Libraries Without Borders has been supporting libraries and schools in Mali since 2010.


Two crises have seriously affected Mali’s libraries and schools in the northern part of the country since the begining of the decade. In 2011, Mali suffered from severe food crisis where the northern regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal were particularly affected. The alimentation crisis grafted into a political security crisis in 2012 due to rebellious army groups in the north and coup d’état.

Our approach

In order to support the development of reading and libraries in Mali, especially for the youngest, Libraries Without Borders worked alongside its partners to create libraries, send books and organize workshops in schools.

Our Work in Mali

Book trunks to assist Marc Roger’ interventions


Education & Cultural Diversity

Start date





Marc Roger left in May 31, 2009 by foot along a meridian running from the French town of Saint-Malo to Bamako, the capital of Mali, reaching his destination in June 2010. Throughout his voyage between the two towns, he read books, poems and stories by French, African and Francophone authors in schools, libraries, bookstores and, in particular, schools associated with the UNESCO network.

This one year voyage allowed the public reader to criss-cross France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Mali. Altogether, he travelled more than 7109 km with Babel, his donkey and travel companion, holding nearly 130 readings and reaching more than 7850 listeners.


  • To encourage the emergence of local book supply chains; more than a third of the books were purchased from African publishers.
  • To directly promote the literature of North and West Africa among the library’s public.
  • To support the practice of reading and develop a taste for reading among children and adults in these countries.
  • To promote access to culture and education.


Libraries Without Borders assisted Marc Roger’s interventions by offering 20 trunks to the libraries and schools he visited in Senegal and Mali. Each contained 91 francophone books intended for a mixed public (ages 2-4 to adult). The trunks left the warehouse in March 2010 and arrived in Senegal in May and in Mali in June. They constitute small mobile libraries intended to be sent back and forth between the various schools and libraries of the villages and towns concerned.

  • The targeted donation of more than 1800 francophone books to the schools and libraries visited by Marc Roger in Senegal and Mali.
  • The acquisition of more than a third of the books from African publishers, specialist bookstores and the International Alliance of Independent Publishers.
  • Funding the transport of 20 trunks to Senegal and Mali.


In Mali:

  • 3 elementary schools (in Bamako and Kayes)
  • 1 middle school (Bamako)
  • 1 high school (Bamako)
  • 2 Franco-Malian Alliances  (in Kayes and Mopti)
  • The OMRIB Association – Malian Organization for the Reinforcement of Basic Initiatives (Yélimané)


In Senegal:

  • 8 elementary schools (in Dakar, Donaye Taredji, Gamadji Saré, Guédé, Kidira, Ngawlé and Podor)
  • SOS Children of Kaolack Village


Financial Partners


Executive Partners



  • Milan
  • Kaléidoscope
  • Syros Editeur Jeunesse
  • Association of National Museums
  • Noir sur Blanc publishers
  • Gallimard Jeunesse
  • Points
  • L’école des Loisirs
  • Conseil Général de l’Essone
  • French National Commission for UNESCO
  • La Voie des Livres
  • French Embassy in Mali
  • French Embassy in Senegal
  • Association Podor Rive Gauche
  • Didier Jeunesse
  • Albin Michel
Supporting the community education center of Kalaban Coro in Mali


Access to Education & Culture

Start date




The Kalaban Coro Community Center in Bamako opened its doors on December 10th, 2001. It is an associative structure run by residents of the neighborhood eager to offer educational and recreational activities to a public for the most part consisting of children, young people and women.

A library that today contains more than 3000 books and 1400 registered readers has opened within the Community Center. As part of the AFLAM project to support the Malian book network, it is open to all and attached to a public library. It is open three afternoons per week with assistance from 4 student volunteers trained by the National Public Reading Center and the French Cultural Center of Bamako.

The library organizes many book-centered activities and participates in large public events such as “Lire en Fête,” Francophone Week and the “Printemps des poètes.” LWB contributes expertise to these events.


  • To expand the resources available to the Center’s library.
  • To allow the Community Center to attract a larger public via its schedule of events.


  • Contributing expertise to help establish certain Community Center projects.
  • Donating 300 children’s and university-level books to the Kalaban Coro Community Center.


  • The 1400 readers already registered with the library as well as new users.
  • Library personnel involved in organizing new activities.

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