Monday, January 12, 2009

CODE has a nice blog about books and libraries in Africa

Here's one entry about two Ethiopian libraries... there is lot's more here.

Today we had a chance to visit some reading rooms, or small libraries, in the company of CODE Ethiopia’s Executive Director Tesfaye Dubale. The first one was meant to be a youth centre, but when the community heard that CODE would start a library in their area, they donated it freely and have begun construction right next door for the youth centre. It promises to be a great spot for children in the area. The kids at this reading room spoke English well and we jumped into the centre of a group of students, laughing and talking with them. The second reading room we visited was in a town called Sebeta, in a semi-urban area just outside of Addis Ababa. It first started as a converted one-room house, donated by the town’s mayor in 1988. CODE-Ethiopia provided books and trained four librarians and five management committee members. With improved resources and services students from Sebeta and also the surrounding area flocked to the Reading Room. The Sebeta Reading Room was so successful that a second larger one was built by the community to accommodate the demand for access to resources. It’s an impressive story, and we were especially inspired to learn that community members are now working to erect a third library building, thanks to a generous benefactor in the area. In addition, the local government has now included ongoing funding in their municipal budget. This is the definition of sustainability and success in development, and we’re all feeling lucky to see it.
-Ann Speak, Director of Fundraising, CODE

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