Alumnus of the Year 2008: Jane Kinney Meyers
Alumnus of the Year for 2008, Jane Kinney 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. As a special Librarian, Jane Kinney Meyers sees it clearly: a network of small, open-access libraries across sub-Saharan Africa providing basic education and literacy skills to as many of the 43 million orphaned and street children as possible.
Jane Kinney Meyers, was featured on Fox 5 Morning News on January18 for her work with the Lubuto Library Project that she founded. Meyers, who believes that, in addition to food and shelter, every child deserves a chance to learn and to hope for a better future. The Lubuto Library Project was established in 2005 to build libraries (buildings and collections) for homeless and at-risk children in sub-Saharan Africa, many of whom are orphaned and infected with HIV/AIDS. Lubuto is a word in the Bemba language of Central Africa that means "enlightenment, knowledge and light," says Jane Kinney Meyers, the project’s founder and president. The next two Lubuto libraries are scheduled to be built in the rural communities of Nabukuyu and Itimpi.