1. Are you a registered charity in Canada, and where do I send my donation?
Osu Children’s Library Fund (OCLF) is a registered Canadian charity (# 88 990 4264RR0001) incorporated under the laws of Canada. Cheques should be made payable to Osu Children’s Library Fund and sent to 188 Montrose St., Winnipeg, MB R3M 3M7. Tax receipts are mailed out, usually within one month.
2. Can you give credit card donations online and is it safe?
Yes, Canadian donors can give through CanadaHelps which, according to their website, is “protected against unauthorized activity by robust hardware and software security systems.” Tax receipts are issued immediately by email and a letter of appreciation from OCLF follows by post, if address details are provided.
3. Do you accept donations in other currencies?
Yes, donations are accepted in any currency, but tax receipts are only issued for Canadian donors.
4. How do I make recurring donations?
You can either send post-dated cheques to OCLF’s address or notify CanadaHelps of your intent. Monthly donations are deducted on the same date of every month.
5. Do you give tax receipts for services?
According to tax regulations, service gifts are not eligible for tax receipts.
6. Can I make a donation of stocks?
Yes, stock donations are most welcome. Please contact Bonnie Gailfus, OCLF’s Treasurer, at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
7. Can I make a donation In Memoriam or to honour an occasion?
Yes, either mail a cheque to OCLF’s address with your instructions or provide this information online through CanadaHelps . OCLF will follow through with an acknowledgement card.
8. How much of my donation goes towards administration?
In 2014, OCLF’s administration costs were only 2%. There are no paid staff members in Canada as we rely on a team of dedicated volunteers.
9. Can I sponsor a scholarship for a specific child?
Unfortunately, we are unable to do so as the administrative work is too detailed.
In 2014/2015, OCLF gave 25 high school scholarships to deserving students. Recipients must log four hours of weekly community service at one of the libraries to maintain their standing.
Free primary education to Grade 9 is now offered through government schools although there are miscellaneous expenses such as uniforms and textbooks. Occasionally, OCLF covers these costs, as needed.
10. Do you accept donations of books?
After more than 20 years we are no longer accepting books. The last 20′ shipping container left 188 Montrose St in Winnipeg on February 17, 2011.
11. Does OCLF sell or trade donor information to other agencies?
12. How can I help other communities in Africa start their own libraries and would OCLF provide assistance?
Please read our publication How to Set Up Community Libraries for Children (English PDF 52 Kb) written specifically for this purpose. Communities often rush to build a library without securing long-term financial support to pay for staffing and maintenance costs.
OCLF offers a free three-week lay librarian training course in Accra. Communities can apply for the training providing their library is not-for-profit, ready with an available space, and the librarian’s salary is secure. Funding for library projects is sometimes considered but only after a period of evaluation and strong community support.
13. Do you accept volunteers?
Yes, we welcome volunteers in Ghana. However, as we are a small organization we can only accommodate a few at a time. (See Volunteer section of website)
14. Can my students become pen pals with some of the children at the libraries?
While we appreciate your interest in establishing contact with children in Africa, we have found this is too labour-intensive to arrange, and the exchange often ends in disappointment.
15. Can I visit your libraries when I am in Ghana?
Yes, you are most welcome to visit any of our libraries including seven in the Greater Accra region. The Kathy Knowles Community Library is now mentioned in the Bradt Guide’s 5th edition as “one of the most special places…” It is best to start with the small ‘container library’ where head librarian Joana Felih will extend a warm welcome. Her contact numbers are 024 683 8171 or 027 745 2380.
16. Where can I buy copies of your books? OCLF books can be purchased from the website’s order form. They can also be purchased from McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg www.mcnallyrobinson.com
In Ghana, OCLF books are available at the Kathy Knowles Community Library in Accra. Please contact Joanna Felih at 024 683 8171 or 027 745 2380 for information and directions.