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Favl newsletter Dec 2016


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FAVL newsletter for Dec. 2016

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Favl newsletter Dec 2016

  1. 1. Friends of African Village Libraries Newsletter December 2016 FAVL’s mission is to help create and foster a culture of reading. Generous donors and volunteers enable us to work with local communities and non-profit organizations to support libraries in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Uganda, to develop innovative literacy programs and to provide ongoing library staff training. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, donations to FAVL are tax-deductible. A team of North American volunteers supports the FAVL paid staff in Africa. Current fundraising priorities:  Building an endowment for each of the FAVL-supported community li- braries.  Renewing stock of locally-purchased books by African authors.  Producing more micro-books in local languages and languages of instruc- tion. West Africa Director Michael Kevane Professor of Economics Santa Clara University East Africa Director Kate Parry Professor of English Hunter College City University of New York Address: P.O. Box 90533, San Jose, CA 95109 Email: Website & Blog: The Year in Review FAVL continues to grow, thanks to generous donors and grant organizations that share our mission of promoting reading. We now support 34 village libraries in Burkina Faso, 3 village libraries in northern Ghana, the community library of Kitengesa in Uganda, and the Uganda Community Library Association, with over 40 member libraries. We have coordinating staff in all three countries where we operate, and FAVL Burkina Faso also has six other program staff. The library services and reading programs offered at the community libraries attract thousands of readers, young and old. We are very proud of the dedication of our local staff and the village librarians. We are looking forward to new opportunities in 2017 to extend the joy of reading, access to information, and enhanced literacy skills to villages and towns throughout the continent. FAVL had a busy year in 2016. Highlights include the following (there will be more about some of these inside). In Burkina Faso:  20 new libraries in the provinces of Bam and Sanmatenga were opened in the begin- ning of 2016 as part of a large $450,000 grant from USDA/Catholic Relief Services Beoog Biiga II project. A 21st library opened in the town of Sebba near the border with Niger. The marginalized populations of the Sahel, where life is made increas- ingly precarious by insecurity and climate change, are very much in need of more investments in education.  A first annual conference was held in Ouagadougou, with 29 librarians from around the country attending.  Four new books were developed, printed and distributed, thanks especially to the efforts of a volunteer university student from U.C. Berkeley.  Summer reading camps were held in 22 libraries. These are amazing opportunities for 4th graders to improve their reading skills and start using their village library.  The staff is working with two libraries (Boni and Ouargaye) that were closed during the political upheavals of 2014 and 2015, and they should reopen soon. In Ghana:  After-school reading programs were organized in all three libraries.  300 books, primarily African novels, Ghanaian children’s books, and some school books, were purchased in Accra, to replenish some of the now very old book collec- tions.  Coordinator Paul Ayutoliya continues to meet with officials to secure more local support for the libraries. In Uganda:  The Uganda Community Libraries Association (UgCLA) held its sixth annual con- ference in January 2016. The confer- ence was hosted by one of the Asso- ciation's member libraries, that of Uganda Development Services (UDS) in the eastern town of Kamu- li. More than 40 people attended, including representatives of 21 li- braries.  Kitengesa Library has hosted visits from classes in local schools. Hun- dreds of students had the chance to spend class time reading books. In the United States:  FAVL has received great service from two Santa Clara University student interns in 2016. Maria Haddad-Khouri leveraged her French skills to produce four posters about reading that are now on the walls of many of the libraries. Bethany Borowsky has been keeping our Quickbooks accounting system up to date. They have both also done a lot of blog post formatting, editing, book production, and all the office tasks that keep us humming. We are really grateful for these contributions!
  2. 2. First Annual Librarian Conference Held in Burkina Faso The three FAVL/CESRUD libraries located in the northern region of Ghana continue to thrive under the leadership of FAVL Coordinator Paul Ayutoliya. The number of patrons who visit the Ghana libraries is impressive. For the month of July, for example, 10,095 daily visits were recorded in the three FAVL libraries. Children from the pri- mary schools, students from local jun- ior high schools, young adults, teachers, and other members of the community come to read, play games, or simply socialize. This past July the libraries partnered with the local schools to offer several weeks of reading activities dur- ing the school break. The “vacation classes” were different in each library, as librarians worked with local teachers to design their own programs. In the Sumbrungu Community Library, students were divided into two groups. The older children occupied classrooms located near the library where they were taught their subject courses by teachers from the community who volunteered their time. The younger kids gathered in the library hall where they read stories and reviewed the basics of English, math, and science. The vacation classes proved very popular with the children, who had to come to the library early in the morning in order to get seats. They particularly enjoyed the educational games they learned, such as the spelling games Yesse and Noun-Mania. The classes closed with a ceremony attended by the teachers, the librarians, the students and pupils who participated, and the Executive Di- rector of FAVL/CESRUD Ghana, Rex Asanga. Support more projects like these! Donate by mail or online at Update from Ghana libraries (Sumbrungu, Sherigu, and Gowrie-Kunkua) The annual conference of the FAVL librarians in Burkina Faso was held in Ouagadougou in late October. More than 40 participants (including 29 librarians) came from all areas of the country to spend two days discussing the management of their libraries and sharing their experiences. Discussion topics ranged from how to encourage patrons to return books on time, to the implementation of reading activities for children, and the marketing of the library to the community. The librarians also had the chance to hear from two Burk- inabè authors, Ansonwin Ignace Hien and his daughter Flore Hien, who described the char- acteristics of a good book and the different steps involved in its production. Professor François de Charles Ouédraogo, from the University of Ouagadougou, reminded partici- pants of the importance of reading in a much-appreciated talk. He offered his own story of improving dramatically as a student when he discovered the pleasure of reading. Professor Alain Sissao, an expert on Burkinabè literature, gave an hour-long introduction to the ma- jor authors of the past and present. As a special guest, the editor of Planète Jeunes, a mag- azine for young people that focuses on French West Africa, conducted a hands-on work- shop about how to use the magazine as the basis for library activities and programs. Over- all, it was a very successful conference, and the librarians felt better equipped to fulfill their mission and reach their goals for the year as they returned to their villages. Prof. François de Charles Ouédraogo
  3. 3. FAVL Produces New French Books for Burkina Faso Research in Uganda Libraries The Multimedia Center in Houndé continues to produce books by local authors to distribute in the FAVL Libraries. One recent publication, Le Conducteur des Presidents, (The Presidents’ Driver) tells the life story of Koura Zama. Born and raised in Bereba, Burkina Faso, Zama joined the French army in 1953, serving in Mali, Senegal, Morocco and Algeria during the war. He was taught how to drive during this time. After Burkina Faso gained its independence, Zama returned to his native country and became the private chauffeur of presi- dent Thomas Sankara. The book is co-authored by Fankani Bovama and Mat- thew Adams. Volunteer Matthew Adams also created a book reproducing Sankara’s speeches, and another book about the town of Bobo- Dioulasso. Three other FAVL photo books were printed and distributed in 2016. One on Bihoun Roger, a village council member from Wakuy. Another was by Heather Cooper, with photos from her time in the village of Rollo more than a decade ago. A third was entitled L’acte de naissance de Djamilatou Gango, by Moussa Ouattara. Moussa was the secretary-general in the office of the mayor of the town of Boussouma, where FAVL recently estab- lished a library. Moussa decided to write a book for parents and children about he importance of obtaining a birth certificate soon after birth. The book traces the story of Djamilatou and her father. Djamilatou is 10, and wants to go to school. But she cannot because her parents never got her a birth certificate. So they must go through a lengthy bureaucratic process to get the certificate. The Houndé multimedia center, funded by Rotary International, also printed more than 700 copies of other locally produced booklets, for distribution to libraries in Burkina Faso. The Girls’ Health Clubs, in four FAVL libraries in Burkina Faso, have con- tinued to meet occasional- ly to use Internet-enabled smartphones. Koumbia library had four sessions during the summer of 2016. The project was originally funded by the organization Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL). The young wom- en are particularly keen on using Facebook to net- work with family who live in cities. Young Women Using Smartphones During August 2016, Dr. Valeda Dent (FAVL Board member) and Dr. Geoff Goodman returned to Uganda to explore the impact of a six-month play-based intervention, known as Sto- rytelling/Story-Acting (STSA). in two village libraries. Chil- dren ages 3 to 5 in Mpigi Community Library and Kabubbu Community Library were randomly assigned to participate in either the STSA intervention (n = 63) or a story-reading activ- ity (n = 60) for one hour twice per week for six months. Chil- dren were measured in knowledge of colors, letters, numbers/ counting, sizes and comparisons, shapes, a receptive vocabu- lary measure, and a theory of mind measure, before and after the six-month intervention. Children who participated in the STSA intervention had higher scores on the colors subtest of the emergent literacy measure than children who did not par- ticipate in this activity. When examining both groups together (N = 121 post-intervention), only girls who scored low on a baseline measure of receptive vocabulary ability showed im- provement at post-intervention. Boys who initially scored low showed no improvement. The researchers suggest that preschool girls with poor recep- tive vocabulary skills might show more improvement with the STSA activity than preschool boys with similarly poor skills because preschool boys might have lower emotional invest- ment in an activity that includes telling and acting out sto- ries. Additional forthcoming research includes a study of par- ticipants’ twice-weekly drawings as markers of self- representational change over time and a study of gender roles, looking through the lens of the translated stories told by the STSA participants. FAVL nominated for consideration for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award FAVL was proud that supporters nominated the organization for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The award is named after the famed author of Pippi Longstocking. It is open to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters. Two years ago the South African organization PRAESA won the award for their wide-reaching programs to promote reading Usually the award goes to authors and illustrators of children’s literature, including, most recently, Meg Rosoff, Barbro Lindgren, Marisol Misenta, Guus Kuijer, and Shaun Tan. What an amazing group of authors, some of our favorites!
  4. 4. NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID SAN JOSE, CA PERMIT NO. 1014 Friends of African Village Libraries P.O. Box 90533 San Jose, CA 95109-3533 Current Resident or Fourth graders in Tikaré participated in a summer reading camp in July 2016, one of 22 held in FAVL libraries in Burkina Faso. The camp was organized by FAVL staff, the village librarian, a local teacher, and two village assistants. Breakfast and lunch were provided to the kids. For many, it was their first chance to spend all day doing fun reading-related activities!