University of Pittsburgh
March 9, 2008

Founder of Lubuto Library Project to Speak at Pitt March 19

Westmoreland County native creates libraries to serve Africa's vulnerable children

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Jane Meyers, who has worked for years to improve literacy among sub-Saharan Africa's orphans and street children, will speak from 10 a.m. to noon March 19 in Room 272, Hillman Library, 3960 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 412-648-3356.

Meyers, who is from Ligonier, Pa., will discuss her work as founder and president of Lubuto Library Project, Inc., a nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based organization that builds libraries and provides basic education to sub-Saharan Africa's orphans, street children, and other vulnerable youth, many whose parents have died of AIDS. ("Lubuto" in the Bemba language, which is spoken in central Africa, signifies knowledge, enlightenment, and light.)

Meyers also will meet informally with students and faculty to discuss international development issues from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs/Economics Library, 1400 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland.

Africa's street children are commonly barred from receiving an education. The Lubuto project's ( goal is to give the burgeoning numbers of street children the opportunity for informal education, improved literacy and language skills, general knowledge, and participation in society. Meyers says the libraries provide "refuge from life on the streets, a place where they can just be children and where the books allow them to envision a better future."

In Africa, Meyers has developed a network of research libraries for Malawi's Ministry of Agriculture while pioneering African CD-ROM applications in the 1980s. She has advised Zambia's U.S. Embassy Library and has consulted for Johns Hopkins University. While living in Zambia, Meyers became involved with a drop-in shelter in Lusaka, The Fountain of Hope, where she established a reading program, raised funds, and created a library for the children.

Meyers received the 2007 Dow Jones Leadership Award from the Special Libraries Association and was named 2008 Alumnus of the Year by the University of Maryland College of Information Studies.