Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update from Niankorodougou library, Burkina Faso

Meghan Coughlin is now in the U.S. and new PC volunteer Adelaide Schwartz has taken up the torch... and she posted some great stuff on the Nianko blog where you can read the full account.

Within my first month at site, it was easy to understand how the library continues to expand in members and projects… this strong sense of community is a big reason. The library is amazing. I cannot stress what a phenomenal impact it is having on the community, myself included. The library acts as a central location for all ages regardless of native tongue or reading level to congregate and interact. I owe a great part of the ease in my transition to the library which presents an ideal place for seeing new faces and interacting. For a country with one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, it is inspiring to see how much pride Niankorodougou has for its library and associated events. Before even entering, it is customary to greet the librarian, Moussa, with a salutation. Once inside, the library’s friendly environment encourages people to stay and read. The great news is that now the library won’t be the only place for readers to gather in Niankorodougou. We broke ground for the reading hanger the first week of the new year which was an excellent way to put yet another foot forward in increasing Niankorodougou’s literacy rate. Located directly adjacent to the library, the expansion can now host a slew of community activities including weekly story time. Also expanding is the book catalogue within the library. Brian Rhodes, Niankorodougou’s Girls Empowerment PC Volunteer donated two French children’s books along with a calendar full of pictures of readers all ages using the library and smiling and just this week, new books were purchased in Bobo-Dioulasso to help encourage next month’s school reading competition. Results from the new year’s first reading competition were very positive and these new book additions hope to spark even more interest in the months to come.

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