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.
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