Fostering a habit of reading, one library at a time.

School Libraries

Practice makes perfect

In order for children to become independent readers, effective communicators and lifelong learners, they need time to practice and exposure to a variety of texts. With age-appropriate reading material extremely scarce in developing countries, many children are expected to learn to read using only a single textbook. Our school libraries fill that void, providing both access to engaging reading material and a safe space to learn and play.

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9 million checkouts

Nearly 9 million books were checked out from Room to Read libraries in 2010. That's 34,289 books per school day, or 95 books every minute.

Influencing policy change

Together with our partners in the field, we work closely with local and national governments to help shape educational policy. Recently Room to Read successfully lobbied Cambodia's Ministry of Education to adopt nationwide school library standards that included minimum material criteria and increased salaries for librarians.

Read the full story on our blog >>

Libraries make a difference

Data from our cross-national evaluation shows strong evidence for the value of libraries. In one district, students were 80% more likely to read for an hour a day than those without access to a library.

15,000 strong and growing

Access to a library full of relevant, engaging books and educational games encourages children to indulge their curiosity through reading and learning. Room to Read has established over 15,000 of these libraries across Africa and Asia since 2000.

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“Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship.”
-Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General
Charity Navigator Four Start Rating

Less than 1% of US nonprofits have received nine consecutive Charity Navigator four star ratings. Our transparency and accountability place us among the best charities. See for yourself.

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See our work

Documentary filmmakers travel to Room to Read projects across Asia and Africa to tell the stories of children who are benefitting from our programs.

Browse films »

See our work in person »

You can change the world

Send a girl to school, start a library, or build new classrooms. We can help you run your own fundraising campaign with your friends and family, complete with your own microsite to collect gifts and track your progress.

Personal Fundraising »

Check out a great campaign »

Have questions?

Contact us online at

Global Office:
+1 (415) 839-4400
9am-5pm Pacific Time (US)
Mon-Fri, excluding holidays

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