Libraries for development

Cooperation between  Tanzanian, Namibian and Finnish libraries

Finnish Library Association is running the LIBRARIES FOR DEVELOPMENT project in cooperation with Tanzanian and Namibian libraries.

In the project we focus on:

  • Bringing the services of the information society to a grassroots level
  • Improving living conditions of the Namibian and Tanzanian people by the means of information dissemination
  • Supporting active citizenship and the development of civil society  

The project started on 2012 and will go on until the end of 2017.

Implementing the project in Africa in a nutshell:

  • ICT and information search skills of the libraries’ staff are improved
  • Study tours for staff are arranged to Finland, and to Namibia / Tanzania
  • The library staff gives out ICT and information search training for the library users

Special attention is paid on the following group’s information needs:

Women, small and medium-scale entrepreneurs, small-scale farmers, out-of-school and unemployed youth.
Additionally, health information is delivered through libraries.


Project activities in Finland:     

  • Spreading information about the project and the project countries
  • Tolerance education
  • Fundraising campaigns in benefit of the project


The project observes the poverty reduction strategies of the partner countries – there is a link between public library services and poverty reduction.

Some examples of project achievements so far:

78 % of students attending the libraries’ ICT courses improved their school/college/university grades

41 % of out-of-school youth attending the courses started some kind of education as a result of the information they found at the library

25 % of small and medium-scale entrepreneurs attending the courses successfully started or improved their business as a result of the training.                   

An evaluation of the project during 2012-2014 has been conducted by Prof. Kingo Mchombu from the Unviersity of Namibia. Read the full report.

Join us!

The Finnish Library Association must collect approximately 20 000 € per year as the self-funding part of the expenses. In addition to monetary donations, we need volunteers to carry out several tasks in the project.


Contact information:

Finnish Library Association
Runeberginkatu 15 A 6
00100 Helsinki

Project coordinator
Ms Marjatta Lahti
+358 50 554 7104

Project planner
Ms Minna Koskinen
+358 45 855 6628