together.

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The School

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Every year we carefully choose a school that really needs some help to build a library. A school that without our help would not have a library at all. This year we chose the Red River School in Manenberg, that recently moved into lovely new buildings. So new that the plants are just beginning…

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The moved from a previously inadequate and dilapidated school into their new facilities… unfortunately a school does not come equipped with resources. So they have a library but not nearly enough books to put in it, and because they have received funding for the school buildings there is absolutely no chance of any more funding for resources to fill it, like books.

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This school is in one of Cape Town’s most poverty stricken areas, these children do not come from a culture of reading there are no books at home and there is no chance of there being room in any family budget to buy the odd luxury, like a book.

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We arrived at break time and there was a playful atmosphere…

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The smiling happy faces belie the reality that is the world that these children live in.

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This school is a island in an area that is one of the gang capitals of the world, a neighbourhood notorious for poverty, gangsterism, drugs and domestic violence… the school is a haven for these children. Where just outside the gates the reality of their lives is awaiting them.

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The Library

I set our readers the task to fill the shelves and believe it or not, I think we have done that. Together you have given these children far more than a pile of books, you have given them a dream to hold onto. A library, literally a place to escape, in the middle of a crazy and confusing world… Once all the books have been catalogued and placed on the shelves… together we will have put a lot of books on these shelves…

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We can’t change the world, none of us can, but we can make a difference and even a little difference is good. The excitement amongst the teachers and children today, the eagerness to dive in and enjoy all their books was thrilling… I cannot express how much fun we had delivering these books on behalf of our readers… to all of you who joined in and took part, thank you so very much!!!

Previous Posts in this Series:

Libraries Our Readers Have Created in the Past

Living on the Southern tip of Africa, we are in a part of the world where reading isn’t actually the standard protocol and many many children have no access to books, let alone the luxury of books in their own language or books about their own culture, not for school, not for fun and certainly not at bedtime. We can change that, book by book… I firmly believe that wherever you are, and whatever situation you are in, you can always escape into a book… but that is only if you have an opportunity to connect with a book. The project that we choose will have children that need to be able to escape the world around them, more than most of us.

We would like to thank Biblionef South Africa, for helping us to find a community in our area that needs a library, over the years they have provided us with unprecedented support in helping us to pursue our dream to provide books for children just like ours, who otherwise wouldn’t have access to books. We would like to thank the St. James Educational Trust, that did all the organising and the communicating and liaison that we needed to keep this project rolling. And we would like to thank Pan MacMillan South Africa for their fabulous donation of books to our project. Most of all we would like to thank our readers for joining us on this adventure again!!!

9 Replies to “Se7en’s Readers Have Raised Another Library Book by Book…”

  1. I went to Manenberg to see a patient in her home today and i saw the squalor but also saw children playing and friendly people. I know there are many social problems, but if the library can help some children spark new ideas and goals that would be wonderful! Thank you for choosing this suburb – the people there are amazing

  2. Thank you so much Wendy, It is just beyond how amazing it is that our readers respond so well to this project, we are just so lucky to get to be the couriers… The fun of handing over is beyond words!!!

  3. Hi Jean, thank you so much for stopping by. Our experience has been as you say friendly, the news and the reality of some of these childrens’ lives is quite another story. My dream is that through books we can give these little people dreams to dreams and a chance to inspire them… It is a small thing to collect books one by one, but it is huge thing to show these kids that there are folk out there that really do care.

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