Khumjung School, Solukhumbu. Librarian: Pasang Doma
Phortse, Solukhumbu. Librarian: Phu Doma
Thame School, Solukhumbu: Librarian: Pasang Lhamo
Kagbeni Secondary School, Upper Mustang: Librarian: The Teachers
Tsarang Ani School, Upper Mustang. Librarian: The Students
Chhoser Secondary School, Upper Mustang. Librarian: Head Student
Samdzong School, Upper Mustang. Librarian: Village School Committee
What kinds of donations do the Magic Yeti Libraries need?
We are looking for cash donations so we can ship the best books possible to Nepal and up to the libraries. We also accept book donations.
Can you give some examples of the kinds books you accept?
Most of the locations we serve are remote and the children and adults are reading at a primer level. They love anything from infant/pre-school board books, to simple readers/primers. In secondary school, some of the students are then able to read chapter books, and a few adults are able to read adult-level books. We prefer the following types of books: children’s books (see above), reference books: Atlases, dictionaries, books on the sciences, illustrated reference books, books about women’s health. We avoid books that are religious in nature, commercial in nature, and those that focus too much on warfare.
How are you currently getting books from the U.S. to the libraries?
We currently do not have a shipper to ship our books to Nepal, so we have to send them media rate via the USPS. We ask that anyone who does a book drive for us raise the funds to ship the books to Nepal, too. We also ask that anyone who travels to Nepal, take a box of books with them in their luggage. A grass roots organization like this simply finds the way to get the books there through our network of volunteers. Books being shipped should go to our agent in Nepal, Shangri-la Treks.
GPO 6802, Panchakanya Chowk
Kapan 03, Kathmandu, Nepal
T+[977 1] 481 0373, 481 0387
F +977 1 481 1317
M +977 985 103 5161
Once the books arrive in Nepal, we sort through them and divide them between our libraries. They are then either flown or taken by truck to the trail head and then loaded onto yaks, dzopkyos, donkeys, horses or people who carry them to their remote destination.
Do you build libraries in the communities you serve?
We do not build libraries. We work with existing buildings that the community donates toward housing a library. This way our efforts can be put into getting books quickly into children’s hands and increasing literacy, rather than dealing with expensive building projects. Perhaps most importantly, by providing a room or a building, the community has a stake, an investment, in seeing that the library succeeds.
How difficult is it to obtain children’s books in Nepali right there in Nepal?
The schools can’t afford to buy books for library use so we try to augment our collection with Nepali/English books for the children. We have partnered with Room to Read (check them out online), the largest publisher of Nepali-language books for children (written by authors from Nepal). Room to Read has, and will continue to, donate books to our libraries. But we do have to purchase some books each year from them. Some of the funds we raise go toward purchasing their books. Room to Read also builds schools/libraries throughout rural Nepal. We love them.
Most of the books you have in your libraries are in English?
Are these appropriate for children who speak a different language? This is a really good question and difficult to answer in a short sentence or two. We’ve found that the areas we’re most able to provide books for are in areas where English is truly a 2nd (or 3rd) language! So, English books are not a problem, as we have witnessed kids of all ages reading our books out loud to each other (devouring them in groups) and enjoying them. Kids in Khumbu, Mustang and Nar-Phu want to read English language books. What sets us apart is that we’re delivering up-to-date children’s books from the US that are classics and are truly geared for kids. The language, in the end, often with these books, doesn’t matter. Children comprehend much of what they’re reading through the images, but the words just offer them the enticement to want to learn to read, no matter what language. We also have Nepali and Tibetan books integrated into our collections.
If a person writes a check for the project, where should the check be sent?
Checks go to the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation (ALCF):
P.O. Box 6666
Bozeman, MT 59771
Please indicate on your check that the money is for the Magic Yeti Libraries, since the ALCF has several wonderful projects. The ALCF is our umbrella non-profit providing us with some funding and administrative and web assistance. It’s easy to donate online. We’re thankful to the ALCF for making our project possible. Money given is all tax-deductible and donors receive a receipt. All proceeds go directly to The Magic Yeti Libraries.
If I wanted to be a hands-on volunteer at one of your libraries, what would I do?
First, you would need to get yourself to Nepal and up to the library where you’d like to volunteer. Then our hands-on work varies from unpacking boxes of donated books, shelving the books according to reading level, painting library rooms, building shelves, volunteer book-reading in the classrooms and masterminding fun literacy projects to get the kids interested in reading. We are looking for volunteers in Nepal and in the States who are interested in working with us to conduct book drives, raise funds, set up the libraries and do follow-through work on keeping them sustainable. Each library has its own character and set of challenges, and we try to match volunteers with each community. To learn more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.