Our Story

The Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) is a private library in Accra, Ghana, founded in 2017 under the name, Libreria Ghana, by Sylvia Arthur. Using 1,300 of her own books, which she’d accumulated over a period of about five years, the idea was to give local people access to contemporary, culturally-relevant literature not easily available in Ghana. The majority of the books in her collection were by writers of African descent. 

Started in a one-room office, the library attracted significant national and international attention and quickly outgrew itself. In 2020, Libreria rebranded as the Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora and moved to a bigger space that includes a special collections/archive room, a screening room and extensive outdoor event space.

LOATAD’s focus is on books by writers of African descent including African, African American, Caribbean, Black European, Afro-Latin, and Indigenous writers. The library has over 4000 volumes of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction dating from the early 20th century to the present day. From Algeria to Kenya, Liberia to Zimbabwe, our collection represents the rich diversity of the African continent and its vast Diasporas.

Since its inception, the library’s mission has evolved to help address the serious literacy challenges that many across the country and the continent face. We believe in literacy and literature for all, and we strive to make both accessible regardless of geographic location, gender, age, disability, or religious or sexual orientation. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive space.

LOATAD is a private library with a public mission. We are:

  • A decolonised library
  • An activist library
  • A knowledge-producing library
  • An African library

But we’re not solely a library; we’re a movement. We seek to effect positive change in Africa and globally in the belief that knowledge is transformative – for the individual, the nation, the continent, and the world.

Learn more about our mission here.