MOROCCO LIBRARY PROJECT
INSPIRING LITERACY, BUILDING FRIENDSHIP
We develop English libraries at public high schools in rural communities of Morocco. OliveSeed founder Barb Mackraz started Morocco Library Project (MLP) in January 2014, and we now manage it in OliveSeed, where it continues to grow. These libraries are primarily in Amazigh communities in desert and mountain areas, where we collaborate with teachers and students to understand the local context and curate an enjoyable collection for them. Working with after-school English clubs, we also codevelop project-based programs including creative writing and the collection of oral stories.
What began as the "Purple Library" in the town of Erfoud in 2014 has blossomed into 30+ libraries and is expanding into more (where?), including a mobile library in the Sahara. Our mission is to help teachers inspire a love of learning and culture of reading, and to spark a passion for the positive possibilities that lie ahead for this generation. It's a privilege to work in this part of the world with teenagers who never previously had books for pleasure reading but are embracing this resource with all their heart.
FIND STUDENT BOOK REVIEWS, VIDEOS, AND STORIES ON THE MLP WEBSITE
NETWORK OF LIBRARIES IN THE ZAGORA REGION
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROTOTYPE
6 NEW ENGLISH CLUB LIBRARIES
WHERE WE WORK
THE IMPACT ON GIRLS
Morocco Library Project is for all students, boys and girls alike, and we feel strongly that it should be. But MLP is having an especially profound impact on girls. In rural regions of Morocco, female participation is as low as 26%, compared with 79% for boys. By contrast, these English clubs with libraries are consistently over 60% girls, who are embracing the supportive environment and the rich extra-curricular learning activities of the library. As teachers often tell us, "Girls love to read," and they frequently report that once their club has a library, more girls get involved.
"Maybe one of the hardest things to do is to try picturing in words what simply can't be, and this is to me what it means to talk about how a package of books has changed the world around me."
"It's time to respond to the Mother Earth call!" Students in Chouiter were so inspired by the story of Rachel Carson that they formed an environmental club and planted
20 trees in their community.
BEFORE | AFTER
"A school without a library is like a body without a soul."
~Meriem, age 16