Cameroon

Since 2008, Libraries Without Borders supports the development of libraries in all their forms—fixed, mobile and digital—in Cameroon.

Background

One of the main challenges facing libraries in developing countries is their sustainability. Too often, they do not benefit from government support and fail to find the resources necessary for their functioning. The sustainability of library projects is the key to their success: in the long term, libraries can have structural effects on literacy rates and academic achievement. They also provide keys to reading current events, spaces for debate and sharing essential for democratization and openness to the world. The government of Cameroon, a lower middle income country with a population of 23.3 million people, struggles to put asides resources to support libraries and other cultural institutions. 

Our approach

Libraries Without Borders has been supporting libraries, especially the CLAC (Center for Reading and Cultural Activities) of Yaoundé, but also the government of Cameroon, to develop a better access to cultural infrastructures by implementing income generating activites and setting up new and innovative tools such as digital libraries (Koombook) and bookmobiles (Street CLAC, MINAC bus, etc.). Lastly, Libraries Without Borders has been training a new generation of cultural entrepreneurs and librarians who will be carrying projects aimed at having a strong social impact on their communities.

Our projects in Cameroon


Development of the Center for Reading and Cultural Activities (CLAC) of Yaoundé

Objective

Access to education & culture


Start date

1231113600


Status

Closed


Background

Run by the Youth, Culture, and Development Association, the CLAC promotes access to information, provides an appealing access to reading, and each week organizes conferences, debates, and events in the capital of Yaoundé . Despite its success, the lack of financial resources for the project, which has little support from public associations, prevents the development of its activities.

Since September 2011, efforts to enlarge the CLAC were initiated in order to respond to the growing needs of the users, to make the common space more pleasant and functional, and to start the development of new cultural activities as well as possible revenue generators.

Activities

  • Rehabilitating and expanding the surface of the CLAC to include a youth space, a multimedia center, etc.
  • Strengthening the book collection by providing new paper books and digitizing part of the collection
  • Implementation of a cultural activities program
  • Training CLAC personnel to management, library techniques and cultural facilitation

Objectives

  • Extend the space and develop the activities of the CLAC.
  • Expand access to culture and information for the population of Yaoundé.
  • Establishment of autonomy of the CLAC.

Duration

2009 – 2012 (36 months)

Beneficiaries

  • The inhabitants of the community of Mimboman, including approximately 4,000 children and youth living in the neighborhood

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Executive partners

Financial partners

The Street CLAC: a mobile library for the CLAC of Yaoundé

Objective

Access to education & culture


Start date

1401667200


Status

Ongoing


Background

Following an ambitious program helping to develop a media center, training staff, increase book collections, and develop income-generating activities to ensure the financial autonomy of the Center for Reading and Cultural Activities (CLAC), LWB and the CLAC began working on a mobile library: the Street CLAC.

The Street CLAC is a mobile library who’s role is to expand the reach of the CLAC and provide access to reading, culture, and information to the population of Yaoundé. The Street CLAC is more than just a library because it offers children, teens, and illiterate women living in these neighborhoods access to new technologies, a rich and varied program of cultural activities, and thematic workshops to raise awareness on issues such as health, environment, and access to law.

Activities

  • Acquiring and customizing a bus into a mobile library.
  • Equipping the mobile library with books, IT material and more.

Objectives

  • Expand the reach of the CLAC’s activities outside of its walls.

Duration

2014-2016

Beneficiaries

  • The inhabitants of the capital Yaoundé

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Executive partners

Financial partners

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