Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A library friend has opened a library in Jordan Nu, Ghana

Marilyn Deer writes...
Jordan Nu is about a three hour tro-tro ride from Accra.... The commissioning ceremony was wonderful with all of the community in attendance. The entire primary and junior secondary marched in singing at the tops of their lungs accompanied by drumming. The paramount chief of the region was in attendance as well as library board executives and district assembly executives. I gave a speech, calmly, thinking not too many would understand my English, but then was told by many of the community over several days that they heard my message repeatedly and translated by the secretary of the community. Had I known that the media vehicle was in fact recording I might have been speechless. The community insisted on naming the library after me, I tried to convince them to call it the Jordan Nu library or community library but they felt the sponsor's name would benefit them later and they wanted to honor my commitment to them....what an honor! The first day the library was open there was no room to walk because the floor was lined solid with children reading. Now that made the whole four years of work worth every minute of effort! Of course, now the work and commitment really begins and we hope for a sustaining asset. Jordan Nu is paying the two librarian's salaries as well as the building maintenance and they formed the library committee independent of me. I have committed to supplying books until they can carry that responsibility alone. I am so thrilled to have been a part of this project. I don't know when I'll return, soon I hope. I'd like to be a fly on the wall to see how thing progress in the next few months. I am collecting books appropriate for them and believe that "if you collect them, a donor shipper will come." One of the library board execs was very impressed that the books I had stocked the library with were almost entirely written by African for Africans and I tried to use the national publishers. He said they are quite weary of well-meaning donors sending inappropriate literature which is not useful or meaningful to them.

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