2022 – Restocking libraries in Kenya and Uganda

We don’t just put books in a room. We keep the shelves fresh with new books as older ones get worn from constant use. This year, we restocked 18 libraries and created two new ones. Executive Director Trudy Marshall spends 6 months in Africa each year looking after our libraries, sponsored students and humanitarian efforts. When she is back in Texas doing the work to collect books and financing, a dedicated group looks after Libraries of Love’s work.

Trudy Marshall: So very thankful for Annet and Herbert who continue the daily work of our sponsored kids, libraries, and humanitarian work in Uganda while I’m away. Also, very thankful for Julian, (not pictured) who oversees Mbale libraries. Pictured next to Herbert is his wife, Doris. Tony, on the left, runs errands, takes sick people to the hospital for me, and checks on my house. A wonderful group!

Here is this year’s story told in photos from from Trudy. Hope you enjoy it and keep up to date on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LibrariesOfLove.

January 28: Welcome to my small hometown, Ewauso, Kenya.

January 24: Cheers for our Kenyan librarian, Victoria, who meets with all students in Ewauso Girls Secondary each week! The library looks beautiful.

January 31: Cooking lunch at Ewauso Primary – beans and maize (corn). The maize will be made into food like our thick cream of wheat.

February 7: Today, I trained 7th and 8th graders in the organization of their library. The students love the books. I will need to send funds to install a ceiling and one wall. At present, one wall just has a partition. The noise from the class next door is too much. The principal, Mr. Nkipai, is excellent in encouraging the use of the library. Cheers for Ewauso Primary!

February 19: I had a wonderful day with our Kenyan librarians. We had lots of laughter, good food, and library instruction – of course!

February 19: So funny! I had a Kenyan librarians’ meeting today. After lunch, I told them in honor of my grands, we needed to see who could make the best face with food left on their plate. They voted the ‘dinosaur’ man as the winner:)

February 24: We gave this lady a lift today. She told my driver she thought we were age–mates. She is 80. I think I’d better go double check in the mirror and then put on a gallon of age defying face cream:). Ha! Sweet lady!

March 23: Many thanks to The Delta Kappa Gamma International Chapter, ETA Tau, for providing 44 of the African themed books from our Amazon list. The students truly love these books as they can identify with the villages, young people, food, etc. A special thank you to Mary Treacy Wallace who arranged this generous donation.

March 25: Our librarian at King’s College– Budo (a high school) arrived at work at 7:25am this morning. This student was sitting outside the door reading. She was waiting to go in and borrow more books!

April 5: Monday a container of books was shipped from Texas. The books are now headed to me in Uganda for our libraries. Thank you, Jim Matthews, for handling shipping!
**Already this amazing group is preparing books for 2023 African libraries. God bless you Paula, Jim, Betty, Ellen, and Anna.

April 11: Thirty-eight librarians from 12 cities and 2 countries. We had 1 1/2 days of library training, which included library instruction, but also fun games such as Dewey bingo. We also shared interesting books. Of course, there was lots of singing. Our Kenya Maasai team led in Maasai singing and dancing. It was a great time of learning and fun!

April 27: One of Libraries of Love’s fifty beautiful libraries!! We believe the African child deserves libraries equal to American young people.

May 16: Libraries of Love never leaves a library. Namirembe Primary was our first library provided in 2005. It recently was repainted and received a new ceiling, plus new carpet will arrive this week. In two months, it will be restocked with approximately 600 new books.

May 23: One of our most beautiful libraries– Kings College Budo. It was built in 1912 to serve as a chapel.

May 24: Wonderful meeting today with 26 of our headteachers / principals. We started with prayer and then the song, ‘We are together again…’ Several came in after the song. Ugandans do not grow up with school libraries, so it’s important to hold informational meetings.

May 31: Grace Primary. One row at a time selects their books. Next, each will fill out the card in his/her book with the date of return, name, and class.

June 2: Libraries of Love provides beautiful metal bookshelves for each of its libraries. Pictured are two, of many, being provided for new libraries.

June 4: It’s a wrap! I’ve had two meetings attended by a our sponsored students, held in Kampala and Mbale, Uganda. In Kenya, I traveled to each remote home. A large librarian meeting was held which included our librarians from Kenya, as well as seven cities in Uganda. Also, twenty–six headteachers / principals attended our meeting three weeks ago in Kampala. This week, the last meeting, was for our Mbale headteachers.

June 14: Pictured are 107 kids, all from one class, having library time at one of our elementary schools. The kids have hardly any room to move and select books. I have suggested the librarian divide the time in half, seeing girls the first half, and boys the second. We have some schools with even larger class population – up to 180.

June 18: A small part of the 400+ boxes of books that arrived from Texas today! We are very thankful for the HM (principal) of Kitante Primary and staff members who had the boxes unloaded and stacked in order by school. Many thanks to those who donated books and funding. We appreciate each of you! It is a happening! Eighteen years of providing libraries in Uganda and Kenya!

June 21: Students love their library!

June 27: We restocked three libraries today with hundreds of books each. I enjoyed reading book reports at MotherCare Primary that were displayed in two places in the library.

Book reports at MotherCare Primary are displayed on the wall in the library.

June 28: Library #12 restocked! Bombo Military Secondary received 574 new books today. I’m thankful that at each high school we’ve had students that have volunteered to help organize the books.

June 28: The ‘Lunch Bunch.’ These students all came to read books during their lunch break at Kitante Primary.

They left their shoes at the door …

July 6: Mengo SS was busy with students today! 8th and 9th grade classes come as a group. The remainder of students come in their free time. This beautiful library is well used!

2021 – libraries restocked, 3 prison libraries created

Despite Covid-19 lockdowns and no school for most students, we accomplished our mission of restocking schools and providing our first prison libraries. Malukhu Men’s and Women’s Prisons, and the Remand Center (juvenile detention) libraries are a success! The first evening, 72 books were borrowed at the men’s. When I walked in the Remand Center and men’s prison the next day, the floors were full with men and youth reading. Changing lives!

The following reports were provided by Executive Director Trudy Marshall, who lives in Uganda six months each year.  

May 4, 2021 – Celebrating! We have now been providing libraries in Uganda for 16 years! This years shipment of approximately 13,000 books is on its way to the port at Houston. It will take 1 1/2 – 2 months to reach Uganda. Our ibraries only receive hard cover books, which are new or like new. Each book has a Dewey spine label and a pocket and card for borrowing. Many thanks to Jim Matthews who has handled the huge task of arranging shipping each year!
May 15, 2021 – We are almost finished putting in ceilings and flooring-where needed, plus painting our 39 Ugandan libraries. Also, we have provided sheer curtains that let in light, but block dirt. Our libraries are looking beautiful! The pictured library at Namatala Primary was established fourteen years ago.
May 25, 2021 – This beautiful church, build in the 1920’s, is home to our library at Kings College Budo, a secondary school. We have been repairing / refreshing our libraries. At Budo, we had the roof of the library repainted. The inside looks like a church building you would find in Europe. It is beautiful, and always full of students reading!
July 6, 2021 – Approximately 4,400 books! These guys moved the books across campus to the new room. Huge job! Then all the books had to be sorted by subject matter for non-fiction and by author for fiction. Finally, a beautiful library at Mbale High School!
July 3, 2021 – It’s hard to imagine that students here have been out of school for almost two years, and we are still locked down! They play together outside, but can’t go to school. Libraries of Love has a shipment arriving in Kenya Monday, then it will travel to Uganda. When the approximately 13,000 books arrive, many libraries need restocked and three new ones will be provided. This is difficult when transport isn’t available – only emergency vehicles can move. It will happen- somehow …
July 20, 2021 – Our container arrived today after about two months crossing the ocean. Inside the container was approximately 13,000 books. These amazing guys unloaded the truck and helped sort the boxes so they could be taken to various schools we are restocking, as well as to the three new prison libraries we are providing. To top it off, they stayed and we added 1,500 new books to Namatala Primary in proper Dewey order, of course!
July 24, 2021 – Mission accomplished! We have provided our first prison libraries. Malukhu Men’s and Women’s Prisons, and the Mbale Remand Center (juvenile detention) libraries are a success! The first evening, 72 books were borrowed at the men’s. When I walked in the remand center and men’s prison the next day, the floors were full with men and youth reading. Changing lives!

50 Libraries have been provided – 47 in schools and the last 3 in prisons!

2020 – 10 Uganda libraries restocked & 1 created

We did it despite pandemic …

We did it. With the help of librarians and sponsored students, we restocked 10 libraries and created one new library. It was an major effort to get the 13,000 books distributed in Kampala, Mukono, Jinja, and Mbale without the volunteers who normally travel from the U.S. to help. Plus, transportation was shut down as part of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Approximately 22,450 students received hundreds of new books in their libraries, and 2,000 students received a library for the first time. Unfortunately, the children won’t be able to enjoy the books until schools reopen, the timing of which has not been decided by the government.

We have been locked down in Uganda for months. Thanks to those who sponsor and donate we have been able to provide money for food each month to our 48 sponsored students’ families and 47 librarians. You can read more about this in our July newsletter.

We are excited and proud to say that more than 100,000 students have had access to books in our libraries since the first Library of Love was created at Namirembe Primary School in Kampala in 2005.

We are so thankful for all the supporters who donated books and funding, and special thanks to volunteers who gave their time to make this happen again this year. God bless you one and all. Special thanks to board member Jim Matthews for overseeing the shipping.

March 2 – This truck arrived in Round Rock, Texas, to pick up our books being sent to Uganda this year. Libraries of Love will provide three new libraries and restock 13. The truck will now go to Houston to load the container on a ship! Thank you Jim Matthews for arranging the shipping! From 2005 to 2020, 224,104 hardback new or like new books have been shipped for our 48 school libraries – all with Dewey spine labels and pockets and cards for borrowing. Incredible!

March 7 – These 36 librarians gathered in Mbale town from eight cities in Uganda. Eight also arrived from Kenya. This Libraries of Love “family” had two great days of learning how to encourage student reading, creative ways to teach students the organization of the library, and the importance of giving positive reinforcement by showing God’s love to their students. Throw in some amazing singing and the meeting was highly successful.

Container ship
Libraries of Love has a container on its way across the ocean on a ship like this one. The container, which is carrying thousands of books, presents many challenges because of the lockdown. It is scheduled to arrive at the port in Kenya on the 20th, and then journey on to Uganda. Approximately, 22,450 students will receive hundreds of new books in their libraries, with 2,000 students receiving a library for the first time. Thankfully, we have worked with a trusted customs agent for many years, so I am in touch with him. Praying all goes well.


April 20 – Our container has arrived in Mombasa, Kenya. It will be offloaded, loaded on to a semi-truck, then travel to the border of Kenya and Uganda for customs clearance. They are now checking truck drivers for COVID-19 at the border, so that may take time. When we clear, it is designated to unload at a school. I am six hours away from the school and there is no travel allowed in Uganda by car or bus. Thankful I have been here many years and have good contacts. It will happen!

Unloading books
May 5 – Our shipment arrived safely – all 320 boxes! It took the coordination of several wonderful people, as we are still on lockdown with no cars or other public transport allowed to move. Those who unloaded had to walk to the school. Our LOL coordinator rented a bike and rode endless miles to arrive. Special thanks to Herbert Segujja, our coordinator and John Kisitu, our amazing customs agent.

Books stacked in library

Thanks to the incredible volunteers in Texas who prepared thousands of books.
Next, the boxes were filled with each receiving school’s name placed on the outside of the box, along with the type of books in the box – Easy (E), Fiction (F) or Non-fiction (NF). The boxes in Kampala have now been distributed. Monday morning we will pack a truck and deliver boxes to libraries in Mukono, Jinja, and Mbale.
A HUGE thanks to all the publishing companies, groups, and individuals who donated books!
LOL-May 14 2020Libraries of Love is set up legally to provide libraries – which is our focus, but also to provide humanitarian assistance if needed. As I leave my village each day for a three mile walk, I tuck some funding from donors, as well as some of my own funds, in my jeans. As I see women, such as these, hoeing gardens in the hot sun, I slip them some money for food. After I had given these ladies food money, I turned back to look. They were jumping up and down hugging each other.
May God bless our donors. Your help has made a difference!


LOL-June 1 2020All 320 boxes containing approximately 13,000 books have now been distributed to 18 schools. Each book is a new or like new hardback book, complete with a Dewey spine label for organization, and a pocket and card for borrowing. We are so grateful for those who donate these incredible books.
It’s time to start to putting beautiful, organized libraries together!

LOL-June 3 2020
Kasubi Primary has been restocked with 533 new books. All the books on the shelves had to come off and be organized with the new books. I’m thankful for this wonderful group that spent the day working to bless the children of Kasubi.

LOL-June 5 2020
We took more than 5,000 books off the shelves and then mixed in hundreds of new books to create a beautiful, organized library for Buganda Road Primary. So much work, but what a blessing for the students! The Ugandan government doesn’t provide such libraries, so we are thankful for all those who help make this happen.

LOL-June 9 2020
June  9th  is Hero’s Day in Uganda. I would like to give a shout to all of those who have stepped in to take the place of our team that couldn’t come this year. As I have organized libraries, we have been joined by assistant principals, teachers (two on top left), our librarians, the Ononge family, and Herbert Segujja, who works with Libraries of Love. Making a difference – my heroes!

LOL-June 15 2020

LOL-June 15 2020-2
Library No. 6 for 2020, Wambwa Primary, was restocked with 1,107 books. We provided this library in 2009. Great job Monica (librarian), Sam and Juma (college students who I refer to as double trouble) and Tony my boda driver!

LOL-June 18 2020Libraries of Love only puts hardback books in our libraries. This year, we did send some paperback and board books to give away. I (Trudy) had to smile as I was walking to town and spotted this little one with her book!

This is just one side of the room in the new library provided by Libraries of Love at Musoto Christian Primary, located in the village where our executive director lives while in Uganda. A total of 3,062 books were organized and are ready for use when schools reopen.

We added 1,081 new books the Light Academy Primary library. Great displays in this library. The librarian had students fill in the ‘person’ outline, to share about themselves. She also read the students non-fiction books in the library. From those books, students filled in venn diagrams comparing fruits and vegetables, and also the sun and moon. Librarian / teacher – perfect! 

LOL-June 29 2020It’s a wrap!

This amazing group – with the assistance of missionary Liz Ingram – worked for endless hours sorting approximately 9,000 books and placing them on shelves by subject matter for non-fiction and author for fiction. So, it’s June 29, and it’s a wrap for the 2020 libraries. Only librarian training remains.

2019 – 3 new libraries and 10 to restock

Books have arrived in Uganda
Year 15! We are so excited the shipment has arrived and so thankful for all the supporters who donated books and funding, and special thanks to volunteers who gave their time to make this happen again this year. The shipment of 13,000+ new or like-new hardback books made the two-month trip from Texas and will make their way into 13 schools – 3 new libraries and 10 to be restocked. God bless you one and all. Special thanks to board member Jim Matthews for overseeing the shipping.


Books arrive in Uganda, get unloaded and distributed to schools.

Zion Primary - 2019 restock
Our first restock of 2019 is at Zion Primary. An army general drove me the three hours to the school. It was a long but good day. The library looks great. The teachers were there, but the kids were on break, so the teachers helped organize the books.

Sponsored in Kampala - 2019
45 Libraries. 65 sponsored students attending school. 6 college graduates. I love the scope of Libraries of Love which covers education and humanitarian needs. Pictured are some of our sponsored students in Kampala.

Librarians - 2019
Two awesome days with 30 amazing librarians from 7 cities! The first day was fellowship. Today we had library training all day. One learning game was Dewey Bingo. It was the first time they had played bingo! They loved it. So, of course, I had to launch into…’There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name-o,’ (though it had nothing to do with playing bingo:). There was lots of laughs as we sang.

African Childrens - 2019.jpg
Today we enjoyed adding several hundred books to our library in the African Children’s Choir school. They were especially happy to receive the African themed books from our list on Amazon. These kids are avid readers! Pictured are: Joseph who works with Libraries of Love, Hope- the librarian at ACC, and Joseph the headteacher (principal).

Bat Valley -2019
Today we restocked Bat Valley Primary, which was provided in 2007. Libraries of Love never leaves a library. Libraries are restocked as needed, and librarian training is continuous. The library looked fresh.

2019 team with sponsoredAmazing first night for the team. We had a great time with Juma and Santos – two of our sponsored, plus Pastor Cephas, Claire, and their children – Vessel, Temple, Zipporah, and the twins. Juma and Santos shared their stories of how sponsorship changed their lives, and the Pastor and Claire shared the miracle of the twins birth. Also, we had a good time singing. 

Kings College - 2019This team is incredible. They restocked Kings College-Budo in record time — with help from their friends. Impressive!

Kings College Library - 2019.jpg
Our library we restocked today at Kings College is housed in a beautiful church built in the twenties. It looks like churches in Europe. We provided this library in 2010.

2019 restocking1

Intense work with a beautiful outcome! Go team go! Three new libraries provided, four previous libraries restocked! (June 13)

2109 restocking


Amazing reading competition between Libraries of Love secondary schools today. Meet Harriet Tubman, Cleopatra, and Barack Obama. This category was to read a book about someone you considered a hero, dress up as that person, and give a book summary.


The team enjoyed sports day at Namirembe Primary School. They were very popular with the kids. 🙂

One more beautiful library completed!

Flooring on boda -2019Need more vinyl flooring? Then go get some on a boda, what they call their motorcycle taxis here.

A Boda driver I used today badly needed some new shoes. I am forever grateful to those who donate to make these good deeds possible. Libraries of Love: more than just books … spreading sunshine.

Mbale Sponsored - 2019The 2019 team had a great time playing games, reading stories, and singing with many of our sponsored in Mbale.

Librarian reads -2019One of our librarians reading to her class! Sweet!

Team Goodbye - 2019Time to say goodbye to this wonderful team. They have accomplished so much and were a blessing to many. We are going for an evening of worship at the Africans Children’s Choir and then off to the airport!

12 Uganda Libraries Restocked – Summer 2018

2018-books-arrivePictured are some of the hundreds of boxes of books that arrived in May in the 2018 shipment of 13,000 books to restock 12 libraries in Uganda and organize 1 new library.

Boxes were ready for schools to collect! Before leaving Texas, a school name is placed on each box, and it is marked as Easy, Fiction, or Non-Fiction. Each book shipped has a Dewey spine label, plus pocket and card for borrowing. Cheers for faithful volunteers in Texas and our many supporters.

Happy Students ReadThese kids were happy to receive 500 new books for their library. It’s part of the continuing commitment Libraries of Love has with all of the schools that receive libraries.

Buganda Road PrimaryLoved finding these kids with their class borrowing books at Buganda Road Primary. Another class was waiting to come in.

Bat Valley PrimaryLibrary time at Bat Valley Primary. I enjoyed time with second and seventh grade classes.

SkypingWe had a great time Skyping between Namirembe Primary in Uganda and Forest Creek Elementary in Texas. The kids loved it. Each group had prepared questions to ask. Smile and more smiles!

Librarians Meet(June 2, 2018) – Much singing, dancing, laughter, new friendships and learning took place the last two days as our 40 Libraries of Love librarians met in Mbale. A special treat was having our Kenyan librarians join with our Ugandan librarians. We are a family. Great meeting!

Cathy Kreutter(June 10, 2018) – Great time today at the launching of Cathy Kreutter’s two new books, ‘Amina’s Choice’ and ‘The Rock and Roll Rolex.’ (A rolex is like our breakfast taco. ) Two of Cathy’s books, ‘Nitendo’s Wish’ and ‘I Know a Mzee (old man) Who Swallowed a Fly’ are on our Libraries of Love Amazon Wish List. Cathy has lived in Uganda 30 years. Her books have many words in the children’s native language, as well as pictures with Ugandan settings. Great books!

Namatala RestockGreat team work resulting in a beautiful library. Namatala Laurel Library was our second library, established in 2006. Libraries of Love restocks each library at least every three years.

Principals Meet(July 7, 2018) – We had an awesome Libraries of Love HM / principals’ meeting. Principals learned how to use the libraries to their fullest potential. Two groups that won our high school reading competition presented. One presented Romeo and Juliet. The other group shared a travel brochure they created about Kenya. Two were dressed as Maasai. Some of our librarians presented good / bad librarians skit. Great day. Very worthwhile!


Maasai land, Ngong Hills, Kenya – Summer 2017

In 2017, seven libraries were supplied for schools in Maasai land, Ngong Hills, Kenya. Each school is remote, at least 1 1/2 hours from a main road. The schools are not located in towns. They are located in what is referred to in Africa as the “bush.” Through the books, the world will open to these students. In the non-fiction they will see people from around the world of different cultures. Many of the non-fiction books correlates with the students’ curriculum, but with beautiful pictures and interesting text.



The primary schools received easy picture books, novels, and non-fiction books. Secondary schools received novels, non-fiction, and reference books. The number of books needed was formulated by tripling the student population at each school. We provided 4 primary libraries and 3 secondary. The schools receiving books:

  • Najile Boys Secondary
    • 400 students – 1,207 books
  • Ewauso Girls Secondary
    • 300 students – 897 books
  • Olasiti Secondary
    • 420 students – 1,155 books
  • Ewuaso Primary
    • 1008 students – 2,702 books
  • Najile Primary
    • 400 students – 1,797 books
  • Seneto Primary
    • 810 students – 2,397 books
  • Kipeto Primary
    • 400 students – 1,711 books

Executive Director Trudy Marshall met with all the librarians and principals for training while she was in Kenya. Education officials came to meet with Trudy to offer their thanks for the work of Libraries of Love. In 2018, Libraries of Love is hoping to bring the Kenyan librarians to the two-day training session that is held annually for Ugandan librarians.


Class in the library showing off their new books.

Thanks to a special Amazon purchase program created for Libraries of Love by volunteers Jim and Ellen Matthews, each school received 52 African themed books.

There aren’t words to describe the expressions on students’ faces when they first see their library and are given books to read. They totally forget we are there. Love watching their excitement.

Amazing day with the team in the Masa Mara in Kenya. We arrived just in time to see part of the great migration of wildebeest swimming the Mara River from Tanzania into Kenya looking for grass.



Mbale/Kampala, Uganda – Summer 2016


What a great team!  It is hard to imagine the work involved. This team definitely did their part – working quickly and tirelessly. They laughed and joked even when conditions were hot and dirty at times . They are pictured with our favorite safari driver, Naser.

Libraries Updated: 13
One new library created

Thirteen existing Libraries of Love libraries were restocked this summer with thousands of books, and one new high school library was created. Many thanks to the incredible 2016 team for their hard work and for taking time to share their love with the students. The “mzungu” parade through the villages to visit sponsored students’ homes will never be forgotten. The huge smiles said it all.

Continue reading “Mbale/Kampala, Uganda – Summer 2016”

Mbale/Kampala, Uganda – Summer 2015

Schools: St. Janan High School, Kitante Primary, Zion Primary
Libraries: St. Janan Laurel Library, Kitante Laurel Library, Zion Laurel Library
Students Served: 4600

Facebook post from Trudy (June 16):
The volunteer team arrived Sunday. Took them to Endere Outdoor Theatre in the evening. There were dancers from each part of Uganda, and a comedian, as well. Wonderful evening!

Continue reading “Mbale/Kampala, Uganda – Summer 2015”

Mbale/Kampala, Uganda – Summer 2013

Schools: Mengo Primary, Faithful Servants Primary, Faithful Servants Secondary, Mothercare Preparatory
Libraries: Mengo Laurel Library, Faithful Servants Primary Laurel Library, Faithful Servants Secondary Laurel Library, Mothercare Preparatory Laurel Library
Students Served: 4000

In reflection, I simply shake my head and think – incredible. As we have provided libraries the past 9 years, the administrators have constantly commented on the difference reading has made in concentration, expanded vocabulary, improved writing skills, and general knowledge.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who gives me a book I haven’t read.” The books are changing lives, but the continued friendships and love that are shared through LOL are changing lives as well.
Continue reading “Mbale/Kampala, Uganda – Summer 2013”