Training of librarians in Upper East Regional Library in October, Ghana

From Benedict Akanga: We had an orientation programme on Monday 3rd – 7th of October. Mr Kansanga Lesley the Regional Librarian was the resource person in charge of the induction course. On the first day, we each presented ourselves, and that followed the introduction of the subject of the day. We learnt what a library is meant for and its needs. He reiterated that we have to encourage library patrons to come to the library regularly, “a library should be an interesting place which should catch the user’s interests” he said. Mr Lesley asked us to work very hard because been a librarian or working in the library is a profession and individuals are employed with specific qualifications and experience to work. On the second day, we had to report very early because we had a lot ahead, we started the lesson early, and we learnt about the qualifications of a librarian and personal qualities of a library assistant. We also learnt about categories of library, types of libraries, the Ghana library authority and Information Technology (IT) in librarianship. We also studied about the necessity of IT in the librarianship profession and helping users out with IT tools. We did some practicals of how to shelve books correctly and classified books into their various classes. On the third day, we continued we the discussion of what a mobile library is and how it operates, and the necessity of a mobile library in our various libraries. We learnt studied a lot about the classifications system of books, Mr Lesley took us through the method used is the Dewey decimal classification. On the fourth day, we had only practical activities. We rearranged books and shelved all the books in the library, we tidy up the library too, we learnt how to record new books and how to record borrowed books. How to create book pockets and many more. On the fifth day, we had an Entrepreneurship training worship which was organised by the Ghana Library Authority, for all young people (youth) in and around Bolgatanga on how to create a business Plan and the need to become an entrepreneur and how to become successful in life. Our training with the Regional librarian was interactive and very educative, we really learnt a lot from this training. We wish to thank our sponsors of this training. We promise to put all what we learnt into practice. This will improve the operations of our community library.

Reading competitions in Sumbrungu, Ghana

Benedict Akana, CESRUD Library coordinator, writes:

Biblionef has partnered with CESRUD to support creating libraries in rural schools. They trained teachers as school library reps of which the coordinator of the community libraries spearheaded in the supervision, and rendered other training programs to teachers as far as motivating reading in rural schools is concerned. And as part the library program this year, CESRUD coordinated a reading festival or competition among pupils from thier various circuits. CESRUD/FAVL collaborates with two circuits giving them all the support needed to assist the pupils in reading, thus West B circuit and Bolga-North circuit. Each circuit has its timetable for their inter-schools primary/JHS competitions. Here are some photos from the latest competition in October.

Daily activities at Gowrie-Kunkua by librarian Wilfred Nyaaba


On the 1st September 2022, I arrived at the library at 8am. I did my cleaning, shelved some books used by the patrons. 14 students from kunkua JHS came to study for their end of year examination (BECE). I shelved the books and closed at 2pm for the day. On Friday 2nd, I arrived at the library at 8am I did my cleaning. Water the trees on that same day mine managing director paid me a visit and we took some photos and played ludo game and I closed 2pm. On Monday 5th, I arrived at the library at 8am. I did the sweeping and shelved the books used by the patrons and water the trees and closed at 2pm. On the 6th of September, I came to the library at 8am, few patrons were around. They helped me to do the cleaning. We did group reading and closed at 2pm. On the 7th, I came to the library at 8am. I did cleaning and water the trees. Few patrons came especially those who are going to write the B.E.C.E examination and I closed at 2pm. On Thursday 8th of September, I arrived at the library at 8am. Few patrons came to the library for their personal studies. They helped me do the sweeping and arranged the tables and the chairs. We did group reading with the book ‘Crocodile Bread’ by Kathy Knowles. I closed at 2pm. On the 9th, I came to library at 8am. I did my cleaning arrange the books, the chair, the tables and watered the trees. We also played game like ludo and closed 2pm. On Monday 12th, I arrived at the library at 8am. I did my cleaning and water the trees few patrons came in to read on their own. We also did group reading and also, game like ludo were also played among the patrons and we closed 2am for the day. And on Tuesday 13th of September, I came to the at 8am. I did my usual cleaning, shelved the books used by the patrons and watered the trees, around 11am I went to the school and met the primary five (5) pupils from Gowrie-Kunkua primary school. We revised what we did before we went for holidays and at 12noon, I went back to the library and closed 2pm for the day. On 14th of September, I cames to the library at 8 am. I did my cleaning with the help of some of the patrons who came to read, I also shelved the books and watered the trees. We also did group reading with a book entitled ‘Emeka`s Gift’ an African storybook. On Thursday 15th of September 2022, I arrived at the library at 8am. I did my cleaning and water the trees. We played games (ludo and oware). I closed for the day at 2pm. And on Friday 16th of September, I came to library at 8am. I swept the library, watered the trees as usual and did other activities. we were play games and had a group reading and closed at 2pm.

Cesrud/FAVL community libraries report for July and August by Benedict Akana

During the month July, we recorded an average number of patronage in both day and night time at Sumbrungu Community Library (SCL)-Ghana. This is because of the rain fall. Sometimes the rain falls all day long which makes it difficult for patrons to visit the library. Some students from Bolgatanga Technical University came to the library to study. And also Hon. Rex Asanga the Executive Director of CESRUD paid visit to SCL, he encourage patrons to make good use of the library. We were able to rehabilitate the library after the fire outbreak. We have fix the burnt doors, windows, and the electrical works. Due to splashed water during the fire outbreak, we had two faulty laptops repaired and one is still on repair. The SCL wish to express their gratitude to the FAVL/CESRUD Board for their tireless support to the community library.

Furthermore, the month of August was a very busy month because we started the vacation classes. Majority of the patrons were our Reader’s Club members. They are on vacation. So, we had a lot of activities with them in the library during this month, we had group reading, quiz, individual reading, creativity/colouring, movie show and outdoor games. In the first week of August, our goal was to help the younger ones who are unable to read to learn how to read. We did a lot of writing skills and pronunciation of words. We asked them to copy the words and take it home as an assignment so that they practice at home. We also read story books with older ones who came during the first week, some of the books included; ‘Jafta’s Mother,’ ‘Peter’s wish’, ‘Cat and Dog’ and ‘Grace and family’. We taught them also moral lessons from the story books read. We discussed things like ‘obeying parents’, ‘being serious with studying’, ‘caring for each other’, ‘how to get good role model’ and ‘wishing good for others’.

On the second week of August, our library users came in their number. In turns, we tell stories and asked them to also tell a story of their choice. The Coordinator of the Community Libraries (CCLs) encourages us not to employ librarian-centered learning when teaching, having library activities or doing any work with the patrons but it should be patron-centered learning. This method will give more opportunity for the patrons to develop themselves in learning. The patrons come regularly to the library when they are involved in the library’s activities. Also, we taught the patrons how to always keep the community library clean by following the rules of the library and all the procedures of keeping the books safe for the next user.

As mentioned earlier, we experienced frequent rain showers during the third week of August but this did not interrupt our activities. We asked the patrons to write an article on what they learnt in the library during the classes. During the fourth week, we recorded high patronage during the day and low number of patronage at night. Some students of Bolgatanga Technical University comes to the library at night to read. They said our library is a very good place to study at night because it is always silent at night, they can concentrate on whatever they are reading. On the other hand, we helped patrons to read perfectly before resuming back to school, so that their various school teachers will know that the library is a serious center for their pupils. At least more than half of our regular patrons can read perfectly, which is an achievement for us. I hope our efforts on working towards the mission of the library will be achieved by our hard work.

 At Sherigu Community Library (ShCL), the turnout for the month of July was good. Most patrons came to the library both day and night time. The activities were carried out accordingly. We had group reading, practicing drawing, colouring and painting, individual reading, and storytelling as well as given assistance to some patrons who needed it for their assignments. Some of the books that were collectively read were “The Lucky one”, “My Green Book”, “My Yellow Book”, “Back to School”, “Hanatu, a seamstress learn to read”, and “Crocodile bread”. The most interesting activity for the month was the individual reading. The individual reading had been a modified strategy that has been set up by the librarian to test the understanding of patrons that do come to the library to read especially story books. In the course of the individual reading, patrons are asked to pick a book of their choice and read, after which the patron is then asked to narrate the book that he or she has read.

The CCLs and the library committee members were our visitors in the course of the month and of which their aim of visits were to discuss about how to improve the maintenance and the sustainability of the community library, formation of new library committee and also for monitoring and supervision respectively. To evaluate the month of August, we had a lot of activities at ShCL. In terms of attendance it was very encouraging for the first and second week because of the ongoing end of term examination. Within those weeks, students from the nearby communities used the library. They came to have personal study time and for their revisions towards their exams. The third and the last week attendance was not all that good due to the holidays. Most of them travelled for their vacation.

The activities that were carried out in the library were the group reading, Storytelling, individual reading, Spelling of words Competitions, video show and a clean-up exercise. On the first and second week, patrons read story books like; “The Lucky One”, “Otu goes to Sea”, “Why fish live in Water”, “Kente for a King”, “All about Ama”, “Tail of the Blue Bird”, “Blue shoes and Happiness”, Tears of the Giraffe”, “Teen Princess” to mention but a few. Some of the patrons also narrated beautiful stories they read. From the third and the lasts week, we took some of the pupils through extra classes on Maths and English Grammar. Also, we told stories and also watched educative videos for children, using the librarian phone due to lack of Television or a computer at ShCL library. We also had dictations after reading the story books. On the 27/08, we did general cleaning in the library. The ShCL opens all the time because of the passion Diana, the librarians has for her job and the patrons. She always used her free time to read story books. So from 8am the children will always come and closed at 2pm. And our adult users will also use the library till 5pm. We open the evening sessions at 7pm and closed at 9pm.

At Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library (GkCL) during the month of July, thus the first week, we did painting. This distracted reading in the library due to the painting of the new tables, the new shelves and the new doors. During the second week, the library had a lot of patronage due to the exams. Patrons have been coming from far places to the library to study for their end of term exams. What took place in the library during the month were completing of puzzles, which most of the kids like playing it, we also played ludo games, the sitting bird and kick the ball. In the month we were able to also read three [3] story books entitles ‘Secrets of the sorcerer’ by Bali Neble, ‘The flying Ostrich’ by Diana Bamford and ‘Amoako and the forest’ by Deborah Cowley. All these books we read were very interesting and enjoyable. We told the stories to patrons and friends. Apart from that the librarian also had a Classroom Group Reading (CGR) at the primary school. Since we introduce the CGR with the pupils, they master reading skillds now. The books that were used were ‘Kente for a king’ by Angela Christian and ‘Amoako and the forest’ by Deborah Cowley. We also sprayed the weeds around the library. We water the trees around the library every day, evening and morning.

Some parents and the library committee members also paid their usual visit. Also our CCLs also paid a number of visit to the library for monitoring and supervision especially during the painting weeks. The major problems that GkCL faces are the ceiling and the lighting system. We hope this issue is solved once and for all. We are always up and doing, preparing hard towards the group reading and hope for the best outcome.

During the month of August, several activities were carried out. On the 20th of August, the Library Reader’s Club (LRC) carried out a lot of activities. We had games like; ludo, oware and cards. Quiz competition were also organised among the groups, each group leader had three representatives. After the quiz the winners were awarded a prize of two exercise books and one pen each, the second position had one exercise book and one pen each and the third position had one exercise book each. Furthermore, we had group reading activities in the library, books shared patrons by the librarian. They read after him and after that dictation conducted for them, to test their level of understanding and awards are given them to motivate them to read more books. It is always interesting. We again planted more trees this month around the library. They are been taking care of by the librarian. He waters them every morning and evening. On 22th of August 2022, after our games and all others the health director came to supervise his works in the clinic nearby and decided to pay a visit to the library. He educated the patrons on some disease, how to protect oneself from contructing them. Such as Covid-19, HIV/AIDS and BP.

Daily activities in Sumbrungu Community Library (SCL) for the fourth week of August 2022 #Ghana

By: Marinus Amoah Anaba
“I have been struggling to mention and read African story books and even at school”, that’s the words of a patron who is in class three. So, I took it my responsibility to help him to read! On the Monday 22nd August, I opened the library with joy as at around 8am. I first of all tidy up the library hall. We started our vacation classes. We had group reading on this day, the title of the Book we read was ‘Peter’s Wish’. I first read the book loudly after which I asked patrons to read it loud, I was amazed that our patrons read the story book very well. I asked them the lessons learnt from the story which most of them answered. After which I conducted dictation for them more than half of the number on Monday scored it. They were 30 patrons present. On the 23rd of August, 2022, we had a low number of patrons in attendance because of a rainfall in the morning; most parents did not allow their kids to come out. We had individual reading on this day I read ‘Peter Pan’ these story book is very interesting, it contains funny and educative information, I later asked patrons to spell a couple of word I had asked them to study at home the previous night at home. It is very difficult to motivate these kids to come without giving them something, so I bought toffees on this day just to encourage them. They were very happy and claimed that they will come with their friends. The 24th of August was a very busy day in the Sumbrungu Community library, I had to tidy up the library and shelve used books the previous day. I had to combine all patrons in attendance to teach them how to mention some words and use them to form sentences with them; I was amazed to read the sentences constructed by patrons. I help patrons with some pencils and pens to aid them write and learn with ease. On this day the numbers had increased, very encouraging number, the library was almost full of kids, it was very difficult to handle them but with the aid of our National Service Personnel, we had a good day.

On the 25th August, I grouped patrons into two groups namely ‘Group 1 and Group 2. I organized a Quiz between them to see what they learn when they come to the library. Each group consisted of four pupil, I asked question on General Knowledge, Mathematics, and English. The patrons cheered their brothers and sisters during the quiz. After which I asked them to play a couple of games in the library while waiting for the results. After the results were ready, group 2 won the quiz with 25 points and group 1 with 15 points, I encouraged them not to give up because next time will be big and rewards would be given as well. The 26th August, was a Friday, I opened the library a little late from the official opening time, because I had a problem with my motor bike when coming to the library on this day. Friday’s activities are Games, Video show, and socialisations. Patrons get the chance to make new friends from different schools and also have the chance to watch educative videos on the internet.

Daily activities in Sumbrungu Community Library (SCL) for the second and third week of August, 2022

From librarian Marinus Amoah Anaba
The community library is a place where most of the kids in the Sumbrungu community like to come during vacation and school days. So on Monday the 8th August, I opened the library as at 9:00am, we had a heavy downpour that morning which I could not open on the official opening time (8am). I tidy up the library as usual and shelved used books by patrons. We had a lot of activities that day; group reading, storytelling, this was done by patrons, and individual reading to prepare for their end of term examination Some students from Kolgo Junior High School came to the library at noon, I took some of them through some IT tips and late had life skills activities with them. I closed the library at our official hour thus 2pm. On Tuesday 9th august, 2022, I opened the library at 8am, I really was not feeling well that morning but the passion I have for the job motivated me. I love to be in the library because I learn a lot from the patrons. We had our daily activities but this day was different; I took some pupils of St. Charles Lwanga Primary School through the ‘Mavis Beacon typing tuition application’ which they learnt how to type and even type faster. We had our group reading, the book we read was ‘David at the Mines’. It was a wonderful day. I closed at 2:09pm. On Wednesday (10th august, 2022) I had to tidy up the library because the previous day I could not clean it as usual, some patrons helped me to do that alongside. I opened the library at 8am. I had to move some books and rearrange those books on the shelves. We had storytelling and individual reading on this day. The St. Charles Lwanga Junior High School students came during the day for their personal studies and revision to write their end of term examination. I closed the library at 2:10pm. On Thursday (11th august, 2022) we had only storytelling because it was a vacation day for most of our patrons. They were engaged in their schools for that reason only a few came over to the library. It was not a busy day so I had to search for some riddles and answers to be used during the holiday’s activities. I will ask them some questions (riddles) and they will have to answer it correct. I closed the library at 2pm. On Friday (12th August, 2022) I was pleased to see some members of our Read’s Club on Friday, they came to library to read and interact with each other as well, we played games and watch a movie. I was an interacting day for all of us including our noble National Service Personnel who was present to as well.

On 15th August, 2022 thus the first Monday of the holidays, I opened the library as at 8am, I cleaned the library and shelved used books. SCL received good number patrons in the Sumbrungu area. Some of the Reader’s Club members came to the library early and we had some library activities such as; Group reading, storytelling, Games and video show, it was a wonderful day because members cooperated and answered the riddle questions well and some even explained those questions with confidence. Later that day we received some students from the Bolgatanga Technical University at the library for their personal studies. I took them through the library regulation and helped them look for some books. I was helped by our National Service personnel to guide our patrons (Club members) on how to spell and mention some English words from some African story books. On Tuesday (16th August, 2022), after reporting to the library as at 8am, some Reader’s Club members and some friends from the Bolgatanga Technical University visited the library, I made the club members select African story books of their choice and guide them to read. I was helped by our National Service Personnel. I am very happy working with her, she is very cooperative and helpful. After some time of intensive reading, I gave the patrons a break of 15mins to take their snacks. On their return they watched a movie on the television. We later played games. On Wednesday (17th August, 2022), I opened the library as at 8am, I tidy up and shelved the books used the previous day, after which I read a book entitled ‘Faustina My Cousin’ while waiting for the Reader’s Club members to come to the library. We started our daily activities with a storytelling, one of our patrons told us a very interesting story, after which I asked of the moral lessons learnt from it.Some students from Kolgo Junior High School came to the library after they closed from their vacation classes to join our group reading. On Thursday (18th August, 2022), I opened the library as at 8am, it was a good and bright day because it did not rain on this day. We had outdoor games in the community library, we played ampé, soccer, hid-and-seek and played cards. The patrons were excited because I played with them. I recorded good numbers of patrons on this day; also some students from Bolgatanga Technical University came over to read some African story books. We had an hour to watch a movie and closed the library at 2pm. On Friday (19th August, 2022), we had our Friday’s activities: games, storytelling, and socialisation, the patrons started gathering at the library very early. I opened the library at around 8am, I tidy up the library and shelved some books used the previous day.We watched educative a movie on ‘Early marriages and teenage pregnancy’. I advise patrons on how to take care of one’s self when you are in your adolescences stage of life. Some patrons asked question which we tried answering them very well. After some time I allowed them to borrow some books which they can take it home and bring it on Monday. I also asked them to inform their fellow colleagues who are not coming to the library that there will be ‘vacation classes’ this includes ‘English Language’ and ‘Mathematics’ from Basic 3 to Basic 6 from Monday 22/08/2022 to Friday 9/09/. We closed the library at 2pm.

Daily activities in Sumbrungu Community Library for the first week of August #Ghana

Monday (1st August 2022) I arrived at the library at 8:50am. I did some cleaning, shelved some books used by patrons previously. I read a story book entitled ‘Kente For A King’ illustrated by Edmund Opare. Students from St. Charles Lwanga Primary school came to the library at 10. I read a story to them and asked question about the book. I made them read a couple of books on their own and I corrected them for some read mistakes and meaning of some words. At 12pm, some friends from the Bolgatanga Technical University visited the library for their personal studies, after then some students from St. Charles Lwanga JHS came to study for their mock examination. I shelved used books and closed at 2pm. Tuesday, I arrived at the library at around 9am on a bright morning. I tidied up the library. At 10am 6 students from Kulbia Primary School visited the library. I engaged them with group reading for some time and later asked them to read on their own. I tried helping them read aloud some word as well as find their meanings from a dictionary. 14 students from Kolgo JHS and 8 students came to the library at 12:45pm for their personal studies because they had to prepare for their mock examination. I shelved the books used by patrons and closed the library at 2pm. Wednesday I had some issues with my bike so I was a little late for work but I opened the library at around 11am, and immediately some students from Kulbia primary visited the library. I asked them to select a story book of choice. They selected ‘Kente For A King’, is a book loved by our patrons. At 12pm some students from Kolgo JHS came for their personal studies. I closed the library at 2pm. Thursday was a holiday so I worked for a half day. I opened the library at around 8am. Only 6 patrons came to the library on that day, because most of them went to the farms with parents. We played a couple of games like cards and oware. I closed at around 1pm. Fridays are always exciting because it’s a day for games, storytelling and video show. I opened the library at 8am, I tidied up the library and shelved used books from the previous days. I took the television for the video show out and started a movie we would watch– ‘Ice Age’. Most of our patrons liked the movie because it was full of funny scenes We continued watching the Ghana leaning channel which helps student on some selected topics of study. After which we watched some educational videos on Ghana’s independence. I closed around 2pm.   

Daily activities of Gowrie-Kunkua librarian #Ghana

On Monday, 1st August 2022. I came to the library at 7:32 am. I did my cleaning, re-arrange the books in the shelves and water the trees. The activities that took place in the library was group reading, individual reading and Games. We played “Lodu” and “Oware”. On Tuesday, I arrived the library at 8:18am. There were two patrons who helped me to do the sweeping and arrangement of chairs and tables. On Wednesday, I arrived at the Library at 8:17am and after sweeping I went to the Kunkua Primary School for the classroom group reading using their Library hours with “The Book Amoako and the Forest” By Deborah Cowley. On Thursday, I came to Library at 7:13am. Cleaned and re-shelved the used Books. I did the watering of the the planted trees and later fetched drinking water for the patrons. On Friday, I went to the Library at 7:17am. I did cleaning, re-arrangement of the books and watered the trees and later played games like Ludo and Oware with patrons. On Saturday , I went to the Library at 7:14am. I did my cleaning, and watered the trees. The patrons and I had group reading.