Little Free Library Delivered to Historic Alexandria Library in Egypt as Part of Books For Africa Initiative

A piece of Midwestern literary culture now resides in one of the world’s oldest libraries in Alexandria, Egypt, thanks to a joint effort by nonprofits Books For Africa, Little Free Library, Minnesota Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Minnesota Book Awards program.

BFA representatives and members of the MN Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina meet with the Director of the BA, Dr Mostafa El-Feki, to donate books and a Little Free LibraryOn October 15, 2017, Patrick Plonski, Executive Director of Books For Africa, presented Bibliotheca Alexandrina officials with a Little Free Library filled with award-winning books by Minnesota authors who had been recognized in the recent Minnesota Book Awards ceremony.

The presentation was made in recognition of the 20th Annual Meeting of International Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The Library originally opened in the 3rd Century and became the world’s foremost center for scholarship. It has been recreated in recent years to honor that tradition of learning and scholarship.

“We are honored to bring a bit of Minnesota to this great and historic library and to demonstrate that books and learning know no geographic boundaries,” said Plonski. “This is a coming together of three great Minnesota/Wisconsin organizations and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.”

The inscription on the Little Free Library reads in part: “This donation is made in recognition of international friendship, fellowship, peace and education.”  A number of mobile Little Free Libraries, used to transport books to schools and libraries, were also presented.

"We are humbled to have a Little Free Library book exchange in the world's most famous library,” said Todd H. Bol, co-founder and Executive Director of Little Free Library.  “The library in Alexandria is a testament to the power of books throughout generations. We're grateful to our friends at Books For Africa for helping bring our Little Library to this truly significant space."

The Little Free Library that was presented to the Alexandria library was handcrafted in the U.S. and painted with a birch tree motif that evokes the region’s woodlands.