JANE KINNEY MEYERS

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Jane Meyers is a professional librarian with over 20 years' experience working with and living in Africa. She lived in Malawi for nearly four years, developing a network of research libraries for the country's Ministry of Agriculture, under a World Bank project, and pioneering CD-ROM applications for Africa in the mid-1980's. Ten years later she returned to neighboring Zambia, accompanying her husband for a three-year posting. There, as Jane worked on projects for the American Library and for Johns Hopkins University, she became increasingly involved with services to street children offered by the Fountain of Hope, a drop-in shelter in Lusaka. She established a reading program, served on the Board, raised funds, and created a library for the children, among her many contributions to the center. On her return to the U.S. in 2001, she developed the concept, approach and organization of the Lubuto Library Project, based on the success and impact of the library in Lusaka. It was becoming a mother, volunteering in her children's schools and with an organization to support child survivors of the Rwanda genocide, and working at the Cheshire Cat bookstore that prepared Jane to go in a different direction professionally when she moved to Zambia. She had taken perhaps 1,000 good children's books with her, knowing (from the Malawi experience) how precious and inaccessible books are in Africa. So it was natural that, when she first visited Fountain of Hope, she asked if she could read to the children. Recognizing the great unmet need in helping those children, her career is now focused on making books and libraries available to the most vulnerable children in Africa.