New Programming at the Library

28 04 2009
The volunteer before me helped set-up and create a library in my
village, Niankorodougou, and now with the help of my counterpart and
the library’s librarian, Moussa, I am hoping to help make sure
that the library becomes self-sufficient. Literacy is correlated with
higher quality of life through improved health and nutritional status
and leads to reduced child morbidity and mortality.  Even in the
small-scale, low-input agricultural settings of developing countries
in Africa, (READ: my village in Burkina) literacy is strongly
correlated with improved incomes.

One of the main objectives in making the library self-sufficient is
to make sure that it becomes an integral part of the village
community. Currently, the library receives more than 1000 visitors during
an average month which is great, but I have a feeling we can do better. In order to increase numbers and especially to encourage and ensure readers of all ages and levels (even those illiterate) that the libray is there for them, programming is essential. 

We used the easter holiday as an opportunity to start programming with a bang—–and of course to share some US culture (PC goal 2- the one im definqtely better at). Moussa read a french book about the life of a donkey (l’an) and rabbit…the closest children’s theme to easter available.


After, a group of PC volunteers from my area and I explained the significance of easter in the states (no prostelitising; simply family traditions): mainly the easter egg hunt. Then we explained that there was candy hiding all around the reading hanger to be found. After that it was hard to contain the kids so we let the most crazed hunt I had ever seen commence. Elders that live close to the library actually came to join in the candy hunt. Some brother sister duos even teamed up to maximize their findings.



Though the amount of bon-bons necessary for a successful hunt will be hard to replicate every weekend, the supply for q and a sessions during subsequent story times shouldn’t be a problem and aligning it with other holidays should keep the kids coming back for the unexpected.  We especially hope to continue this type of programming throughout the summer to cure some of the duldrums not to mention make  programming in september/october (for the new school year) that much more enticing with all the village buzz.

To read more about the library I am affiliated with, visit these sites:




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