November 20, 2007

The Library Project makes commitment to improve their first school district in China

The Library Project is very excited to announce that they have made a commitment to improve every elementary school’s library in the Ba Qiao School District, located in the countryside just outside of Xi’an, China. The Library Project will be donating thousands of Chinese language children’s books, hundreds of tables and chairs, plants, globes, children’s dictionaries, and providing librarian training that will substantially improve the education children will receive at each school.

The Ba Qiao School District is located just outside of Xi’an, China and is made up of nine smaller districts. Each district has on average eleven elementary schools for a total of about 100 schools.

The Library Project will only work with elementary schools that have been classified as a Focus School. A Focus School is a school that will be experiencing an increase in attendance because of school closures in the area. Of the 100 elementary schools in the Ba Qiao School District, 77 schools will be closed in the next five years, consolidating the education system to 20 Focus Schools. Because of these closures, it is estimated that attendance will double at each school. To accommodate for this jump in student numbers, schools are using their available funds to provide additional classrooms and dormitories for the children that live far from the school. School administration is not able to use their available funding to improve the education at their school because the student numbers are rising.

The Ba Qiao District was hit hard by layoffs due to the privatization of factories over the past twenty years. This privatization of factories caused millions of workers to lose their jobs in the ShaanXi Province alone. Today, the average annual income in the Ba Qiao District is just 2,000 RMB ($266 USD).

Recently there has been a trend in China to repurpose closed countryside factories as universities and trade schools. This may benefit the Ba Qiao District in the future because laid off workers will be able to open small shops and sell goods to the students attending the universities and trade schools.

Our goal is to provide libraries to all of the Focus Schools in the Ba Qiao School District. This will be a massive undertaking, and will create the kind of impact that The Library Project is looking to make in a community’s education system. We have provided libraries to the first three schools, but we are looking for additional funding to complete our goal.


Population: 500,000
Industries: Textiles, Agriculture, one large university, and training schools
Agriculture: Kiwi, grapes, cherries, milk, eggs, wheat and corn
Annual income: 2,000 RMB


9,000 children attending elementary school
100 elementary schools
24 factory owned elementary schools
20 “Focus Schools”
77 elementary schools will be closed in the next 5 years