The French established the first modern public library in Senegal not long after they began colonizing the area, which mainly served the European population there. In the twentieth century, despite generally good conditions for public library development, the public library movement failed to truly take root. In the 1970s, Senegal began to pile up debt that made financing a network of public libraries difficult, and in the 1980s was bailed out by the IMF and forced to adopt austerity measures. A survey in the twenty- first century revealed public libraries that were drastically underfunded and struggling to provide basic services. A bright spot is the existence of several dozen private libraries operated by the charity Lire ...

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