February update from Ghana libraries

Paul Ayuretoliya writes: The month of February began well with good attendance being recorded at the community libraries. There has been a noted increase in attendance compared to January. Sumbrungu Community Library as visited multiple times by students and teachers from the St. Charles Lwanga JHS, as well as by students from the Bolgatanga Technical University. Sherigu Community Library was patronized by students from St. Peter Academy, and the librarian Miss Cecilia Adombilla performed an admirable task in repairing many well-read library books. Renovations continue progressing at Gowrie-Kukua Community Library, with the plastering task well underway. As a result, attendance is still rather low at Gowrie-Kunkua for the time being.

Art of a Child book haven

From Emmanuel Anguyo: Art of a Child book haven is a space for children to come together to read, play games, and be a vibrant part of the community. As with all place across the world, 2020 was a difficult year with many challenges. The library was closed on the 18th of March due to the national lockdown and reopened in July. The library received permission from the authorities to run our literacy programs for children and their mothers. All of the literacy clubs were run in adherence to the government procedures that were given. Art of a Child celebrated the International Day of the Girl literacy camp in October with many activities for the local children, including lessons on female empowerment. There is attendance of up to 45% of the local youth population at the book haven, and hope to see that number climb even higher as we continue operations. The library helps keep the community spirit alive during the pandemic with its many literary activities, and help keep the spirit of learning alive with literacy and entrepreneurship skills.

From Uganda, Bugolobi library update

Bugolobi library in Uganda was operating normally in 2020 until the pandemic hit in March. A lockdown was announced and remained in place until June. The library remained closed for the duration of the lockdown. Children were prohibited from the library due to difficulties in enforcing the health and safety measures, but teenagers and adults had access. The library was closed again in October due to the public atmosphere but had become fully operational by January 2021 with health measures fully in place. The librarian faced many challenges, particularly in the difficulty of traveling, but has persevered and made headway in reorganizing the library and adopting good hygiene practices.

Updates from CESRUD/FAVL librarian meeting

From Paul Ayutoliya: The CESRUD/FAVL Ghana staff and librarians end of month meeting was held at the Sumbrungu Community Library the 29th of January 2021. We thank all of our librarians for attending and doing an excellent job in keeping their libraries operational. Sumbrungu Community Librarian Asanga Joseph started the meeting with the impressive patronage of the library and touched on the various activities that occurred. Sherigu Community Librarian Miss Cecilia Adombila also commented on the steady level of attendance and the activities at her library. The Gowrie-Kunkua community librarian, Mr. Nyaaba Wilfred, also reported a good month, albeit with lower than usual patronage due to the library relocation. He did however record low patronage during the month due to the temporal relocation of the library. All librarians have been tasked with ensuring the safety of library patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as innovative strategies to promote reading. Two highlighted books for the upcoming month are The Great Ponds by Elechi Amadi and The Coast of Slaves. The FAVL/CESRUD team would also like to thank all of our supporters for their ongoing care and attention!

January events in the Ghana libraries

Paul Ayutoliya writes:

January began with a group cleaning of our three libraries on the 11th to prepare for our reopening on the 12th. Turnout of course started off low, but picked up as our group reading activities resumed. Our reading this month highlighted two books, Kente for a King, Kanwum and Bunsela and Grooming and Personal Hygiene for the Youth. It is critically important that we take our role as educators seriously, and thus provide both reading for entertainment and for education. We are pleased to state that our patrons are receptive to our activities and lessons, and we hope to continue helping to educate our communities. We would also like to acknowledge the many students of St. Peter and Paul Academy as well as of Dorongo Primary and Junior High Schools that patronize the Sherigu Library. Congratulations to our Sumbrungu librarian Mr. Apenoore Timothy on completing his degree in Civil Engineering from Bolgatanga Technical University! He will be beginning his national service with the Northern Development Authority while assistant librarian Mr. Asanga Joseph Ayingura will take over his role.

Ghana’s second week back

From Paul Ayutoliya

The community libraries in Ghana were officially opened to the public on the 12th of January 2021. Attendance was low the first week but greatly increased the second week with lots of group reading, individual reading, and playing of some fun games. At the Sumbrungu Community Library, we read the story of Kente for a King by Angela Christian and retold by Kathy Knowles. Pupils and students having to stay away from books and learning for close to a year seriously affected the reading ability of many. But the good news is that the libraries are back and running offering everyone the opportunity to pick up a book of their choice and read. We are impressed with the patronage of the Sumbrungu community library so far. At Sherigu community library, the story of patronage was the same. Attendance increased in the second week as a result of some interesting reading activities held by the librarian Miss Cecilia Adombila. She read the Fati series by Kathy Knowles among other storybooks. At the Gowrie Kunkua community library attendance is low as patrons are waiting for the renovation works to be completed. Once renovations are complete and books are moved back in, we expect attendance to increase as usual! In conclusion, the respective community libraries are recording some significant increases in the number of patrons visiting the libraries! We are hopeful of more attendance and good use of the library books moving forward.

Ghana Libraries Opening to Public in January

CESRUD/FAVL Ghana will open on the 12th of January 2021, officially resuming work from the New Year break. We are hoping this year will better than the previous one. A number of our interesting library activities such as reading competitions amongst the various basic schools, vacation classes, outreach programs (that is visits to the surrounding schools and reading with students storybooks from the community libraries in their classes) will be starting.  The COVID 19 situation in Ghana appears to be a little under control and the President has since announced that all basic schools from kindergarten, primary, and junior high will all get back to schools on the 15th of January. Wearing a nose or face mask would be mandatory. With the students and pupils getting back to school in their numbers, reading at the community libraries will be very great and interesting again!

Kitengesa Community Library’s Covid Catchup scheme in Uganda

The Kitengesa Community Library’s Covid Catchup scheme has taken off! Assistant librarian Muhammad has downloaded curriculum materials made available by Uganda’s National Curriculum Development Council, made printouts of them, and he and his colleague Moses are lending them to students—who observe social distancing and wear masks when they come to the library. Thank you, Muhammad and Moses!

December 2020 statistics Ghana libraries

The librarians all report that December started and ended well with lots of interesting libraries activities. Patronage to the libraries for the month was very encouraging. Basic pupils during the month maximized the usage of the respective libraries in preparation for their end of term exams. But overall attendance numbers for the respective libraries were reduced as compared to the previous month. The 7th December 2020, general elections, the Christmas festivities and the New Year mood played a significant role in the reduced numbers recorded. The librarians all concluded their reports by extending their sincere thanks and appreciation to the entire FAVL team, CESRUD Executive Director, the libraries Coordinator and their cherished library users. They wished us all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.