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Five countries where Room to Read libraries are flourishing

August 31, 2023

Program delivery Cambodia Laos Pakistan Jordan Indonesia

Vibrant, child-friendly libraries are essential to Room to Read’s Literacy Program. We partner with schools to establish libraries and train librarians and educators on library management that supports student learning. We advocate with governments to make sure every child has access to a library filled with developmentally appropriate, diverse and engaging books.  

Read on to learn about the progress made this year by our literacy teams around the world in library development. 


Room to Read has partnered with the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MOEYS) in Cambodia to develop a bachelor-level course focused on libraries at teacher education colleges. During the course, titled Developing Lifelong Readers: The Power of School Libraries and Classroom Reading Corners, aspiring teachers will research how school libraries directly contribute to children’s literacy development and habit of reading, receive an introduction to library science and organization principles, and explore the important role of read-alouds and other library activities in fostering children’s motivation to read. The course will also include teaching practicums which will allow educators to gain hands-on practice with the communities they serve. The course will be rolled out to eight teacher training colleges in early 2024 with more expansion coming soon. 



In 2023, Room to Read began work in two new regions in Indonesia, West Kalimantan and Maluku. Library Management Workshops have been conducted with librarians, principals and teachers from 80 schools in Bali, East Java, and East Nusa Tenggara, and with new libraries opened this month. 

Our partners have made exciting progress in preparing library rooms, with most schools completing renovations and decorations. This process has fostered collaboration among teachers, school committees, parents, and the local government.  


In Jordan, library teams have been busy preparing new teachers and librarians to create successful learning environments. They have completed trainings with multiple groups of educators and provided resources needed to implement Room to Read’s approach to libraries in Jordan. In addition, they have created a series of videos covering book care, library tours, book check outs, and library classes and rules. These videos will be shared on Room to Read’s online platform,, and will provide training help across the Arabic speaking population of the Middle East, especially for our projects in neighboring Lebanon. 



In Laos, Room to Read has established a partnership with the Luang Prabang Teacher Training College to develop a two-week primary school library course. The course includes material about children’s literature, libraries, inclusive read-alouds, book discussions, and classroom reading corner set-up and routines. With support from Room to Read and the national Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES), teachers and librarians will be able to benefit from the two-week course as soon as October 2023. Teachers will have the opportunity to lead library activities in the demonstration classroom library that Room to Read has established, allowing them to gain important hands-on experience. Going forward, Room to Read will collaborate with the MOES to expand the course nationwide. 


This year, Room to Read began an initiative to collaborate with three local publishers to develop 15 creative and distinctive storybooks in Urdu. Our partners will begin to provide training on library management and creating resourceful and nourishing places to read and learn. Book Development and Author Workshops took place in February and March with the goal of printing and distributing 90,000 books to fill the shelves of these libraries by the end of 2023.