Ghana librarians February meeting at the Sumbrungu Community Library

Quick summary from Paul Ayutoliya, FAVL-CESRUD coordinator:

IMG_20200228_120638_781Starting from the Sumbrungu librarian Mr. Apenore Timothy, he said the month wasa good one with lots of reading and fun games. He also spoke about the reading club and encouraged colleague librarians to consider also forming the reading clubs at their libraries. He noted that two of the fans that were developing problems. On attendance, the interesting reading activities in the library with videos shows and games contributed in the great number of patronages recorded. From Sherigu Community Library, Miss Cecelia Adombila reports that patronage of the library was very encouraging. She touched on the interesting library activities that kept patrons visiting all times, some of which were dancing with patrons, sharing poems and reading in group. At the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library, the librarian, Mr. Wilfred Nyaaba also reports that attendance to the library for the month was good. He also mentioned cleanup exercise among others reading activities.

The librarians reviewed the library guide again emphasizing on the code of conduct and the role of each one of them while at work.They discussed the upcoming reading competition to be held in March.


Summary of a novel Daylight by Edem Kweku Nunya

By Paul Ayutoliya:

IMG_20200205_195416_4The  novel Daylight by Edem Kweku Nunya is a very interesting novel that will keep one flipping to the next page after each page. A novel that will drive one never to give up his or her dreams in life.

The people of Egoli village were not happy with the kind of life they were living. The Egoli village had been impoverished for far too long because they lack social amenities. The Chief and people of Egoli village received news that some Whites Missionaries from the Atlantic Ocean will be visiting their village to bring development. They received the news with great joy. The only school that existed was found in another village called Akpoipoi which was about 40 kilometers away, and only the rich were able to enroll their wards in such a distant school. The White Missionaries finally arrived in the village one day to a rousing welcome by the Chief and people, they drummed and danced in welcoming their august guests to the village square. Their (the Missionaries) message of development and civilization was well received by the Chief and his people. The village folks and their chief were happy that sooner than later their village will no more experience the extreme poverty, hunger, diseases and wars that have led to lost of many lives. A few years later, the missionaries established a church, school and health centers, these amenities served as hope to everyone in Egoli.

Many of the village folks were encouraged to enroll their wards in the children school programme, many parents agreed and send their children to the school except Emefa’s family. Emefa was a little girl who had passion to be enroll into the school but the father Kli Akpabio vehemently opposed it, saying they have their own beliefs and that all his children would follow those landmarks. Emefa’s father was preparing her to become a priestess after her grandmother in the village. At long last, Emefa was enrolled into the school and she did brilliantly well in all the subject. She would many of the reading competition and other contest. Emefa after graduating from school wrote a very encouraging story about her experience when she was sent to the village to stay with her grandmother to learn the basics priestess roles, which in a way was to prepare her to succeed her grandmother after her death. Her story was to encourage all especially the young children never to give up in life on whatever dreams and aspirations they have.

The novel was an interesting one and I liked it. I have asked the librarians to also read the story and let me have their thoughts on it. The story was very easy to understand, it was not that difficult getting the point or idea of the novel.

Update on CESRUD/FAVL Ghana community libraries

From Paul Ayutoliya:

Patronage to the three community libraries continued to be very great and encouraging with lots of reading activities and others for the month of February 2020. At the Sumbrungu Community Library, attendance to the library for the month was very encouraging and good. Patrons from far and near maximized their visit to the library and read different kinds of story books in the library, notes written from schools, and also played different kinds of games among others. Among the story books read were; The Baobab Tree of Salaga by Hiro Yoneyama, City Sounds by Kathy Knowles, the Fati series, the Cat and Dog series, Jafta’s Mother, The Bush Rangers, Awkward Annie, and many others.

A little about the story of the Baobab Tree of Salaga I read. The story was about the excruciating pain and agony that characterized the slave trade era. It gives an account on how the people (slaves) were captured and taken to Salaga a town in the Northern Region and chained to metal pegs that were stuck on the trunk of a giant Baobab Tree which was located in the heart of the Salaga town whiles waiting for traders to come and buy. Some of the slaves died in the process because they could not withstand the torture. The Baobab Tree up to date is still there with the metal pegs on it’s body (trunk) and now serve as tourist attraction to visitors today. Never again should this be allowed in any part of the world. But there are still rumors of these inhumane practices (slavery) still go on some places in Africa and perhaps elsewhere. It is my hope that these practices when found to still persist should be quickly brought to an end. It is just unimaginable!

At the Sherigu Community Library, patronage to the library was very good. The activities that characterized the month in the library were group reading of story books, individual reading, interesting games among others. The librarian has been doing a great job there by organizing a number of reading programs every week with the support of some teachers from St. Peter and Paul Academy school. The day time was normally well attended by students and pupils of the surroundings schools. During the night time, young adults from far away place including the Sherigu Senior High school which is about 4 kilometres visit the library and read story books and notes taken from school.

At the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library, patronage were also encouraging. Students from the Kunkua Primary and Junior High school were the regular visitors to the library during the day time. Students and pupils from distant schools visit the library mostly at the night time. I read with students in this library the story of the Teen Princess by Diana B. Mc Bagonluri. The student were challenged by the little girls story, how she defied poverty and rose to greatest height of becoming the Crown Teen Princess despite her poor background. Some students who were part of the reading said if she could achieved that from a poor background with a single parent (her mother was a single parent) they should be able to do more. I visited the Kunkua Primary and Junior High School with the librarian there and engaged with pupils and students on the need for all to visit the community library and read.

Update on Ghana libraries supported by FAVL

At the Sumbrungu Community Library, students and pupils from far and near have been the most frequent visitors especially during the night time. They visited the library in their good numbers, read notes written from schools, story books in the library and had fun watching movies and playing games. The library is indeed becoming a serene home to many more students and pupils. We have form a young adults reading club in the library, we agreed to read and discuss each story book every Friday in the evening time. So this week’s reading starts today! Sherigu Community Library also recorded good patronage with lots of interesting reading and other activities which brought more patrons. The librarian there has been do a great job by organizing lots of reading activities with support from some teachers of St. Peter and Paul Academy. I met with some patrons last week in the library during the night time. I encourage them to visit the library at all times and make good use of the books. At Gowrie-Kunkua community library, patronage have also been good with interesting library activities.

Update from Ghana libraries

From FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul:

I visited the Gowrie-Kunkua community library for monitoring and supervision yesterday during the day time, I was so impressed with patronage to the library. Patrons who were mostly pupils and students from the Gowrie-Kunkua basic school were in the the library in their good numbers reading different kinds of storybooks. At a point, the patrons came together and read in a group the book Crocodile Bread. There are different kinds of equally good story books which over the periods we have try promoting but it appears in this library, most of the patrons like this Crocodile Bread story book by Kathy Knowles!   Don’t know whether the children in that community like bread that much! The librarian account indicated that the night patronages were also good and encouraging. Patronage of the three community libraries for January so far has been good with lots of reading activities.

CESRUD/FAVL Ghana staff resumed work 6th January 2020

The first day back was used for major cleanup exercise of the libraries and the surroundings. Patronages to the three community libraries were quite low due to the Christmas and New Year celebrations and severe harmattan weather conditions. Also basic pupils who are always the most frequent users of the respective community libraries were yet to resumed school. Patronages started picking up in the middle of the week. Basic pupils resumed school on Wednesday 8th January, pupils started visiting the libraries right from Wednesday the very day they resumed school. They read story books of different kinds.

Report on three community libraries supported by CESRUD/FAVL for December

IMG_20191202_144200_906.jpgPatronage to the three community libraries for the two weeks continued on a very good note. Basic pupils and students from second cycle schools and the tertiary institution visited the the respective library’s daily and during the night to read and learn in preparation for their respective exams before breaking for Christmas Celebration and perhaps the New Year. At the Sumbrungu Community Library, patrons were mostly pupils and students from the surrounding schools such as St. Charles Lwanga Primary and JHS, Kulbia Primary School, Kolgo Junior High School, Bolgatanga Polytechnic. They patronized the library well for both day time and that of the night time. They studied notes and handouts from their respective schools, some read different kinds of story books also from the library. At the Sherigu Community Library, patrons who were mostly students from St. Peter and Paul Academy, Dorongo Primary and JHS used the library as a convenient place to learn in preparation also towards their exams. Some patrons read story books from the library. At the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library, the story is almost the same, save to say their patronage was not that great as compared to the other two community libraries. Nonetheless, attendance was quite encouraging as Pupils from the Kunkua Primary and JHS were always seen in the library making good use of the books.

It sad to note however that as the basic students and students exams which should have been ongoing now have been put on hold due to a strike action by teachers in demand for their arrears that government owed them. The situation is very sad and worrying as students are left to their fate. Wandering from one place to another without any idea on when teachers will return to class rooms. I understand they have a genuine case as some the teachers have their arrears owed as far back as 2012. It is our hope that the government will listen to their concerns and address it as quickly as possible to enable the teachers return to class for academy work to continue.

Report on the reading competition organized by CESRUD/FAVL Ghana between five Junior High Schools from Bolga West B and Bolga North, on the 22 November 2019 at the Sumbrungu Community Library

Prior to the reading competition, letters were sent to the participating schools inviting them for the competition. All invited schools expressed their readiness to participate in the competition on the scheduled date after receipts of the letters. On Friday the 22nd of November, the date scheduled for the competition, the participating schools which included; St. Charles Lwanga Junior High School, Sumbrungu-Kolgo Junior High School, Ata’ampuurum A’ Junior High School, Sumbrungu Junior High School and Bolga Nyariga M/A Junior High School were all present before the time stated for the competition. The competition were scheduled to kick start at exactly 10:00am, latest by 9:30am all schools were already seated in the women meeting hall where the competition took place. Three staff from the Upper East Regional library including the Regional Librarian Mr. Leslie Kasanga was in attendance. Two of these staff in addition to a teacher from Kulbia Primary constituted the panel of judges for the competition. All librarians were also in attendance except the Gowrie-Kunkua Librarian.

In welcoming all to the reading competition, I touched briefly on the importance of reading and the significant efforts by CESRUD/FAVL Ghana over the years to promote and cultivate the reading habit in everyone by establishing and supporting three village community libraries in Sumbrungu, Sherigu and Gowrie-Kunkua. In collaboration with Biblionef Ghana, CESRUD/FAVL Ghana have also extended the libraries to 20 basic schools in Bolga West B’ and North circuits so that those from faraway schools can also have the joy of reading. I touched briefly also on CESRUD/FAVL Ghana yearly reading programs organized in the three community libraries and encouraged all to participate in the programs as and when they are organize. I concluded my welcome address by calling on all gathered that day to continue to read at all times as books have the power to transform lives.

The Upper East Regional Librarian addressing the gathering thanked all the schools for honouring the invitation and lauded the organizers of the competition for such a great initiative, he was particularly happy about the efforts being carried out to get students/pupils to read at all time. He stated that a ‘Reading Nation is a Winning Nation’, ‘Reading Makes a Man’ among others. He mentioned that the Ghana Library Authority have declared this year as a year of reading, and that the GhLA is doing all it can to support all branch and community libraries across the country with the needed support.

To the reading competition, each school presented three contestants for the contest. Below is a breakdown of the names of the contestants per each school, M in bracket stands for Male and F for Female.

From Sumbrungu-Kolgo Junior High School;
1. Adaleme Joseph (M)
2. Atubuliko Selina (F)
3. Akanvalka Maxwell (M)
From Ata’ampuurum A’ Junior High School;
1. Ayine Sunday (M)
2. Apampika Portia (F)
3. Asore Evert (F)
From Sumbrun Junior High School;
1. Abila Martha Ayembuno (F)
2. Azuure Hannah Nmabila (F)
3. Akolgo Joyce Nmabila (F)
St. Charles Lwanga Junior High School;
1. Yibozie Nancy (F)
2. Atia Rachel (F)
3. Amoah Vincent (M)
Nyariga M/A Junior High School;
1. Akaba Ismael (M)
2. Abane Claudia (F)
3. Agana Godwin (M)

The competition were in three parts or rounds, round one was for reading and round two was almost the same but more detailed reading than the first round and round three was for dictations.For round one, they had first readers from each school, second readers and third readers climaxing that round, round two was almost the same but more detailed than the first round as mentioned. The first readers were asked by the judges normally to read any page or part of a chapter of the book that was selected for the reading that day. As the contestants read, the judges were looked at the grammar, respect for punctuation marks, and confidence level of the readers, fluency, omissions and time taken to read. These were the criteria the judges used in awarding the marks. All readers were given same time of three minutes to read, some readers finished reading their given page or chapter before the time given. Each of the three contestants per school was given two copies of the book to follow as their contesting mates and co-contestant as they read. The Panel of Judges of the competition had a copy of the book each, teachers of each participating schools were given a copy of the book to also follow as the contestants reads. This was done to ensure that no one complain of bias judgement or awards of marks to some contestants. At the close of the competition everyone was satisfy with the judges verdicts. The selected book was titled “Awkward Annie” by Julia Williams and Tim Archbold. On the third and last round of the competition, ten words were selected from the book used for the competition, these words were used for the dictation and I am sure the judges wanted to find out whether contestants took note of certain words and how they are spell as they read or not. At the end of this round, the sheets given contestants for the dictation were taken from them and mark. Some per the score got 6 out of 10, others 8 out of 10, some 7 out of 10, 9 out of 10 and some score all 10. These marks were added to the first two round score in arriving at the overall score per school.

Update report from FAVL/CESRUD Ghana community libraries for the two weeks of November 2019

76913899_1253586611516079_8048993747515473920_nAttendance to the Sumbrungu Community Library for the two weeks was super great especially the night sessions. I have been very regular of late in the Sumbrungu Library to help the night librarian due to the increase number of patrons we receives. The numbers are always great to the point that those who come late hardly find space to sit; others could be seen lying on their stomachs on the bare floor in front of the women meeting hall reading. The great numbers are putting pressure on our chairs, many of the chairs needs to be maintain. Activities for the two weeks include; individual reading, group reading of story books, games, and assignments works among others. I embarked on few visits to some surrounding schools and engaged pupils on library related issues, is one of the contributing factor to the increased numbers we receives every day and night at the library. The Sherigu Community Library also recorded good patronage during the two weeks; pupils of St. Peter and Paul Academy were and are always the regular patrons during the daily sessions. Students from the Sherigu Senior high school, young adults from the surrounding communities were and are the frequent visitors during the night sessions. Individual reading, group reading, cleanup exercise and games were some of the activities of the weeks. The librarian is always at her post ensuring that everything goes well for reading and learning. The Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library performances for the two weeks were also encouraging. Pupils of the Kunkua primary and junior high schools are always the regular patrons in the library. Reading activities for the two weeks were also good.

Reading competition for basic schools held in Upper East region


From online website of Radio Ghana:

A reading competition for selected basic schools in the Bolgatanga Municipality has been organized, by the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (CESRUD), a humanitarian community based organization, in a bid to promote reading habit among children. It was sponsored by Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL), an American based charity organization and five selected Junior High Schools from the Bolgatanga North and West ‘B’ Circuits took part in the competition. CESRUD in collaboration with FAVL have over years worked to improve quality of education in the Upper East Region and this has led to the establishment of three community libraries stocked with current and relevant books at Sumbrungu and Sherigu in the Bolgatanga Municipality and Gowrie-Kunkua in the Bongo District.

And from the Ghana News Agency:

He [Paul Ayutoliya] said, “CESRUD and FAVL over the years organised numerous reading programmes in all the three community libraries with a view to promoting a culture of reading among children especially students and pupils and I can say these respective community libraries since their establishment have improved the quality of education and literacy in the lives of many.” Mr Ayutoliya disclosed that through further collaboration with Biblionef Ghana, CESRUD was able to create mini libraries stocked with reading materials in 20 basic schools in the two circuits. “These schools now have mini school libraries with books of over 400 each, available to pupils and students who are far from the community”. Mr Leslie Kasanga, the Upper East Regional Librarian encouraged the children to consider reading as a hobby and read always in order to broaden their knowledge and scope of learning. The Regional Librarian said 2019 was declared the ‘Year of Reading’ by the Ghana Library Authority and asked parents to invest in the future of their children by buying books for them and encouraging them to read.

At the end of the contest, St Charles Luwanga JHS emerged winner with 570 points, while Sumbrungu-Kolgo JHS and Bolgatanga Nyariga JHS, placed second and third with 507 and 501 points respectively.

The participating schools were given exercise books, pencils and pens.