malagasy children in front of mobile library

Building the Bibliobus (Library Bus)

Since 1905, Rotarians have placed service to their communities and to the world above themselves. Local Rotary clubs like ours embody the idea of putting selflessness into action.

This year, Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club is partnering with Rotary Club Tsimbaroa in Antananarivo, Madagascar on an exciting literacy project and we need your help!

The Bibliobus (library bus) will navigate through rural neighborhoods in and around Antananarivo (the capital city) to bring books and internet access to residents who don’t have a library. 

The Need

  • 75% of Malagasy people live on less than $1.90/day. For comparison only 1.2% of the U.S. population lives on less than $1.90/day. Source: The World Bank 
  •  85% of homes in Madagascar do not have access to electricity. Meaning, an inability to access the internet. Source: The World Bank 
  • More than 1.3 million children (60% of pre-primary school-aged children) are not enrolled in school contributing to deep education/literacy inequality from the start. Children enrolled in pre-primary school are twice as likely to to be on track to early literacy.  Source: Unicef 
  • The adult literacy rate  (ages 15-24) is 80.6% , an improvement in recent years yet more work needs to be done. Literacy = the ability to  both read and write with comprehension of a short simple statement. 

The Impact

The library will have a huge impact on children, parents and educators in the region, with the club expecting to serve 54,000 people who haven’t accessed the internet before.

By 2022, the bibliobus will serve:

  • 144,000 library users
  • 72,000 internet users by 2022.
  • Two librarians will be present at all times to manage books and welcome young people and community members in the bibliobus.

View the project presentation, here.

Help Us Bring the Bibliobus to Life

Join us in our mission to create healthier, more prosperous communities through the bibliobus. Our fundraising efforts run now through December 31, 2021. In the meantime, we will be applying for grant funding through Rotary District 5870 as well as the Rotary Foundation to help us meeting our $40,000 goal. 

All donations are tax deductible. 

May 22 - Build the Bibliobus:
Virtual Concert Fundraiser

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Virtual) 

Join us for an evening of amazing music streamed via PurpleBee studios. Artists include: Jo James (as seen on The Voice) and The Reverent Few! All proceeds generated will go toward our Bibliobus project. 

A special thank you to our sponsors: Floyd Real Estate (Christine Kempff Realtor), Cadence Wealth Management, LLC, The Brewtorium, TMS, Edward Jones (Stacy Bouwman), Cher T. Realtor (Stanberry Realtors) 

Click here to add the concert to your calendar and see viewing details. 

Jo James

Austin TX Singer-Songwriter and multi instrumentalist Jo James has a gift of entertaining the crowd. His “retro” style incorporates elements of Blues, Neo Soul, R&B, and Funk. Jo delivers smooth grooves and soulful vocal expressions. From heavy-hitting stages to intimate heartfelt performances, Jo James continues to captivate audiences in a powerful way.

Jo has worked and performed with some of the industries top acts and also received the honor award at the 100% Music Songwriting Contest, and was nominated for “Soul of Austin” award at Austin Armadillo Awards.

You may have seen him featured on Season 17 of The Voice.

“Great raw talent and voice is lovely to listen to” – John Legend

The Reverent Few

Soaked in SOUL, elements of gospel, with the power of rock and honesty of folk, you’ll adore the husband-wife duo known as The Reverent Few! 

“These last few years we endured our greatest losses and these songs echo the sentiments of survival and hope. Our sound has thumbprints of soul, spiritual and gospel influences, harmonies and hard truths sang with guts and grit.”