The mobile library (Bibliothèque Mobile Pénélope, or BMP) started operating about one year ago, and regularly visits schools and public places in the town of Kaya. A typical outing lasts about 2 hours and involves 20-30 young readers. Mats are spread on the ground, kids have access to books to read, and the librarian organizes games.
The ongoing costs for the library are fairly modest: the librarian (also half time librarian in neighboring village of Pissila) receives a stipend of $8 (4,000 FCFA) per outing, that covers the cost of his transport to Kaya and return, and his time during the activity of the day. (Note, after subtracting his costs and the time, this is about $10 per day, for an equivalent annual salary of about $3,000, so it is very modest). The motorcycle library also needs regular maintenance, oil changes, gas, and we pay a small hotel 7500 CFA a month for parking the library in the hotel courtyard that has a security guard.
The FAVL team in Burkina Faso is working on more formal outreach to schools and the mayor's office to develop greater local support for the mobile library.
Access to quality books is limited
Graphic novels (BD) are favorites
The BMP librarian also organizes games
The mobile library needs regular maintenance
Dec 31, 2018
Donation of books to Rouko library in Burkina Faso
By Michael Kevane - Director, FAVL West Africa
Children examine the donated books
On the morning of Tuesday, December 15, at around 9 am, at the library of Rouko, in the presence of some readers and the librarian, a batch of forty books of African authors was given to Sawadogo Alimissi, first deputy to the mayor for the library. This gift of books is part of the program of FAVL-BF to support and support the libraries of its network. Mr. Sawadogo first addressed the readers by encouraging them to attend the library but also to be interested in reading before congratulating FAVL-BF for their accompaniment of the library through this gesture. He said that the donation of books challengeds the municipal council to take more commitment, responsibility and to get involved in the sustainability of the community library of Rouko.
Dans la matinée du mardi 15 décembre, aux environs de 9 heures, à la bibliothèque de Rouko, en présence de quelques lecteurs et du bibliothécaire, un lot d’une quarantaine de livres d’auteurs africains a été remis à Sawadogo Alimissi, premier adjoint au maire pour la bibliothèque. Ce don de livres s’inscrit dans la dynamique de FAVL-BF à soutenir et appuyer les bibliothèques de son réseau. Monsieur Sawadogo, s’est d’abord adressé aux lecteurs en les encourageant à fréquenter la bibliothèque mais aussi à s’intéresser à la lecture avant de féliciter FAVL-BF pour son accompagnement à travers ce geste. Cela est un acte fort, qui interpelle le conseil municipal à prendre plus d’engagement, de responsabilité et à s’impliquer dans la pérennisation de la bibliothèque communale de Rouko.
Rouko officials with donated books
Nov 26, 2018
Continuing FAVL activities in Burkina Faso
By Michael Kevane - Director, West Africa
Readers in the library
The Girls computer literacy program has not received sufficient funding for another set of workshops. However, the Hounde multimedia center (FAVL-BF local book production unit and small computer lab) continues to operate regularly and has produced a new series of four books authored by Koura Sylvie: Békila va à l’école, Békila fête la fin de la saison pluvieuse, Békila voyage, Le retour de Békila du village, and Békila apprend le lavage des mains. Sylvie also really likes reading the Harry Potter series!
What else is new at FAVL Burkina Faso?
Sebba Community Library in eastern Burkina Faso has received visits and training from FAVL staff. the security situation in the area has deteriorated, unfortunately. but the last visit, in early November 2018, was productive, with the FAVl-BF staff person speaking before the village assembly about the importance of the library.
We have received a generous donation to work with the village of Koho to help start a library to honor the memory of the donor's beloved godmother, Clarice Weiniger. The mayor of Houndé (the rural commune in which Koho is located) has received our initial proposal and budget estimate. He and his staff, and councilors from the Koho community, will talk with the director of the gold mine that operates near Koho and which is a partner for many village projects. The Rural Council's budget session was Monday, November 20th. They were supposed to have discussed the project at that time. We have not heard back from them yet.
We are proceeding to re-open the community library in Ouargaye. The mayor has been unwilling to establish a budget line for a staff person to be the librarian, preferring instead to use a succession of interns, national service personnel, or "volunteers" (often someone from the community who has finished secondaray school and wants some professional work experience, expecting to receive informal cash payments from the office of the mayor). Such a volunteer has now been recruited by the mayor, and will be trained by FAVL-BF staff in the coming months.
The FAVL-BF staff visited the library of Niankorodougou in the far south of Burkina Faso. Everything was operating normally and the librarian is paid regularly from the mayor's office. They have started a reading club!
The FAVL-BF team is continuing conversations with CENALAC, the government library support organisation. CENALAC has been allocated a budget of 500,000 FCFA per library (about $1000) per year for supporting library operations. They are not transparent how they spend those funds, however. We would like the 34 FAVL-supported libraries to become part of that network and be recognized as community libraries by CENALAC. The new director of CENLAC was open to the idea but pessimistic that the government would increase funding.