Help me build a library for young adults! Donate and spread the word!
1: About me
2: About the library
3: Why the library
7: Why you should support the library
About me: My name is Fatou, and I am a 33 year old activist-librarian passionate about making literature accessible to everyone. In Sweden and in France, I studied Literature and Social Anthropology with the aim of becoming a librarian and then establishing a safe and inclusive library for teenagers and young adults. The Orange Library is a project that I have been working towards my entire adult life.
About the library: The Orange Library is a safe space for teenagers and young adults to find themselves and each other. The Orange Library is an inclusive space with literature and language that respects, cares for and tells stories that reflect back to these young people. We know that education and learning is important for growth and self-awareness. We also know that community is just as vital, building a safe and caring community helps us and those around us grow and learn to accept each other for who we are.
Why a library for young adults: Imagine stepping into a place where every page turned is an affirmation of your existence. Just like the perfect orange, when you slice it open and you know it will be good, that is how it should be to open a book, the words flowing like orange juice, the pages turning making you curious about the final taste. Teenagers and young adults deserve a place that gives them the power to do language, to paraphrase Toni Morrison.
Timeline: At the end of November 2023, I will be relocating to The Gambia and staying there for two to three years to work with the project. Hopefully, after a couple of years, The Orange Library will have become a community effort.
Location: The actual physical location is yet to be determined, it rains a lot in The Gambia. The average annual percentage of humidity is: 68%. The ideal range of relative humidity for book storage is between 30% and 55%. This means that a space with good ventilation is needed, plus air dehumidifiers.
But hopefully I’ll find a location around the young neighbourhood in the town of Bijilo.
- Renovation, Furnishing, Rent: The cost of refurbishing the library space, including painting, flooring, shelving, and furniture: $30,000.
- Acquisition of Books and Educational Materials: Building a diverse collection of books, periodicals, e-books, and educational resources can require an investment of approximately $30,000.
- Computer Facilities and Internet Access: Equipping the library with computers, printers, and a reliable internet connection: $15,000.
- Training and Capacity Building: Providing training for local librarians and volunteers: $5,000.
- Program Development and Community Engagement: Organizing workshops, seminars, cultural events, and community engagement activities: $10,000.
- Salaries: While this project will depend on voluntary work, the goal is to be able to also have paid employees: $20,000.
This of course, adds up to $110,000, which is more than this fundraiser’s goal. This fundraiser is a start, a goal that I am hoping to reach before my big move to The Gambia at the end of November.
Why you should support the library: Your support will literally be the cornerstone of The Orange Library. By contributing its existence you are not just helping to establish a library; you are igniting a beacon of belonging & empowerment. You are lighting a path that leads young hearts to the understanding that they are not alone. And I believe that in the end, that is what we all need to be reminded of, we are not alone in this world.
Together, let's create a space where young people can immerse themselves in stories (both written and living) that affirm their identity and fire their aspirations. Your involvement, whether through a donation, a share, or simply spreading the word, is a pivotal step towards nurturing young minds.
Thank you for joining me in this journey of love, acceptance, community and education. Let's build not just a library, but a legacy of empowerment for all the young people out there.
With heartfelt gratitude,
PS: Stay connected and witness the impact of your support! Follow The Orange Library's journey and get updates on the progress, community activities, and the positive changes your contribution is bringing to life. Follow us on Instagram The Orange Library and be a part of this remarkable story.