The Librarians Without Borders has been founded by Master of Library and Information students at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. Its mission is "to build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and librarians".
Why libraries? Because libraries contain tons of world knowledge, they accumulate thousands years of experience, wisdom and practice. However, even today, some countries have empty shelves in their libraries, which produce a direct influence on the development of literacy, education, - hereof professionalism of future employees, the role of people in building a sound, wealthy and stable society.
In its first year of working, the Librarians Without Borders has established, incorporated and held many successful fundraisers and started planning their first Sponsor-A-Book project in Huambo, Angola.
The Sponsor-A-Book project is a great international initiative, aimed at increasing the access to valuable literature in post-war Angola. Biblioteca Tutangi, which translates form Portuguese and Umbundu into English as "let us study, let us learn" will be largely enlarged and serve all students of Huambo, Angola. This project is designed in response to the urgent need of Angola in the access to information, development of libraries and literacy.
The current situation in Angola is more than shocking. According to 2001 estimates, only sixty six point eight percent of the total population aged fifteen and over could read and write. Library shelves are almost empty and university and college students of nursing and medical faculties have nothing to read. Imagine how they can provide a medical help to people after graduating!
The first intention of LWB-Angola is to deliver nursing and medical textbooks, photocopiers and bookshelves, and, importantly, the Librarians Without Borders will work with their Angolan partners to set-up a secure energy source for the library.
Today, the work of the Librarians Without Borders is focused on fundraising events and activities, organized for the Sponsor-A-Book project. The organization invites sponsors, volunteers, partnerships and donors to support this idea. Fundraising events also include sales of in-stock LWB merchandise at the University of Western Ontario. In autumn, 2005 the LWB also started identifying which books should be delivered for the Biblioteca Tutangi's collection. These will be nurse and medical resources on all subject matters, books on AIDS treatment and sexuality are to be delivered in the first place.
Another important step of the Librarians is their intention to start developing an online Resource Center, focused on issues relating to the development, education, libraries and literacy. It will make a great amount of significant information available to broader audiences throughout the world.