Attached are photos from most recent book purchase (November 2019), for the library in Niankorodougou, in southwestern Burkina Faso. The library is well-supported by the office of the mayor and rural council.
Some brief updates about other library support: The Kitengesa library in Uganda continues to thrive. This year a health reading camp was held for adult women, focusing on women’s cancer. Another reading camp was held for teenagers, and a further women’s reading camp is planned for later in the year. The Kitengesa Library Band continues to practice and perform.
In Burkina Faso, we are currently supporting 34 community libraries. Terrorist activity in northern Burkina Faso unfortunately has meant that four libraries are temporarily closed due to danger (schools and administrative buildings are targets.) For the libraries that are open, we continue to do the best we can to provide regular assistance to mayors and rural councils in managing the libraries, supply select libraries with new books, train librarians, and offer salary support for some of the librarians. Our Burkina team continues to produce photos books for young readers as well as books written by young people and illustrated with local illustrators.
In Ghana, our able partner organization CESRUD and its library coordinator Paul Ayutoliya continue to manage the three libraries of Sumbrungu, Gowrie-Kunkua, and Sherigu. These libraries regularly receive 30 or more visits a day- about 1,000 visits each month. They are open for night reading, as they are now connected to electricity. Donors this year helped fix the fans (it gets to 110 degrees during the day!). After school reading programs were held in September and are planned for this summer. All three libraries received several hundred new books over the course of the year thanks to support from Biblionef Ghana and the Ghana Book Trust.
Updates and lots of photos from all three countries are regularly posted to the FAVL blog.
We are grateful to donors to this project over the past several months. As noted in the July report, we spend donations as they come in, once we get to about $100 of new donations. We are still not there yet, so we have currently not purchased books specifically for this project.
Late August 2019 did see the opening of a new library in Koho, in southerwestern Burkina Faso. This new library has an initial stock of about 300 books, mostly children's books purchased locally in Ouagadougou. We hope that in the coming months we can continue to purchase books for the library, which is already seeing good usage,
Another view of Koho library October 2019
Talk with kids in Koho school about the library
Sep 24, 2019
Working to bring mobile library to town of Hounde
By Michael Kevane - Director, West Africa
The BMP library in action in Kaya
The secruity situation in Burkina Faso has continued to worsen, and so FAVL is planning to bring the mobile library to the town of Houndé, per the previous report on the mobile library project (now called the Bibliothèque Mobile Pénélope). This planning is taking much longer than expected, primarily because the staff at the municipal council are very slow to finalize a partnership agreement. The partnership agreement is necessary for four reasons.
First, the mobile library is most effective when it visits schools, during reading time, recess, or immediately after school. That is when most readers are "willing and able" to spend time reading. Access to school yards requires some formal cooperation with the office of the mayor (the municipal council has some authority over schools) and also the regional ministry of education officials.
Second, the mobile library is highly visible in the town, and in case there are any "incidents" with the library (accidents, arguments), it is desirable to have the full support of the office of the mayor.
Third, for longer-term functioning of the mobile library, the mayor has indicated he would like a town employee to be the *animateur* who operates the mobile library, with FAVL contributing technically and financially. FAVL is in favor of this model!
Fourth, and prosaically, the courtyard of the council buildings is the safest place to park the mobile library, since it is always secure and have a night guard. So official permission is needed to park the mobile library there.
While we wait for the office of the mayor and the regional education ministray officials to authorize activities, we are replenishing the book stock of the mobile library, repainting the shelves, and doing regular maintenance on the tricycle. We hope to have the library operating early in the new school year, which starts October 6.