Friday, July 22, 2005

Librarians Without Borders - Angolan Medical Library is First International Mission

Contact: Chris Simmons
Media Liaison
Librarians Without Borders
Tel: 519-673-7007

Librarians without Borders Kicks off first international Mission by organizing Angolan medical library Canadian university student volunteers move international community to help London, ON July 21, 2005 Librarians without Borders, a non-profit organization based in London, Ontario, has kicked off its first international mission by organizing a much-needed medical library in Huambo, Angola. The project is designed to help the country begin to build a health care system that is a basic element of any civil society.

Librarians Without Borders (LWB) was founded by University of Western Ontario student in Library Science, Melanie Sellar. After working with a graduate student from Angola named Jorge Chimbinda, Melanie was moved to action by his stories of the many problems stemming from a twenty-seven year civil war. Angola's civil war ended in 2002 but it left the country and its infrastructure devastated.

"LWB is unique from many other library-development programs because its objective is to provide essential information resources in the local languages of the country or region," said Melanie Sellar, President of LWB.

"By focusing aid on specific projects, Librarians Without Borders will give its stakeholders a clear sense of what their support is achieving by providing a detailed plan of action and continual updates about how a project is progressing. In this way, we hope to give people the confidence that their support is really effective and a sense of participation in the process of social progress."

Canadians often feel an urge to play a role in global affairs but may be cautious about donating to developing countries without a clear sense of what this aid will achieve. As an alternative to aid donations, LWB intends to build partnerships with medical textbook publishers to help develop a medical library that will assist Angola in building its medical profession.

The Angola project marks the organization's first international mission. LWB will focus on the Southern African nation¹s city of Huambo, where Portuguese is an official language. A building purchased by the Catholic Mission in Huambo has been repaired and is ready to function as a medical library for the University of Agostinho Neto, but it is lacking essential resources such as medical textbooks to stock the facility.

To learn more about LWB and to subscribe to our mailing, visit If you are interested in donating to or partnering with LWB, please send an e-mail to Heather McDonald (Chair) or Melanie Sellar (President) at

About Librarians Without Borders

Located in London, Ontario, Librarians Without Borders is a non-profit organization that gives Canadians an opportunity to assist with international development. The organization works with community organizations in developing countries to provide access to the information resources that are crucial to their economic and cultural development.

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