This is a brief update on the vacation reading classes so far. The reading classes begin on the 5th of August this week. The attendance to the classes so far in all the respective community libraries have been so impressive. Almost every space in the Libraries and the sorrounding premises is always full of participants ready for each day’s reading sessions. I was at the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library yesterday to monitor how the reading classes there was go o
n, I was so impressed upon what I saw, children and young adults were in the library very busy with books. We were later on joined by one of the elderly men in the Gowrie-Kunkua Community who took some time and share with participants and us some olden days stories and some advice for the young ones in the library to always go to the library and read books. According to the old man, reading at the library at all time is better than go to farm for another person a day for money, most of the young adults in this community like doing what we called ‘by day’ that is weeding someone else’s farm a day for some pay hence the advice of the elders against such. At Sumbrungu and Sherigu Community Libraries, the attendance for the week one was overwhelming. Sumbrungu Community Library ended the week with a quiz competition between the young girls and boys on all the reading for the week. The boys were the winners at the end of the day.
Children from different schools and locations thronged to the respective libraries today to register their names as part of this year’s reading classes participants. At the Sumbrungu Community Library, participants came in their good numbers, after registering their names, we did a general reading exercise to identify each person’s reading ability to enable us group them in classes according to their reading abilities.
We read with participants for the start the story of Kente for a King. The lower primary pupils had their class under the Summer hut near the library entrance. The lower primary level pupils read Jafta’s Father and the Fati Series among other books. Some parents and headteachers were around to witnessed the beginning of the classes. They encouraged participants to take the classes serious and fully participate till the end.
Here is a brief summary of a book (Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe) I have heard of over the years but did not read it. I have made time to read the book now starting last week. The book is a a double-packed novel with ancient Nigeria tradition, Christianity as a new religion, funny stories and moral lessons. Things Fall Apart contains many characters- some irritating, brave, wise, confident and smart. Some characters like Okonkwo who is the main character in the novel but too-knowing and arrogant, Ezinma (a small girl with mega brain loaded with big questions), Obirika, the information carrier-but creative, Ikemefuna the attitude changer, Mr. Smith-the new religion commencer, Ezevely the advisor. Ancient Nigeria was full of superstitious believers and well structured unchangeable traditions. A little attempt to change the style of living and worship sets the fire of war ablaze and Okonkwo was always there to fan it or ensure the fire burn well. Okonkwo full of arrogance, anger and pride was always the key distributor of the zeal for war and out of anger and pride , he has to end his very own life to really make things to fall apart.
Moral Lessons from the brief summary;
1. Don’t always blow your own trumpet.
2. As much as possible always control your emotions or anger.
3. Wherever you find yourself in this life, try to be who you are like Ikemefuna.
CESRUD/FAVL Ghana Community Libraries have scheduled this year’s Vacation Reading Classes to start on the 5th of August 2019 and end in the first week of September 2019.
Basic schools pupils will be finishing classes the 25th of July 2019. They will rest for a week after their vacation, the reading classes will begin in all the three community libraries a week and some few days after after the break from schools. The librarians and the libraries coordinator together with some volunteers will be handling the reading classes. We are thinking of inviting some elderly people in our respective communities once in every week to share with participants storytelling, the young ones will also be given the opportunity to ask questions about things of old that they only heard with their ears and get better understanding. Posters notifying the classes have been posted and some sent to the school library teachers to announce to their pupils about the reading classes.
This week’s Library’s attendance continued on the rise as basic pupils are in the peak of their third term exams. The respective libraries are well patronised during the daily and night sessions of operations. I had for a number of times this week visited the respectively community libraries both daily and night and monitored how reading and other library activities were carried out.
At the Sumbrungu Community Library, students/pupils from different basic schools visited the library and revised notes taken from schools in preparation for their next papers, others also read story books. The daily sessions is always well patronised by pupils of St. Charles Lwanga primary and Junior High School (JHS), Kulbia Primary school and Kolgo JHS during the daily session, these schools are the surrounding to the library. The Polytechnic students are on vacation now. Students/pupils from the distance schools visited the library in their good number during the night sessions. I paid a visit to some schools to wish pupils well and also see how the students are writing their exams, each class I entered the atmosphere is always quiet with each student busily focused on his/her exam question paper and answer sheet. The arrangements was very interesting as some were sitting on the floor, others sat two per desk, and some; one desk per pupil, their teachers were around ensuring that everything goes on well.
At the Sherigu Community Library, attendance to the library was very good. Pupils from St. Peter and Paul are the frequent visitors to the Library during the daily sessions. The pupils also use the library as the convenient place to revised the notes and read other school books in the library in preparation for their next exams papers. During the evening’s sessions, students/pupils from the vicinity visited the library and read books. Some private students who will be writing their exams come September also used the library to prepare themselves well. The librarian is doing a good job by keeping the library tidy and serene for all the library activities.
At the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library, patronage to the library has also been quite well. Pupils from the Kunkua Primary and JHS are also the most user of the library during the daily sessions. Other library users patronised well during the evening sessions. There have not been a lot of reading activities due to the ongoing third term examinations.
Prof. the respective community libraries have been running quite well both daily and the night. We are in the raining and farming session and so there are days rains do affect patronages save for such days or nights of rains, the attendance is great.
CESRUD/FAVL Ghana free vacation reading classes this year is scheduled to start from 5th August throughout to the first week of September. Basic pupils will be breaking from schools on 25th of July 2019 which falls on a Thursday. After vacation, the pupils will rest or help their parents with the farms for about a week and some days (26th July-2nd August 2019). The next week of August which is on the 5th, the one month reading classes will start in all the three community libraries. We are anticipating that this year’s vacation reading classes is going to be a unique one and we are sure of getting some volunteers who will be helping us during these classes. We want to focus much on reading of story books, storytelling (if possible we will be inviting some elderly people to come and share story telling with participant), games and other interesting library activities.
Some excerpts from Paul’s summary of the book: … The family house at Osu, have a beautiful garden where Kathy normally sit under one of the big trees with books in her basket from which she reads first to her three children, as this continues every Thursdays afternoon, some Ghanaian children started showing up to listen to Auntie Kathy read to her children. Kathy reading circles had begun to grow rapidly as Joanna Felih (a young lady who Kathy employed as a house help during their early days in Ghana) watched with amazement how the number of local Ghanaian children come to the garden every Thursday afternoon to listened to stories and singing. The children really love it. Madam Joanna was sometimes given the opportunity to share storytelling with the children. What started on a very small Thursday afternoon reading soon grow beyond Kathy’s imaginations… With the support Kathy received from family and friends back in Canada; more books and other materials were added to the library. The friends and family were very supportive that Kathy receives more donations of funds, she was thinking of what next to do, open a library and where? Next after the establishment of the Osu Children Library, was the Nima Maamobi Gale Community Library. Kathy used to drive through the Nima Kanda high way to send the children to school and pick them from school. As she passes to and from everyday, she noticed the sad plight of the people and children living in that Moslem dominated community …Kathy returned to Ghana and to Nima, after long search and asking she finally located Mallam Mansuru who listened to her attentively and directly that she should see one Agnes Amoah who was the assemblywoman for Nima. Kathy in presenting her story stated her wiliness to help the Nima people with a library hence her search for land. Agnes after listening to Kathy at last offered Kathy her piece of land with an abandon structure on it. Several tedious works took place before the place was finally turned into a befitting edifice suitable for library… At long last, the Nima Gale Maamobi Community Library was commission…. Reading through the first part of the book now understands that, indeed patience moves mountains. The persistent perseverance Auntie Kathy went through to bring the joy of reading to a generation of African children could not have been today if she did not persevere. I wished I had read this book before my first meeting with her in 2017, she deserves all the commendations.
Over the week I have visited the three community libraries to ensure that the recent new books I brought from Accra are entered in the inventory books, stamped and given unique numbers from the already existing numbers. All the librarians have entered the books in their inventory books and each book was given a unique number. Attached are photos of the librarians at the respective communities libraries working on this over the week.
The month began well with all the three community libraries recording very encouraging attendance. The basic pupils are preparing for their end of third term examinations. So this first and second week of July mostly is used for revisions towards the examinations which starts next week. Most pupils troop into the respective three community libraries both day and night for revisions. Others despite the revisions read other story books in the libraries. Touring around the Community Libraries for supervision and monitoring, I am encouraged by the way the basic pupils and others senior high students patronized the libraries.
At the Sumbrungu Community Library, patronage for the month so far has been great. Pupils from St. Charles Lwanga, Kulbia Primary school are the frequent users of the Library during the daily sessions, they do come and read story books on individual basis and sometimes in groups. Game days are fun, those children that don’t usually visit the library always don’t miss Fridays because of the games and movies which usually characterized the day. The young adults do visit the library in their good numbers during the evening sessions. They help each other from different schools in working on assignments given to them from schools, answer riddles, read story books and share interesting storytelling periods. I visited the library the whole this week in the evenings and read with patrons several story books. The number of patrons keep increasing each day, the librarian for the evening Mr. Timothy have been doing a great job by keeping the library running well.
At the Sherigu Community Library, I have regularly visit the library also for supervision and monitoring. I held a number of story readings in groups with pupils of St. Peter and Paul Academy School both in the library and at their respective class rooms. Their teachers are doing a good job by taking their class pupils to library once in every week and reading with them. Fridays are also for their fun indoor games. The Librarian Miss Cecilia Adombila have been doing a good job by also keeping the library in a very tidy state all the time. Sowing of torn books and mending works are some of her daily works.
From Gowrie-Kunkua, attendance to the library there is also good. Pupils from the Kunkua Primary and JHS are most users of the library. The daily sessions are well patronized by children, young adults usually will come for the evening sessions of operating. I have been regular to the library for monitoring purposes. The librarian is doing a good job by being at post all the time and helping the children sometimes to read in groups.
Overall, the CESRUD/FAVL Ghana community libraries are running quite well. More people are getting use to reading at the respective community libraries.
I have also been touring the surrounding schools to see how their mini-libraries provided by Biblionef are functioning. Some school libraries are doing quite better than other. More monitoring is needed in some of the schools Libraries to make them work or function effectively. Part of the schools visits was to inform of this year’s vacation reading classes that will be starting a week after their vacation.
I paid a visit yesterday (July 2) to the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library for supervision. Few library users were in the library the time I arrived there. More library users came on later to the library after they have closed school. The numbers of patrons were many to the point that we (the librarian and I) have to divide them in groups of three and read with them story books at some point and listen to storytelling. Other patrons who came earlier read different story books such as the Read and Reply Stories by Michael Y. Mensah, Teen Princess by Diana B. Mcbangonluri, Odikro on Trial by Duke Peprah among other story books. The children and young adults in the Gowrie-Kunkua community are lovers of books, they have so developed interest in reading that any time they are in the library each patron will be seen busy with a book reading. Parents of late are also encouraging the wards to always go to the library and read books, some parents will normally follow up on their wards to the Library to see how they are doing. Yesterday,one woman came over to the library with the child to see what the children were doing. She was so happy to see children reading story books alongside with me. She picked up a book also and flipped some pages (looking at the photos) before leaving for the day. She was grateful for the support which is greatly impacting on the lives of the children. Most parents now recognized the fact that books have the power to transform lives hence their efforts to see their children come to the library. I was very much encouraged of the attendance to the library yesterday.
This is a brief summary report of CESRUD/FAVL Ghana Librarians reports for June 2019. The three Community Libraries recorded good patronages during the month of June. The month attendance is however a little lower than that of last month (May). This is largely so due to the farming season couple with rains. Children were the regular patrons than that of the young adults and adults to the respective libraries. The month was characterized with a lot of reading activities, riddles, storytelling, games and videos shows among others. These were activities that kept library users patronising the respective libraries each day and night of operating. The librarians concluded their reports by thanking FAVL and CESRUD on behalf of the library users for the support given to their respective communities.
The three librarians of Upper East and the CESRUD library coordinator had a meeting on Friday the 28th of June 2019. Here is Paul Ayutoliya’s report:
I briefed the librarians on my trip to Accra, the new books purchased for the respective libraries, CESRUD efforts to get the government involved in the management and running of the libraries among others. The new books were distributed to the respective three librarians in the process of the meeting. Sherigu Library received 56 books, Gowrie Library received 34 and Sumbrungu Community Library received 45 books. The respective librarians were happy for the new stock of books and expressed their appreciations to the donors for the support. I instructed librarians to ensure the safety (against theft or damages) and that every single book received should be entered in their inventory books, given a unique number and stamped with the library’s stamp before they are put on the shelves for public patronage. I followed up on librarians during this week to ensure that these directives were complied with.
On the government involvement, I explained to librarians that for sustainability purposes we are working to get the government through the Ghana Library Authority to come on board and get involved in the management and running of the three community libraries. CESRUD/FAVL wrote to GhLA and they have responded positively. They have written an MoU which CESRUD/FAVL Ghana have had a look at it and agreed to. CESRUD/FAVL Ghana have since signed it’s portion and the sent the MoU to the Municipal Assembly for Municipal Chief Executive to continues the rest of the process. And so in due course, I will update all on the progress so far.
The Coordinator tasked everyone to start reading as many books as possible as we start preparing toward our vacation classes which normally comes off in August every year. The librarians said there were no major issues. All the days and weeks were loaded with reading activities, games, cleanup exercise among other which were usually well patronized by library patrons. To conclude, our community libraries are on course and functioning well.
From Paul Ayutoliya: Patronage for the three community libraries was good for the month of May. Pupils/students especially the BECE (Basic Education Certificate Examination) candidates were the most frequent users; the candidates used the libraries to prepare themselves towards their first external exams that were schedule to start on 10th June 2019. The season played a role in the rise in attendance. The rains did not come as expected. Sowing began in May last year, this year however the rains did not rain enough in May, and so sowing was delayed, so patrons had the opportunity to visit the libraries due to the delayed planting season. Other activities recorded during the month include; story reading and discussions in groups, individual reading, riddles and poems, games and movies shows, cleanup exercise among others. The statistics of attendances are shown in the table.