A happy reader; Dounko reading a story to the kids
Pobe-Mengao Library, inside and out, during the reading camp.
On April 6th, 2011 The Pobé-Mengao Library celebrated its one year anniversary. We are extremely happy and very proud of how it has been running so far. Out of all the FAVL libraries in Burkina Faso, Pobé-Mengao is the second most visited library and the second highest in library subscriptions.
Here is a video we made about the library with students, villagers and officials of the Pobé-Mengao community. The library is off to a great start, but as the speakers will point out, there are still many things lacking (only 734 books!) and still much to be done.
The success of the Pobé library is due in large part toYOUR continued support. Help continue this success! Your donation will help us increase the number of library books and add more furniture to keep up with The Pobe-Mengao Library’s growing number of visitors.
The Pobe-Mengao Library
SANOU Dounko, FAVL’s regional activities coordinator, recently came to Pobe-Mengao for 2 weeks to train the future librarian of Belehede (a village about 65Km from Pobe).
In addition to the librarian training, Dounko worked extensively with Hamidou, Pobe’s librarian, on organization and new activities to do at the Pobe library.
After the training I met up with Dounko in Ouaga to get an update on the library’s progress as well as plenty of new pictures.
Overall, Dounko says the library is doing very well. Everyday more than one hundred people come in and out of the library to read, study, play games or do activities. The people of Pobe were incredibly kind and welcoming, and when he announced his departure two weeks later, they protested with tears in their eyes. It was very hard, Dounko says, for him to leave.
During the course of the two weeks Dounko showed Hamidou how to improve and do numerous activities including arts and crafts, reading, tutoring, theatre and storytelling.
The two also went together to the different schools to publicise the library and, with the younger classes, do a training on the proper care and maintenance of library books. Dounko says that very evening the library had 23 new members.
How to care for a library book; Hamidou in CP1 classroom
In April the Pobe Library will be one year old! As for the library’s overall development, three words: slowly but surely! With the addition of Pobe’s new private secondary school, the library's study room is constantly full of older students using the blackboard to practice school lessons, especially math. Trees and plants were planted out front,the ‘his and her’ latrines are nearly complete and to my absolute delight, Hamidou had a local villager paint a beautiful Reading Tree on the library wall. The Library committee met during Dounko’s visit and plan to have committee members and volunteers each donate 100 mud bricks to fix the library’s surrounding wall.
The beautiful Reading Tree; members of the Pobe library committee
There are now more than 750 books in stock, which is still not very much. With your continued donations and support we plan on buying more books, especially the titles frequently asked for by library visitors. The most popular books continue to be African Literature—books written by African authors on topics that resonate with readers.
Young readers are still asking for more educational books on topics including African culture, health, relationships, family planning and HIV/AIDS. Dounko told me how a female student approached him and explained how much having access to books on HIV/AIDS has taught her. With these books she learned the truth about the HIV virus, de-mything false facts that she once believed. “I learned so much,” she told Dounko. “It totally changed my views and gave me a new appreciation of those suffering with AIDS.”
Because of the vast amount of visitors, there have been complaints that there is not enough time/space to conduct library activities. Hamidou has invited several people to volunteer in the library once or twice a week to help organize activities. If a particular person stands out, we’re planning on hiring him or her as an assistant who will come weekly to do activities.
Reading stories with Dounko; Hopscotch Alphabet
Our big goal is still to be able to have solar panels on the roof, so students and readers can stay at the library even after dark. Also here at FAVL, we are reaching out to individuals, organizations, etc for a great project called Adopt-a Library. With about $1,200 you can adopt a FAVL library (like Pobe-Mengao’s!) for one year. Money goes toward library maintenance, new books and organization of library activities. I will post more details about the project soon!
Bibliotheque Villageoise de Pobe Mengao is now officially open! The opening ceremony was held on
Since its opening the library is getting more and more visitors, the vast majority being students (which is obviously a great thing). Every day they come to sit and read or play with the puzzles/games.Hamidou has already begun doing activities, like reading and story telling.
The library consists of the main reading room, an outdoor, enclosed, back-patio game area; a front outdoor hangar area, and a study room complete with chalkboard and tables for students. There is the cultural room, where we plan to keep all sorts of artifacts, books, research materials on the Korumba culture (still in the works) and a storage room. We still have lots of work, areas of improvement in the future.
Its been great seeing the students come in, grab a book and sit down to read. Their reading levels are not where they should be, and Im hoping the library will be able to improve this, even improve their overall grades.
New library members checking out books...and bringing them home
Donkui, Adama and myself during the opening ceremony