Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Too much on FAVL's plate... calling all volunteers!

We have at several projects that we are working on simultaneously.

1) Supporting Uganda Community Libraries Association. If you have experience with reading education and books in Uganda, consider joining the FAVL East group, led by Kate Parry, working to fundraise and support UgCLA. We especially need to assure the salary of the association coordinator in Kampala, whose work visiting the various community libraries and developing training programs for them is essential . Kate is presently in Uganda. if you are in Uganda, let us know and we'll get you in touch with Kate. if you are in the New York area, the FAVL East group has periodic meetings and we can let you know of the next meeting.

2) Map the community libraries of Africa! This project using Google Earth aims to create a database and wikiable web site for every community library in Africa. Imagine being able to upload pix and commentary on community libraries anywhere in the continent, from anywhere, and have a group of "friends of" that particular library share the connection to readers and librarians in a remote village. Some Santa Clara University students are taking the lead on this, together with former SCU student, and now newly-minted geographer Meredith Albert. if you have software coding expertise in this area, drop us a line.

3) Improving and implementing summer reading programs. I'll be posting the data from the summer reading programs of Burkina Faso last summer, but preliminary analysis suggests that the camps had a decent effect on performance on reading tests, and certainly there was widespread agreement among teachers, student sand camp counselors that this was and could continue to be an amazing experience for fourth graders.

4) Start gearing up programming in Sierra Leone, where we have some seed funding to work with the community library sector. Have you spent time in Sierra Leone, or are you involved in education (especially reading) issues in Sierra Leone? Join our network.

5) Improve financial processes... the back room is an important room. The indefatigable Deb Garvey, FAVL treasurer, could use more help, if you are here in San Jose, California and can commit several hours a week to bookkeeping.

6) Upgrade the FAVL website... yeah, more back room stuff. But the web keeps advancing, and the cutting edge work of needs updating.

7) Improve "record-keeping"... small non-profits face this challenge as they grow: the founding board members don't have enough expertise to bring the organization into bureaucratic best governance practice (i.e. a BLGP expert, aka Breathing and Living Government Paperwork expert). Again, we would sooooo appreciate a local San Jose volunteer who could devote several hours a week to "interfacing" with the soon to be bankrupt State of California, including the franchise tax board, the secretary of state, the attorney general, and every other California entity that wants to "fee" anything that moves, as well as other government and non-profit entities. Good stuff!

8) Adopt a library in Africa and send them an occasional box of appropriate books. Do you read a lot of African fiction (you should) or love multicultural oriented children's books? Then consider spending a few hours each week at garage sales and local library sales and thrift stores, and spend $50 every few months, to send a small box of books to one of the community libraries we support. Librarians and readers are very energized by "new" books to read. And hey, you can throw in some children's stickers for the kids too. Very low key way to feel great about yourself, especially if you read the books too (and if you come across some Patricia Polacco books, be prepared to get weepy.)

For Ghana send to:
Amikiya A. Lucas
Library Projects Coordinator
Box 267
Bolgatanga GHANA

For Burkina Faso (French only, please) send to:
Saré Elisee
Amis des Bibliothèques de Villages Africains
09 BP 938
Ouagadougou 09

Contact FAVL director for West Africa Michael Kevane for more info.

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