Sharing the Joy of Reading with an African Child
for 25 years

About Osu Children’s Library Fund [OCLF]

Photo by Nyani Quarmyne

We are a good team — Osu Children’s Library Fund, Canada and Osu Library Fund, Ghana—and share the same mission: to bring books and literacy skills to African children and adults.
Recognizing that most African children have little or no access to storybooks, OCLF helps to build libraries and stock them with carefully chosen books. Caring and trained personnel create safe and colourful environments. Outreach includes literacy classes for those who have never been to school, thereby improving their self esteem and job prospects.

Ghanaians appreciate the importance of literacy and they request our assistance because it has proven to be effective and reliable. OCLF works at the grassroots level and seeks support and participation from members of the host community.

Kathy Knowles, founder and volunteer director, runs OCLF from her Winnipeg home in partnership with a Canadian and Ghanaian Board of Directors, African librarians and community participants. She visits Ghana twice a year to oversee library projects and occasionally travels to other African countries.

OCLF’s Vision Statement

To bring books and the joy of reading to all African children.

OCLF’s Mission Statement

In close partnership with local authorities and communities, the ‘Fund’ develops a network of vibrant libraries, primarily in Ghana, which promote reading for children and literacy classes for adults.

We seek and encourage the involvement of local communities by respecting their ideas and contributions and helping them achieve sustainability in their projects.

We provide and, when possible, create culturally appropriate books, especially for early readers.

We extend the outreach of each library where there is community and financial support, e.g., to provide workshops, cultural activities, high school scholarships and food programs.

We raise funds to meet the needs of existing libraries, including repair and maintenance of buildings, and to cover the costs of new projects.

We encourage local staff to initiate and manage their own projects and provide financial assistance, as needed.

We support librarians in their efforts to attain personal growth and job satisfaction and create a network where each librarian feels valued.