Le Monde s'effondre

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Sangare Djibril writes:
Publié en 1958, Le Monde s'effondre est un roman écrit par le nigérian Chinua Achebe. Dans cette œuvre, l'auteur  aborde le thème de conflit de culture.
Dans la première partie, Okonkwo incarnait la société Ibo en particulier et celle de l'Afrique en général. De même, il  était un homme fort, plein de courage, d'ambitions ; guerrier, lutteur [...]. Par contre son père Unoka était un grand paresseux. Ainsi, lors de la cérémonie funèbre du vieux Ezeudou(le plus vieil homme du village d'Umuofia), Okonkwo  tua accidentellement le fils d'Ezeudu. Pour le village, Okonkwo vient de commettre une abomination et il doit être puni. C'est ainsi qu'il fut obligé de quitter Umuofia pour Nbanta, le village de sa mère.
  
livre de Chinua.jpg La deuxième partie retrace l'effondrement de la société Ibo avec l'arrivée  des missionnaires à Umuofia. Ces derniers condamnèrent toute forme de culte voué aux ancêtres ; le sacrifice humain ainsi que la tuerie des jumeaux. De Nbamta, Okonkwo  apprit la pénétration  des missionnaires à Umuofia.Les missionnaire méprisèrent les coutumes des ibo et traitèrent leur dieu de statu. Okonkwo fut animé de colère ; et jura de rétablir l'ordre à Umuofia une fois de retour là-bas. Mais malheureusement, les habitants d'Umuofia ne l'ont pas aidé à accomplir sa mission. Se sentant incapable seul à faire face à ces missionnaires, et à rétablir l'ordre dans sa communauté tan aimées, il se retira et se donna la mort.    

        
                                                                                                            
 

La petite Sylvie et son livre

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Sylvie KOURA est une jeune fille passionnée de la lecture. Elle aime bien utiliser ses temps libres pour se distraire par la lecture. Et grâce aux efforts fournis par la structure FAVL (Friends of African Village Libraries) à travers l'implantation des bibliothèques dans les villages, Sylvie se réanime davantage de courage et de détermination.  Car, elle ne compte pas s'arrêter   à mi-chemin.Elle lit régulièrement..

Ainsi, à travers une tournée dans la région des Cascades avec le président de FAVL et sa famille, un livre a été produit sur cette belle région du Burkina : ''Banfora est connu pour sa production de sucre.''
De la même manière, elle invite ses  frères et sœurs, à s'intéresser  aux activités liées  à la lecture et à l'écriture. Et, c'est ainsi qu'ils pourront  à leur tour écrire des œuvres.

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Community participation to support libraries in Upper East, Ghana

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FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Cletus Ayine writes:

This year, I started the year with an appeal for funds in Sumbrungu community to get funds to support the libraries. This was done by sending out appeal for support letters to parents, teachers, Assembly members, Churches, Chiefs, opinion leaders etc within the community. I distributed about 100 envelopes with letters inside each of them explaining the need to support the community library. After the activity, I felt the idea was not going to work because not even one person returned the envelopes I sent out.  I'm impressed because between July and August I have received 30 envelopes with a total amount of GHS 250.00. The said amount has been deposited into the library account today 19/8/2014. I still hoping to receive more.

The FunDza Literacy Trust

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Their approach looks really good.  And they have some cool "chapter books" available through mobile phones.

The FunDza Literacy Trust Reading is the fundamental pillar of education. Education is the foundation of a healthy, stable, growth-oriented society. The FunDza Literacy Trust is a non-profit organisation dedicated towards growing educated, engaged and empowered young South Africans. Only 8% of schools in South Africa have libraries, and books are expensive and often difficult to find. FunDza aims to boost literacy among teens and young adults in South Africa by popularising reading; growing communities of readers; and, developing young writing talent. FunDza achieves this by providing content that will get young people hooked on reading. Our books and stories are exciting, relevant and authentically South African. In addition, FunDza leverages the powerful reach of mobile technology to connect and interact with readers in innovative ways. Cellphones (largely feature phones) are pervasive in South Africa. Almost everyone has access to one. FunDza's approach is getting teens and young adults reading. Currently, the organisation works over 200 groups that collectively reach more than 130,000 young people and it has grown a "virtual" reading club reaches 50 000 young South Africans each month through its mobi site and Mxit portal. In addition to commissioning professional writers to create gripping and engaging weekly content, FunDza edits and publishes the work of its Fanz in this section on the mobi-site . It also tries to further develop young writers via mentorships and writing workshops.

IFLA meetings in Lyon, France, Part 2

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An excellent day at IFLA conference.  Started in morning with exactly the kind of coffee meeting I love, with Christophe Cassiau-Haurie who has written extensively on BD in Francophone Africa.  He's done a few scenarios for BD himself, and this one about the mountains of Africa is something that I want to look for in Paris on Friday when I am there. 

Then I went to a couple of sessions, popping in and out, one on literacy and reading, the other on digitalization of newspaper archives.... Chicago's Center for Research Libraries gave a cool overview of their work.  But most impressive and moving was Inaam Charaf a young librarian working on an opposition Syrian women's magazine Sayedat Suria

Then I met with Ramune Petuchovaite, EIFL's programme manager for the Public Library Innovation Programme.  The PLIP programme has granted FAVL $20,000 to implement health literacy clubs for young women in four libraries in Burkina Faso, with an emphasis on delivering content through smart phones.  It is an exciting venture for FAVL, and a great learning experience for African libraries generally.  We are going to do our very best to make this an effective project.

I browsed in the exhibition area, and ran into Anthony Bernier of San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science.  So we chatted about public library history, and evaluation and impact strategies, and using data.  I'm looking forward to more conversations back in San Jose.  Also in the exhibit area I met Barney Allen, director of DCA, and Craif Mears, of RBdigital.  RBdigital works now with fastpencil.com to bring their book production platform to public libraries all over the world.  I was super happy to show them some of the FAVL fastpencil books.  I'm a huge believer that the "book famine" in Africa is not solvable by containers of donated books, but rather by people going out and creating content relevant for African readers.

And then I was off wandering again, and Viviana Quinones stops me: Where are you going, Michael?  Don't you remember we have our section meeting now?  So off we went to my first meeting as an IFLA section member.  It was a three hour meeting, but was really interesting, and I loved the passion of the youth and children's librarians.  My kind of people!

Well, I went to the General Assembly of IFLA.  And on the third, "Madame Chairman I am pleased to report that..." I left.... I'm no bureaucrat!

Afterwards my treat was an hour long walk along the Rhone.... Lyon is simply gorgeous, have I already said that?
It was great to get an email from Kathy Knowles a couple days ago.  She is heading off to Accra to finalize last touches for another library in Accra.  Hope everything goes well!

IFLA meetings in Lyon, France, Part 1

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I arrived in Lyon Monday evening.  The conference had started Sunday but I just could not spend the whole week here, much as I wanted to.  I wish i could have!  Tuesday morning was my session.  A huge hall, over 300+ people attending. Probably the biggest group I have ever spoken to.  All librarians and book people.  Wow!  I wish I were that kind of electric performer, with bell bottoms and a giant belt buckle, swaying my hips, funky hipster beard, jokes, dramatic pauses, going loud for the kill... provoking people ("he's so fucking arrogant" or "that guy was amazing") but instead I was just me, earnest, trying to give people straight facts, very matter-of-fact.  Someday I am going to do a talk like Spinal Tap... "Hello Cleveland!!!!!"  Anyway, turned out I was first, and it went well I thought. Lots of people came up afterwards, impressed with the photobooks and the Hounde multimedia center project.  Some contacts to follow up with. 

My fellow panelists were all librarians doing wonderfully creative participatory content creation in their libraries. I especially liked Melissa Frost from from Rochester City school district libraries in New York, where the librarians have worked with schools to create hundreds of books authored by children.  Very impressive!

In the afternoon I went to the Africa section panel on libraries in Africa.  Some very interesting talks.  For me the presenters on francophone Africa were of course of most interest.  Eliane Lallemand from Lire en Afrique, who is doing very similar work to FAVL, but in Senegal.  Louise Balock gave an interesting overview of libraries in Cameroon, and also later Charles Kamdem Poeghela on the CLAC de Yaounde.  There was Stephane Sanon, from Universite d"Abomey-Calavi on Fondation Zinsou's small library project in Cotonou.  The common thread of all the country presentations is that government is doing very little to promote reading, and so non-profit organisations, often operated by volunteers (like FAVL!) are filling the gap.  It was inspiring but also depressing to hear the same thing in country after country.

La fête de la bibliothèque

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Sangaré Djibril writes:
C'est dans la bibliothèque de Kiembara que l'équipe de FAVL, Madame le Maire et sa délégation, ainsi que le Haut-commissaire de la province du Sourou se sont retrouvés. Après une visite guidée des participants par le bibliothécaire ; un message de bienvenue leur fut adressé. Ainsi, le coordonnateur  présenta la structure FAVL (Friends of African Village Libraries) et ses objectifs aux participants. Notez bien que la bibliothèque de Kiembara est la treizième du genre que FAVL vient d'inaugurer  au Burkina.

     En outre, madame le maire et sa délégation se sont dit satisfait par cette grandiose œuvre que FAVL leur  a  offert. Elle n'a pas oublié d'exhorter la population de Kiembara de bien prendre soin de cette bibliothèque, afin qu'elle demeure une source de recherche pour la génération présente et les générations  à venir. De même, l'équipe de FAVL a encouragé la population de Kiembara à la création des œuvres en langue locale, ce qui permettra à un grand nombre de population  de s'intéresser à la lecture.

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Reading in libraries in Ghana

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An update from Cletus Ayine, FAVL/CESRUD coordinator:

On 13th of August, I spent a day with some kids and their teacher in a community school about 10 kilometers away from the library. When I got there they were already there waiting for me to bring the story books. They were so happy when they saw me on the motorcycle with a large box containing different kinds of story books. We spent the time reading the story "Grace and Family". Most of the kids were able to read well except some few kids who had difficulties in reading. I was impressed with the way they were reading. However some of the kids were unhappy about the distance between their community and library; they wished I could set a day or two days aside for their school so that they also benefit from the library books. Some of them admitted that they heard of the library but because of the distance they have never been there. I had a great day with kids.

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After School Reading Program (ASRP) kids at Sherigu Library

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Cletus Ayine visited the session last week.  His report:

When I got there at about 11:00 am the counselor and librarian were already there with kids reading a story about how to make bread in the shape of crocodile (Crocodile Bread).
When they finished reading the book, I took the kids through a different activity; I took them through a creative art activity. The objective of this was to allow the kids to express their feeling about the ASRP and the importance of the library in their community.  After about an hour the kids came out with very interesting and educative pictures.  I was amazed at the creative way the kids showed their feeling and love for the program and the library at large.

They drew pictures comparing the Ghana Education Service method of teaching in the classroom and the ASRP method of teaching.  The kids showed in their pictures that GES method teaching does not give attention to all the kids in classroom. The teaching only moves on with those who can cope up. In the pictures they also showed that kids are always crowded in the class. The ASRP on the other hand, the kids showed that attention is given to each child, because each child is give a chair, book and teacher makes sure every kid participate effectively in the reading.

ASRP small.jpgThey also drew pictures again comparing two children, one dedicated his childhood life to school while the other dedicated his childhood to follow cattle (Cowboy) and eat fresh milk from cow.  After childhood life, the school child became a Medical Doctor while the Cowboy ended up as a "Truck Pusher".

Considering the above picture descriptions about the ASRP and the library at large, it is clear the program has achieved its greatest goal and therefore needs to be given another chance for more kids to benefits.  I was so happy at the way the kids were able to express importance of the ASRP and the library in the academic lives.

This email is to notify you that Friends Of African Village Libraries will be receiving a $27.36 donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation as a result of AmazonSmile program activity between April 1 and June 30, 2014. The donation will be deposited to your organization's bank account on or before Aug 15, 2014. It may take several days for the donation to appear in the account.

As you know, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible AmazonSmile items and there's no cap on how much we will donate. This quarter, we also donated an additional $5 for any customer who made an eligible smile.amazon.com purchase in the days leading up to Father's Day. We are also developing new features and enhancements to grow the AmazonSmile program in the future.

Inauguration de la bibliothèque de Kiembara

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La cérémonie d'inauguration de la bibliothèque de Kiembara a eu lieu le mardi 12 aout 2014. Elle a vu la participation de tous les conseillers et la présence du haut-commissaire du Sourou en visite dans la commune.

Madame le Maire a pris la parole pour tout d'abord faire l'historique de cette bibliothèque. Elle a signifié que cette bibliothèque a été établie grâce à la famille Quesada en mémoire de leur sœur qui a servi comme volontaire du corps de la paix  en 2003-2005. Une minute de silence a été observée en sa mémoire. Elle est très satisfaite de cette œuvre dont la commune ne savait pas comment l'acquérir. Elle a remercié tous ceux qui se sont mobilisés pour l'établissement de ce joyau.

Le coordonnateur de FAVL a surtout insisté sur la fréquentation et le soutien pour qu'elle soit un jour un grand centre culturel pour la commune de Kiembara.

Monsieur Dakissaga représentant la famille Quesada, la donatrice encourage la population à en faire un bon usage. Il se porte garant de transmettre les remerciements à la famille.

Quant au haut-commissaire, il se réjouit de cette infrastructure qui vient appuyer le secteur de l'éducation dans sa province. Il invite les communautés à en profiter car la lecture ouvre toutes les portes au monde.
Un important lot de livres d'auteurs africains surtout au programme scolaire a été remis à la bibliothèque

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EIFL-PLIP at IFLA 2014 Aug 18-23 in Lyon

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I will be at IFLA starting next week, and am looking forward to meeting some of the EIFL people and grantees.

EIFL's Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) will have a strong presence at IFLA2014 - the International Federation of Library Associations World Library and Information Congress - which takes place in Lyon, France, in August. This is the 80th IFLA world congress. The conference takes place in the Lyon Convention Centre from August 16 - 22 and the theme this year is 'Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge'. EIFL-PLIP leadership and librarians from four libraries supported by EIFL-PLIP will present papers about innovative public library services and their impact, at the main conference and satellite meetings. At a special awards ceremony, EIFL-PLIP will present trophies and certificates to six winners of the EIFL Public Library Innovation Award for creative use of ICT in public libraries. The six winners will also feature in an EIFL-PLIP poster to be exhibited during the poster session. Click the links for further information about EIFL-PLIP's presentations, and about the IFLA2014 programme.

Using technology, printing books in Houndé Burkina Faso

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The FAVL team (Molly, Alidou and Dounko) is preparing some new local books for distribution, including a short book about the Ebola virus and how to prevent infection and treatment. In villages, information about Ebola is lacking.  people hear about it, but they do not have reliable information.  The kids and adult readers who frequent the libraries will find some good information (from WHO and UNICEF).

Here's a short report of a local teaching and aspiring author, who already has been working on some books, who visited the center and was delighted to find some "brothers and sisters in arms" in increasing literacy!

Le centre multimédia de HOUNDE a reçu les 04 et 05 Aout 2014 la visite de monsieur GOUABE ZEPHIRIN SOUKALO instituteur à LANFIERA dans la province du SOUROU. il a eu du plaisir de nous écouter pour ce qui est de  la présentation du centre , son fonctionnement et ses objectifs. Gouabé n'a pas caché sa joie de nous dire que c'est grâce à Molly Morisson  qui lui ai informé de l'existence du centre. Il a présenté ses œuvres déjà en cours dont il souhaite finaliser avant son retour.  Il s'agit de : La grève des bozo ; Le Malheur de Maurice  et La rescapée. Monsieur  GOUABE à approuvé toute sa satisfait du centre car pour lui le centre permettra de promouvoir les talents locaux. Il promet au retour faire la promotion du centre multimédia à Lanfièra et chercher les voix et moyens qui faciliteront les échanges. Il félicite FAVL  pour ses efforts  et souhaite une bonne continuation.


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Houndé multimedia center training

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Sanou Dounko reports on a training at the Rotary-funded multimedia center:

Le lundi 04 août 2014 a été marqué au centre multimédia de Houndé une formation sur la production des livres du centre. L'animateur Boué Alidou et moi même coordonateur régional sont les participants. Nous avons appris durant cette première journée comment scanner les images, les traiter et surtout utilisation de Microsoft Word. Pour nous c'est un grand plaisir d'apprendre pour pouvoir produire et promouvoir la lecture pour tous et aussi la promotion des talents locaux. La formation se poursuivra jusqu'au samedi 09 et sera sanctionné par la production d'au moins un livre par chacun de nous.

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Ebola and libraries

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Lots of stories about how "distrust" of Ebola quarantine and treatment can lead to perverse outcomes.  (The ratio of titillating "they fear white people" stories to "African health workers dying to help people with Ebola" is getting out of hand, BTW).

The horrific and dangerous situation impels me to once again reproduce my perennial back-of-envelope calculation about community libraries, your and everyone else's trusted source of information (posters, picture books, quietly competent librarians).  Let's say West Africa's population at-risk of Ebola (if the outbreak keeps growing) is 250 million.  Let's say 200 million are in rural areas.  Let's say each village library serves 4,000 people.  So you'd need 50,000 village libraries.  Let's say each one need $10,000 for startup and training and all that, and then $3,000 a year to run.  So we are talking $500m to start-up, and $150m to run per year.  So we are, for 10 years, talking about $2billion. 

I'm not saying libraries can prevent Ebola, but if part of the reason for the spread is too little trust in public information, not enough public information, not enough accessible public information, etc, then $2 b seems like a reasonable amount for something (like Ebola) that could cause tens of billions of dollars in damage... solely from a cost-benefit perspective.

But of course, if you funded more African village libraries and other preventative measures, you wouldn't be able to enjoy your iphones, teslas, cruise vacations, kindles, farm-fresh speckled eggs... Yes, library promoters are scolds. Get over it.

Concertation des bibliothécaires du Nord et Est

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Dans le souci de rendre plus opérationnelle, la gestion des bibliothèques villageoises, une rencontre débats a été organisée  à  la bibliothèque de Pobé Mengao dans la région Sahel le 17 juillet. Les bibliothécaires au nombre de cinq (Ouargaye, Bougounam, Kiembara,Pobé Mengao et Béléhédé)  et les coordonnateurs de FAVL ont pendant quatre heures échangé sur les difficultés rencontrées dans la gestion ainsi que la collaboration avec les Maires des communes.

Le retard et la perte des livres ont retenu beaucoup l'attention des participants. Il est ressorti que seules des campagnes de sensibilisation pourraient atténuer ce phénomène. Tous les cahiers de gestion ont également été examinés par les bibliothécaires pour harmoniser le système de collecte des données statistiques. A ce sujet les bibliothécaires ont été invités à fournir des données fiables.

La collaboration entre le bibliothécaire et la Mairie a été longuement discutée. Étant donné que les bibliothèques appartiennent au commune par conséquent le bibliothécaire doit informer régulièrement le maire du fonctionnement. Il doit en plus se présenter aux sessions du conseil municipal pour faire le compte rendu de ses activités.

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Return of a Peace Corps Volunteer to Pobé-Mengao

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Emilie writes:
After nearly three long years of moving to California, Elisee and I were finally able to make a trip back to Burkina Faso. We spent three great weeks visiting family and friends in Bobo-Dioulasso and Ouagadougou. But of course, one of the highlights of the trip for me was visiting friends and the library in Pobe-Mengao, where I lived for two years. Sidetrack: I have NOT missed the horrible transportation needed to get to village. A ten hour-long journey including a ride on the dreaded STNF bus. This bus has to be at least 40 years old. It barely runs, with an 80% chance of break down along the way...trust me, I've tested and confirmed this. The seat "cushions" consist of rusted metal frames, there are no windows--they've all been busted out, so you pray it never starts raining while riding--and the entrance aisle consists of a large board that attempts to hide the large corroded holes leading directly to the ground below. Though, once in Pobe, Elisee and I had an amazing time. I felt right at home and was thrilled to visit old friends.

The library was in decent shape, but definitely needed a little fix up. Due to a leaky roof, the rain had brought down dust and dirt that streaked and stained the beige walls. Though we had very limited funds, we were able to repair the roof and repaint the interior walls of the library, which definitely helped spruce the place up. Sita, a good friend of mine in the village, donated several trees and is currently prepping them to plant around the library. I was invited to plant one of the trees (cashew) just in front of the library. Finally, Elisee and I were pleased to be able to provide the library with more than 50 new books, including the titles most desired by students in the village. The books were all bought in Ouaga thanks to some kind donors (including my mom, thanks mom!) A definite hit with the kids were some 3D pictures books that we brought. It included those plastic red/blue glasses and the children had a blast looking at the pictures that seemed to pop up from the pages. Overall, a wonderful trip!

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FAVL Blog

Books, reading, and libraries relevant to Africa by Michael Kevane, co-Director of FAVL and economist at Santa Clara University.

Other contributors include Kate Parry, FAVL-East Africa director, FAVL Burkina Faso representative Koura Donkoui, FAVL Burkina Faso program manager Krystle Nanema, and FAVL friends Emilie Crofton and Elisee Sare.

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