Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What is going on at FAVL lately?

We're having an informational board meeting this Saturday, so I thought I may as well start a post that I'll edit as the week goes on.
  • Our summer reading programs in Burkina Faso were by all accounts (a number of visitors, and staff on the ground reported so). We'll soon start evaluating the programs (through a second reading tes tin October, and collection of impressions for local schoolteachers, etc. The team in Burkina will finish our initial draft manual for how to run a summer reading camp. We distributed several hundred books to the 4th graders who were randomly selected to read books. The discussion groups (one third of the 4th graders) enabled us to stock each library with 25 high quality children's books.
  • Andrew Martric and friend Lola (NYC residents and Andrew a student at Pratt) spent time in Chalula library in Mvumi, Tanzania, and helped the librarians and local committee improve library functionality. They wrote up a great plan for prioritizing future library work. FAVL director Kate Parry also visited the library. So Chalula got the "friends" treatment" that exemplifies what FAVL is about- a network of like-minded people willing to spend time (and money) helping with the daily realities of running a community library in an African village, not as an abstract or distant involvement, but as a real person-to-person gritty reality.
  • FAVL director Kate Parry spent a lot of time networking in Vancouver, New York, Uganda, and Tanzania. She's shepherding Uganda Community libraries Association through it's early start-up phase.
  • Ghana CESRUD-FAVL coordinator Lucas Aligire has made two visits to Jordan Nu library, and Peace Corps volunteer Meghan Coughlin has worked closely with FAVL to help establish a library in Niankorodougou, Burkina Faso. These are our early or likely models for what we are calling "FAVL supported libraries", where FAVL does not directly manage the libraries. So far the model seems to be working reasonably well. FAVl offers "boots on the ground" in the form of a coordinator who can occasionally visit the library, expert advice derived from almost a decade of experience, a tax-deductible and accountable way to encourage donations, and some visibility (ahem, that's you, dear blog reader).
  • Photographer David Pace is returning from his third trip to Burkina Faso, and we are looking forward to collaborating with him on a Fall 2009 immersion experience in Burkina, where students would take courses on Francophone literature and French language, and also on photography and "book design", followed by a two month immersion in villages with FAVL libraries, where the students would volunteer but more importantly produce a couple of books for use in the local libraries. Montana State University student Chelsea Rangel piloted this kind of immersion very successfully in Spring 2007, resulting in three books that have now been distributed to the libraries.
There's more, but I'll save that for tomorrow!

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Wish I could sign up for the Immersion Course! It sounds fabulous. Well done!