Basic platform for community library activists in African countries

Community and public libraries in most African countries get (actually) very little public support. Most African governments have yet to demonstrate tangible support for reading and public libraries.  Here are our suggestions for minimal support for existing community libraries. And of course, such a program of support would have some criteria for defining what is a community library. my suggestions would be: library owned and managed by some unit of government or non-profit organization; open to public; paid librarians at least 50% time; librarian has some kind of certification (a minimal certification is fine, no need for an advanced library degree in a village community library); some threshold of size and impact (I would suggest 500 books of reasonable quality, serving a potential reading population of at least 1000 people).

Five things government can do to support libraries:

1) Librarian salaries to be covered by local government (about $1000 per year per library)
2) Funds for book purchases ($500 per year would be a good start)
3) Training for librarians to better promote reading (some kind of certification program) ($300 per librarian, one time)
4) Regular supply of all school textbooks ($500 each year)
5) Annual conference of all librarians ($100 per librarian)

And in French:

1) Les salaires des bibliothécaires seront couverts par le gouvernement local
2) Fonds pour l’achat de livres
3) Formation pour les bibliothécaires afin de mieux promouvoir la lecture (une sorte de programme de certification)
4) Fourniture régulière de tous les manuels scolaires
5) Conférence annuelle de tous les bibliothécaires

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