Because of the shortage of books in the country, a number of innovative library and book-exchange programs have developed:
Rural Libraries Resources Development Programme (RLRDP) organizes children’s mobile libraries and library exchange visits in western Zimbabwe. The director is Obediah Moyo. Their donkey-drawn children’s mobile libraries, funded by Save the Children Norway Zimbabwe, operate in Nkayi, Bubi and Tsholotsho districts. “The donkey-drawn carts are also connected to renewable solar energy facilities fitted with television and radio receiver sets which facilitate the playing of educational videotapes, audio tapes and compact disks operated from the mobile carts.” (2011 article on mobile libraries).
Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library in Gwanda (southwestern Zimbabwe) is a lively community library with a stock of about 10000 books, of which over 90% is in English (mainly from Book Aid International). The main language spoken is Ndebele. It has membership from the residents of the small town of Gwanda and at boarding secondary schools outside Gwanda. It has a book box scheme which rotates among 26 regional schools.
Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust is an organization with national scope aiming to create 7 libraries in rural schools in 2013.
Zimbabwe Library Development Trust is a UK-Zimbabwean trust which has the goal of improving provision of library and knowledge services in partnership with public and community/school libraries in Zimbabwe. Its current project is supporting Redcliff Public Library. Follow their blog for recent topics. Recent minutes.
Africa Book Development Organization (ABDO) supports a network of 200 community libraries (most based in schools). Using grant money, it purchases books from Zimbabwean publishers and delivers a large box of several hundred books to half of those libraries each year. Set up in 1996, ABDO was originally operating as a book production organisation under the name of African Book Trust. ABDO now focuses on three major areas: library development; study circles establishment and support; and capacity buildingfor its management team and programmes staff.
IBBY Zimbabwe (website now inactive) has run workshops for teacher-librarians and kindergarten teachers on Basics of School Librarianship, Promoting Reading in Schools, IT skills for school librarians, Improving Literacy in School Libraries. They donated books to schools like Sacred Heart Primary, Milton Primary, SOS Children’s Village, Wanezi High, Beitbridge Primary.
Harare City Library (Queen Victoria Memorial Library) was established in 1902.
Bulawayo Public Library offers a wide range of services comprising a well stocked children’s library, Braille library, and study and reference areas. But, as of recently, the library finds itself in a difficult position due to a number of reasons. There is also a division that lends out audio and visual material in electronic form. A popular feature at the library is the Internet cafe.
Rava Zimbabwe Rava was formed in 2010 to nurture and re-enforce an effective reading culture in Zimbabwe.
African Library Project is an international project relying on book drives. Any local community can apply to an ALP African Partner organization to be matched with an ALP book drive.