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We identify schools which would benefit from The Bookery project. These schools all have a space which will be used exclusively for a library and a member of staff committed to taking on the role of librarian. During the collection process, The Bookery team works closely with the librarian-in-waiting, as well as learners and other educators from the school. This allows us to gauge the school’s particular needs.

Each library established by The Bookery contains a minimum of three books per learner, and caters to the needs and interests of the school’s readership through a comprehensive selection of fiction, non-fiction and reference works. The Bookery ensures that each contains a computer with the appropriate software, and that it is a warm and inviting space.

According to Equal Education’s costing booklet, We Can’t Afford Not To, only 8% of public schools in South Africa have functional libraries. These are almost entirely situated in former model C schools which have the resources to stock and staff these facilities. More than 20 000 are without libraries, thereby denying their learners access to regular reading opportunities.