Kitengesa Community Lilbrary newsletter March 2012


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Kitengesa Community Lilbrary newsletter March 2012
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Kitengesa Community Lilbrary newsletter March 2012

  1. 1. Newsletter March 2012Kitengesa • New Library Building opened in January • Library now has full Internet accessCommunity Library • Benefit Dinner on April 17 (see page 2). Dear Friends, Composer, sang a song with the Women’s Group proclaiming that they, the women, were heroes. Liliana Hertling, one of the Ameri- It’s unusual for me to write can guests who came to stay with us for the occasion, filmed this to you all in the middle of song and has posted it on YouTube at the academic year, but the watch?v=U00ZT3QRp7Q. January just past has been an extraordinary month for the Kitengesa Community Library, and I must tell you about what has been hap- pening. The Big Event was the of- ficial opening of our library building on January 18. Uganda’s Vice President, who comes from a village a few miles down the road,was invited as the Guest of Honour, and he came complete withentourage, albeit a couple of hours late (but that’s normal be-haviour in politicians). Some two or three hundred other people There you can see Angella (in dark green), who learned howcame as well, including the representatives of about fifty of the to read in the library and became one of our most avid readers;96 libraries that are now members of the Uganda Community Li- Margaret (in white with red flowers), who organized the women’sbraries Association (UgCLA). Kitengesa is a leader amongst those chair-renting project; Josephine (in a white top and dark skirt),libraries, and we held the Association’s annual conference in the whose children were among the first to come regularly to thenearby town of Masaka over the preceding two days so that the library; and Julius, Moses’ brother, who gave me the idea of theparticipants could come to the occasion before returning home. Library Scholarship programme, and who is now in charge of the library’s new computer centre. The new building includes a reading room of the same size as the old one-room library, a slightly smaller computer room, and a much larger community hall. This hall will enable us to raise a revenue for the library since we will rent it out for meetings and par- ties—the local MP has already asked to use it. But we will also use it for our own purposes, with one corner specially designated for children and another for the Fam- ily Literacy Project thatIt was a typical Ugandan Function, with speeches from Mawa- we run with the Women’snda and me, as co-founders of the library, from my husband, Group; and the spaceKasozi, as Chairman of the Library Board, and, of course, from will be invaluable for thethe Vice President. But the highlights for me were the Mass hordes of primary schoolat the beginning—at which the choir, including several of the children that come to thelibrary’s Women’s Group, sang with extraordinary beauty—and library every week.the “entertainment” in the middle—in which Moses, our Library 1
  2. 2. Kitengesa Community Library Newsletter - March 2012But there’s still more: the computer room has now been set up And, should you be inspired to send us a cheque, FAVL will alwayswith built-in desks round the walls for computers; and our good be happy to receive it for us. We have a prospect of revenue now,friends of the Maendeleo Foundation (see www.maendeleofoun- but I don’t expect it to cover more than the librarians’ gave us last July six Intel Classmate computers. Then We will still be dependent on your generosity for supporting Li-this January the Hawk Children’s Fund of the University of Mary- brary Scholars, buying books, and organizing Eastern Shore campus (UMES) gave us funds to buy fourmore laptops as well as additional solar panels to power them and But see what your generosity has achieved already!a wireless modem-router with one year of unlimited airtime. “Nayanziza,” we say in Luganda, thank you very much, for you have helped us build a vibrant institution that is both promoting literacy in Kitengesa and its neighouring parishes and setting an example for nearly a hundred other libraries across Uganda. Please make checks out to FAVL (Friends of African Village Libraries) and mail them to FAVL, P.O. Box 90533, San Jose, CA 95109-3533. Write “Kitengesa Community Library” on the memo line of the check. Thank you! KateSo now the Kitengesa library has full access to the internet! Thenext thing is to find funds to train people in using it, and weare working out systems for getting users to pay for airtime onceour initial year’s supply runs out. As you may imagine, this is anenormous step forward for the library, and indeed for the wholeof UgCLA, for the systems and programmes that we develop herewill serve as pilots for national projects.So, please, rejoice with us! For those of you who are within reachof New York City we are organizing a special celebration on April17—a party at a midtown restaurant where you can see picturesand videos, buy a few Ugandan items (including UgCLA’s newlypublished picture books for children), and meet some of thepeople who have worked with Uganda’s community libraries. Forthe rest of you, we are busy updating the library’s and UgCLA’swebsites, and you can get more information about our doingsfrom the blog run by our umbrella organization, Friends of Afri-can Village Libraries (FAVL, at 2