Activities that characterized the month as usual were individual reading, group reading of different story books, indoor games, storytelling, quiz competitions. From the Sumbrungu Community Library, the librarian reports that attendance for both day and night sessions were good. Some the activities that contributed to the good patronage includes; reading competitions in the library, group readings, riddles, games, videos shows among others. He was particularly happy about the increase number of patrons visiting the library during the night. From the Sherigu Community library, the librarian reports that patronage were good for the month, the attendance though very low due to the Catholic Month of devotions, the few that came made good use of use of the library. From Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library, the librarian reports of good patronage during the month. There were a number of reading activities, games among others.
Paul Ayutoliya, FAVL-CESRUD library coordinator, writes:
A patron by name Rebecca shared with me one of the story books titled ‘It’s Not Fair’ by Emerald Kportufe and Mercy Kwafoa that she read.
Barikisu Banda was an intelligent girl in her class, but was not performing as she should because she was the only girl doing all the chores in the family. She has two other brothers (Isa and Tajudeen) who would not help do any house chores. Barikisu asked the parents to let her other two brother’s help in the house chores but the parents will not granted her this request saying that one day she will be a home keeper. The little girl after some time one day asked the parents ‘It’s is Fair’ that I have two brothers yet I am the only one doing all the house chores? One day her teacher Mr. Menka asked the class to write an essay on what they do at home. Barikisu writing the essay took her time and wrote the whole story of what she does at home. She wrote about the sweeping, the grinding, the pounding, the washing, the cooking, and the fetching of water all alone. The teacher called and asked her if all what she wrote was true and she answered yes. Mr. Menka after further inquiries met with Barikisu parents and explained to them that their daughter is a clever girl in school and she could perform better if she was allowed some more time to learn. The parents after listening to the teacher thanked him for his visit and all that he has told them. Mr. and Mrs. Bansah then decided their two sons should share the house chores with Barikisu, they were not happy and try to complain but their father order that they should share in the house chores. Barikisu was beaming with smiles because she could now have more time to learn. They was an essay competitions in their school, Barikisu was part of the contestant and won that competition to the joy of the parents, brothers and everyone.
Rebecca said house chores should not be only for girls but boys should also get involved.
The Ghana Library Authority declared this year as “A year of reading”. As part of the activities to mark the year of reading, the Ghana Library Authority is organising nationwide reading competitions through the Regional and branch libraries across the nations. The Upper East Regional Library has held some reading competitions in some of its branch libraries and climaxing it at the regional library. I accompanied the Regional Librarian last two weeks on the 14th of October, to the Navrongo Library for him to monitor and coordinate the reading competition there between three Junior High Schools (St. John Bosco JHS, Adebayeri and Abaache JHS) with the Navrongo Library Librarian. On the 16th of October, we were at the Bongo Library in the Bongo District for the reading competitions between three Junior High Schools there; St. Anne’s JHS, St. Joachim and Salibga JHS. The climax was on 21st October, at the Upper East Regional Library, Bolgatanga. Four Junior High Schools took part in this reading competition. The schools were Yorogo JHS, St. Anthony’s JHS, Methodist and St. John JHS.
Now this is how the competitions were usually done; all contestants were given same books, each school do present three contestants, so they normally have first readers, second readers and third readers in every round. The first readers were either given a page, a chapter or some paragraphs in a chapter to read. Now those who were the judges (normally three people) were given certain criteria in awarding the marks. The judges were asked to take note of the reader’s pronunciations, Fluency, speed, omission and respect for the punctuations. These and others were the criteria used in awarding the marks. At the close of each competition, prizes were usually awarded to all contestants starting from the winners. Refreshment was provided for supporters (the students) and contestants, the judges and teachers who came with their students.
We held our end of month (October) meeting on 1st November 2019 at the Sumbrungu community library. In attendance were the Sumbrungu Librarian Mr. Timothy Apenore, the Sherigu Librarian Miss Cecilia Adombila and the Gowrie-Kunkua Librarian, Mr. Wilfred Nyaaba. The Sumbrungu Librarian reported that the month was full of lots of reading activities with tremendous records of attendance for both daily and night sessions. He mentioned some of the activities: collective reading, individual reading of both story books and notes from schools, assignments work, games and videos shows. He was particularly happy about the attendance recorded. It shows more people (students and pupils) are cultivating the reading habits. He mentioned shortage of chairs and insufficient space as major challenges facing the library.
The Sherigu Librarian also reported good patronage during October, but lower than Sept. October is usually a devotion month for the Catholic around the world, and so many of the users around the library took part in this month of devotion where they move from house to house to pray with brethren hence the low patronage. There were a lot of library activities during the month; group reading, poems recitations, borrowing of books and games.
From the Gowrie-Kunkua Library, the librarian reported of encouraging attendance during the the month.Some activities during the month he mentioned included individual reading, games, cleanup exercise and group reading. On challenges, he mentioned some broken louvre blades and damage louvre carriers.
The librarians were excited to be getting more supplies of books from Biblionef and Ghana Book Trust. They were happy hearing this news and looks forward to receiving more books in their respective libraries.
FAVL-CESRUD library coordinator in Ghana, Paul Ayutoliya, is in Accra in order to receive more than 700 books (text books for primary, junior high and senior school, story books, junior dictionaries, etc.) for the libraries of Sumbrungu, Gowrie-Kunkua, and Sherigu! Thanks to Patricia Arthur at Biblionef Ghana office, Ghana Book Trust, and Books for Africa!
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.