The African Studies Association (ASA) provides cash grants of book donation programs. In 2013, it organized the Gretchen Walsh Book Donation Award to assist book donation projects with shipping costs to send books to African libraries and schools.
For the 2014, it has currently issued a call for applications for the same. The Africana Librarians Council Book Donations Committee reads grant proposals and makes recommendations to ASA. ASA grants generally support small grants in amounts from $200 to $1000. Past awards are listed here. Those applying for partial funding of a project should clearly show how additional funding will be solicited. The grants are intended to encourage innovative projects that incorporate essential elements, including:
1. Recipient participation
Book donation programs should reflect a partnership between institutions in Africa and the US with a liaison contact from each institution. While large scale donations of container-loads of books can be effective, the ASA is trying to fill a perceived gap by increasing the number of small to medium-sized projects that focus on specific, articulated needs. Community based, grassroot project involvement with benefit to broad, non-sectarian populations are encouraged.
2. High quality materials
While books need not be new, they should be in good condition and relevant to the recipient’s needs. Books can be procured from libraries’ duplicates, personal libraries, books stores, students and publishers.
3. Attention to details of logistics
The project plan should include a place to store books as they are being collected, a means of reviewing the books for physical quality and relevance to the recipient’s request, materials and staff for packing, a means of shipping to Africa, and all necessary paperwork for customs and shipping. The ASA cannot offer any services in arranging shipping or other logistics. Our role is to supply funding to the greatest extent possible.
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