The week ending October 12 began well in all the libraries recording significant attendance to the respective libraries despite the torrential rain that rained almost every day and night for the whole of this week. I was not able to visit Sherigu and Gowrie-Kunkua Community Libraries this week due to the torrential rains, the roads leading to the respective libraries are unmotorable due to floods. But I did called the respective Librarians and inquired about visits to the libraries and they reports that patrons visits for the week was good despite the rains. Group reading, individual reading, assignments works and some cleaning exercise were the weeks activities.
At Sumbrungu Community Library, I was always there both day time and night sessions. Attendance to the library was overwhelming during both sessions. Patrons who were mostly students of Junior High School, Senior High School and Tertiary (the Bolgatanga Polytechnic) attended the library well especially during the evening sessions. Patrons who comes late hardly find space inside to sit. Some patrons read story books from the library, others read their notes taken from schools, assignments works, drawing among others reading and or/ learning activities.
Daily sessions are basically well patronised by basics pupils of the surrounding basic schools. Every one of the users have the opportunity of reading any book of their choice. All the libraries are stocked with age appropriate books for everyone. Users are happy and thankful to the donors (FAVL, Biblionef) and all who supported the libraries in one way or the other. The night sessions are usually patronised by students and pupils in the basic schools, second cycle schools and the tertiary schools. Most of the night users read books from the respective libraries, handouts from their field of study in schools, some worked on their assignments, others practice drawing among others.
My tours to the schools with the call on every student to embrace reading and good work by the librarians are contributing to these encouraging attendance to the libraries. I share with pupils and students some of the books I have read and the benefits I gained from reading. Most of the pupils are always challenged by my story since I started working with the libraries. The look on their faces indicates their preparedness to cultivate the reading habit. It is not surprising that each day and night the number of patrons visiting the community libraries keeps going up.
On 1st October 2019, CESRUD/FAVL Ghana community libraries staff held it’s end of month (September) meeting at the Sumbrungu Community Library. We discussed happenings in the community libraries from the previous months, what went right in the respective libraries and what needed to be improved upon. As chair of the meeting, I used the opportunity to thanked librarians for their good effort during the Vacation Reading Classes. All the librarians did well during the reading classes. We are hoping for same commitment when other reading programs are organized. I encouraged all to also read ourselves as we encourage others to read. At least one story book a day, one novel a month. This will helped us improve upon the way we communicate as leaders of our respective community libraries. The librarians contributing to the meeting mentioned of a number of reading activities they were able to undertake during the month such as organizing group reading, games, visit to schools among others.
We are all reading one novel this month titled The Flying Ostrich by Diana Bamfort McBagonluri, we will be meeting to discuss one in while and we let you know our views on it.
Patronage at the community library during the night session yesterday and previous nights have been very impressive. The patrons were mostly young adults. Some were working on assignment from schools, some were drawing, others read maths and science. The young children who came to the library were busy reading different kinds of story books like A is for Ampe, the Cat and Dog Series among others. Some Polytechnic students were also in the library for studies. At a point the room was almost getting full as I sat quietly also reading a novel titled Ancestral Sacrifice. I want to say that the community libraries indeed are working and contributing immensely to the joy of reading for many rural folks. It is our hope more people will embrace reading at all time for pleasure, fun, vocabulary improvement, knowing more about events elsewhere and much more.
By Paul Ayutoliya, FAVL-CESRUD coordinator northern Ghana.
The story is about how one giant Wawa tree that was in the deepest part of the forest journeyed from the forest to become a canoe sailing the sea. Using the tree as an illustration or point of view, the story portrayed the strong ties between man and nature.
The story begins with “I started as a tree, I was a giant Wawa tree in the forest of the hinterland”….. The tree in the story enjoyed its stay in the forest and was happy with its contribution to the people that surrounded it. It provided shade to people, was a shelter and refuge to animals and birds, its branches and leaves served as canopy. For years the tree shared the peace and quiet of the forest with man and animals. There was peaceful co-existence between the tree, animals and man. But suddenly one day, there was great deal of noise in the forest. What happened? Man in a dramatic way began to attack the trees in the forest. The trees cried foul but were helpless about what was happening to them as they were cut and taken away from the forest.
On and on it was the turn of the giant wawa trees that had been in the forest for many years to be hewn down. Nut one day, a small gang of young men came to the forest with presents of cloth, a fowl, a bottle of gin and some eggs. They offered these gifts to the spirit of the tree and prayed that no harm come to them as they work on a giant tree. The giant tree after several days of a great deal of work at long last was turned into a canoe and landed in the ocean….and begun a new life there.
In many respects, the story goes beyond that of a children’s book. The story at one breath shows how the fishermen and particularly the African fishermen greatly valued trees from which they indirectly derived their livelihoods. Without the trees, they could not build the canoes they used to sail in the sea for fishing. The story in another breath also draws the reader’s or people’s attention to the vast depletion of trees in forest which is of great concern and has been going on for many years, with little or no consideration of replacement of these valuable natural resources.
The interesting part of the story is the fact that it conveys a strong and powerful message about the need for mankind to conserve trees; trees are friendly and helpful to mankind.The illustrations in the story are very simple to follow with the great and powerful narration. This book of Mr. Asare is thought provoking and sparks the imagination and critical thinking.
On 9th September 2019, we started work on the fans and painting of chairs and tables at the Gowrie-Kunkua community Library. Four fans were fixed. The painting as done by the coordinator (Paul Ayutoliya), Sumbrungu librarian, Mr. Timothy Apenoore, the Gowrie-Kunkua librarian, Mr. Wilfred Nyaaba and some young boys and girls from the community. The girls helped in cleaning the dust off the tables and chairs while two boys helped with the painting. We finished the painting works today. The chairs and tables were painted with green, yellow and blue. In all 5 tables, 34 chairs, and 1 bench were painted. The children who came around with the few young adults could not hide their joy when the fans started working and blowing some fresh air in the library. The different colours of the chairs and tables brightened the library. They (the children) together with the librarian and some elderly people who came around were thankful to the donors for such great support given to the library. I have also since presented the story books we bought in Accra to the librarian.
The three community libraries recorded good patronages in the month of July. Major contributor to the good patronages recorded during the month was a result of the basic pupils preparations towards their end of third term exams. All the three community libraries were used as place of convenient serene environment for learning. Both daily and the night session of the respective libraries recorded good patronages. Reading activities, riddles, storytelling, games and videos shows among others characterized the month. The librarians as usual concluded their reports by thanking FAVL and CESRUD on behalf of the library users and their respective communities for the enormous support given to their respective communities and the Africa poor child. The table of statistics for the month of July 2019, showed a significant increases in the number of patrons compared with that of last month (June).
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.