Library updates from Ghana in June

Paul Ayuretoliya writes from Ghana:

This is an update report of happenings from CESRUD/FAVL Ghana in June. Patronage to the respective three community libraries supported by FAVL through CESRUD for the past three weeks in June had been very good. At the Sumbrungu community library, pupils and students from the surrounding schools were the most frequent users of the library especially during the day time. I read with students from St. Charles Lwanga JHS during one of their visits and I encouraged those who were curious to know how the story will end to borrow the books home and finished the story and come and shared with me their findings. At the Sherigu community library, attendance to the library were good. St. Peter and Paul Academy pupils and students, pupils and students from the Dorongo basic school were the regular visitors. One of the books the librarian read with patrons was about the work of a midwife. After the reading, some of the patrons expressed optimism in becoming midwives in the future whiles others believed the work is complicated and hence will not want to become one in the future. At the Gowrie-Kunkua library, attendance to the library in June was significantly great after the inauguration, lots of pupils and students from far away basic schools visited the library regularly in their good numbers.

The extension works at the Sumbrungu Community library are currently continuing, ceiling joints have been fixed with electrical work partly done, plastering and fitting of windows frame have been done. So with the pace of work, everything should be nearing finishing by the close of this month if the available funds could cover the cost of the remaining work. We are thankful to CESRUD/FAVL for this great support for the Sumbrungu community library. We want to specially acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Rex Asanga, the executive director of CESRUD for conceiving the idea and seeking for funding for the work. Special thanks also goes to the Bolgatanga Amsteram Foundation and our main donor FAVL for their kind gestures.

Gowrie-Kunkua repair update

Paul Ayuretoliya writes: This is a brief update report on progress of the plastering works at the Gowrie-Kunkua community library. The interior plastering have since been completed and plastering of the exterior walls has begun. The good thing is with where the plastering works have reached, I’m optimistic that by the end of this month (March) all renovation works will be completed and the library will be open for public patronage. The work have actually been delayed but when completed, I envisage a more beautiful looking library with more space than the former. So in brief, work is ongoing and will soon be completed.


The new EIFL Public Library Innovation Award, for public libraries that are teaching digital skills in innovative ways and that are bringing people online, is now open for applications. Digital skills are needed more and more, in work and in daily life. In an ever-changing technology environment, people need lifelong opportunities to learn new digital skills. Equipped with computers and the internet, public libraries have become important players in bringing people online and providing digital skills.

The award is open to all public and community libraries in developing and transition economy countries that are teaching digital skills in innovative ways and that are bringing people online. The prize includes US$1,500 and wide publicity through EIFL’s global communication channels and networks. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, 25 November 2019. Applications will be accepted in English, French, Russian and Spanish. You can find the full details and application criteria and procedures here.

Thank you African Studies Association!

IMG-1742At the last annual meetings of the African Studies Association, FAVL was awarded the Gretchen Walsh book donation award, with a check of $1,000 to support shipping books to Burkina Faso and Ghana. We mostly buy local books for the libraries that we support, but there are many excellent books available at modest cost (and sometimes free) here in the U.S. that it is worth shipping.  Just a few weeks ago, for a example, a young reader in Burkina Faso wanted volumes 2,3,4 (how many are there) f the Harry Potter series in French. She had read volume one and was dying to read the other volumes! So we shipped them over.

We are looking forward in the coming months to shipping over to Ghana some of the books of FAVL-supporter Glennette Turner, who wrote numerous children’s books on African-American history.



Basic platform for community library activists in African countries

Community and public libraries in most African countries get (actually) very little public support. Most African governments have yet to demonstrate tangible support for reading and public libraries.  Here are our suggestions for minimal support for existing community libraries. And of course, such a program of support would have some criteria for defining what is a community library. my suggestions would be: library owned and managed by some unit of government or non-profit organization; open to public; paid librarians at least 50% time; librarian has some kind of certification (a minimal certification is fine, no need for an advanced library degree in a village community library); some threshold of size and impact (I would suggest 500 books of reasonable quality, serving a potential reading population of at least 1000 people).

Five things government can do to support libraries:

1) Librarian salaries to be covered by local government (about $1000 per year per library)
2) Funds for book purchases ($500 per year would be a good start)
3) Training for librarians to better promote reading (some kind of certification program) ($300 per librarian, one time)
4) Regular supply of all school textbooks ($500 each year)
5) Annual conference of all librarians ($100 per librarian)

And in French:

1) Les salaires des bibliothécaires seront couverts par le gouvernement local
2) Fonds pour l’achat de livres
3) Formation pour les bibliothécaires afin de mieux promouvoir la lecture (une sorte de programme de certification)
4) Fourniture régulière de tous les manuels scolaires
5) Conférence annuelle de tous les bibliothécaires

Sumbrungu smjpg

Visite du bibliothécaire de Kiembara à Ouagadougou

Niamoukara Corneille est le gérant de la bibliothèque communale de Kiembara. Après sa formation et sa prise de service en avril 2018, Niamoukara s’est mis au travail pour promouvoir la lecture dans la commune de Kiembara. Pendant la période du 02 au 03 août 2018, il a effectué une visite à Ouagadougou au siège de FAVL. Question  d’échanger avec le staff de FAVL sur les activités à venir. Ce fut également l’occasion pour lui de prendre part à une formation en gestion et d’animation des bibliothèques à la Médiathèque Municipale de Ouagadoudou. Il est très heureux pour ce renforcement de capacitation en gestion et d’animation et aussi le frottement avec ses collègues bibliothécaires sur leurs activités communes. Il est repartit à Kiembara avec un lot de livres, les journaux échos des bibliothèques et un chèque de 120000F représentant la contribution de FAVL à la mairie de Kiembara. Son souhait est que de telles initiatives soient régulières pour lui permettre de connaitre d’avantage son métier.

Vacation classes started today in all the three CESRUD/FAVL community libraries in Ghana to promote reading

The free vacation classes started today in all the three CESRUD/FAVL community libraries in Ghana. Patrons in their good numbers were in attendance for the start of the classes, we are sure of more patrons joining in the coming days. Basically today was for registration, familiarization, orientation (rules and regulations of the libraries) and a general reading of different kinds of story books with patrons in order to identify the reading ability of each patron. This exercise usually helps us (the librarians and other volunteer assistants) in identifying those with good and weak reading skills. With this exercise, more detail attention is normally given to those with reading challenges, they are usually taken through the vowels and consonants pronunciation and other reading techniques in a more detailed manner in a bit to improving their reading abilities. As mentioned earlier, patrons read a lot of story books of their choices today individually and during the group readings sessions. Story books such as the Pot of Wisdom, Amoako and the Forest, David’s Day at the mine, the Fati Series, the Cat and Dog series and many other books were read. Patrons had fun at the libraries with books and meeting with other friends.

vacation class sm

Remerciement a Olivier Ploux !

Revue BibliothequesFAVL a reçu la revue de l’Association des Bibliothécaires de France du mois de juin. Nous nous réjouissons de la parution de l’article de FAVL-BF dans le dossier « A quoi servent les bibliothèques ». Au nom de toute l’équipe de FAVL-BF , nous vous disons merci. Merci d’avoir retenu notre thème puis contribué à la correction, à la finalisation et l’impression de la revue. L’enthousiasme dont vous avez fait preuve durant tout le processus de production, démontre toute votre volonté manifeste de promouvoir la lecture et d’accompagner tous les acteurs de promotion de la lecture à relever les défis.

Ce fut une bonne opportunité pour nous de faire la visibilité de notre petit ONG et de nos activités à travers le monde entier. Merci à vous, vos collègues et le staff qui ont travaillé pour la réussite de la revue.

Participation de FAVL au congrès de l’ABF à La Rochelle

Les 8 et 9 juin 2018, le représentant national Sanou Dounko de FAVL-BF a participé au congrès des bibliothécaires de France sous le thème : A servent les bibliothèques. Plusieurs autres bibliothécaires et exposants venus des quatre coins de l’Europe ont également pris part audit congrès. Le représentant national de FAVL-BF et Pascaline Rouamba, point focal de FAVL à CRS ont fait une présentation des activités et à quoi servent les bibliothèques du partenariat entre Béoog Biiga de CRS et FAVL-BF. La présentation a suscité beaucoup d’intérêt pour les participants. Ils ont salué les efforts fournis pour contribuer à l’amélioration du savoir lire et écrire des élèves. En plus de la présentation, ce fut des moments propices pour le représentant et Pascaline de discuter avec les participants sur les préoccupations et défis de ces bibliothèques.  Pour le représentant de FAVL-BF, cette première sortie en Europe est a salué car elle marque un début de partage, d’apprentissage avec des professionnels du livre mais aussi de nouer des relations avec d’autres associations et ONG de promotion de la lecture.

Summary of librarians’ reports for April 2018

From Paul Ayutoliya:

This is a brief summary of Cesrud/Favl Librarians reports for the month of April 2018.
Patronage of the three Cesrud/Favl Ghana libraries have been quite good and encouraging during April. The library’s users who comprised of basic pupils, students of second cycle institution and tertiary students patronized the respective libraries very well in preparations of their examinations they wrote before breaking for vacations.

The major activities that took place across all the three libraries were; individual reading and / or learning story books, notes taking from school, text books and pamphlets, group reading of story books in the libraries with their respective librarians and coordinator some times, fun activities such as playing different kinds of games, games of words spellings, quiz competitions, general cleanup of the library’s and it’s premises. All these activities and others motivated the library users mostly of the basic pupils to keep coming to the library at all time (both daily and night sessions).

The respective libraries librarians over the month also read a number of novels and other story books; the Sumbrungu librarian read a book titled the Unwilling Umpire by Ron Roy, Flying by Lesley Sims and others. The Sherigu librarians read a novel entitled Sons of the Skroll, about a boy called Allan who won many medals as a result of his jumping skills. Alan’s father was a good counselor who have counsel many people but surprisingly he had divorced the wife, Alan suspected the grandmother might have had her hand in his parents’ divorce. There was a mystery of an old farmhouse left near his grandmother place and a lot of tales about the house…. The Gowrie-Kunkua librarian also read a book titled Plants Bite Back by Richard Platts and others books.

During the month some parents and library committee members visited the respective libraries to see how the libraries were functioning and to also encourage library users to keep patronizing the libraries to read more story books and have fun. The library coordinator also visited the respective libraries for monitoring and supervisions.

The problems from the three libraries include; the non-functioning fans (three fans) at the Sherigu library and the need for fans (at least three fans) at the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library, then again a request from all the librarians for text books, pamphlets and some religious books.

The table below is a summary of the statistics of patronage for both daily and night sessions for April 2018.

table users april 2018
From the statistics table, it is clear the Sumbrungu Community Library have the highest record of attendance followed by Sherigu library coming second for daily attendance but third for the night sessions and vice versa with the Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library. The upgrade of the Sumbrungu library with all the fans working and a lot of games for fun accounts for the highest record of patronages. I’m hopeful that if the fans issues are address at Sherigu and Gowrie community library, their patronage will also improve.

The librarians express their appreciation for the books I came with from Burkina Faso which have been shared with the respective libraries. They thanked Cesrud/Favl for the continual support to their respective community libraries.


Initiative for Young African Library Innovators

The second IYALI 2018 call is out. In 2017 there was an really amazing group of 13 public librarians from Algeria, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and a very interesting programme in Lithuania and Poland:

EIFL, AfLIA and IFLA is inviting African public librarians aged under 35 to apply to take part in a two-year learning initiative that will connect them to inspiring public libraries in Asia and Africa, and expose them to experiences and ideas from other developing and transition economy countries.  IYALI (short for Initiative for Young African Library Innovators) is a partnership between the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). IYALI aims to expand the professional horizons of African public librarians and help them see their own work and achievements in a new and different light.

The deadline for applications 9 February 2018. Find out more about the IYALI learning experience and how to apply here –