The Ghana Library Authority funds about 60 libraries in the major towns of Ghana. Most rural areas do not have libraries and many rural schools lack textbooks. There is a great need for well organized and stocked libraries, with reading activities to encourage and enhance reading skills. Without educational opportunities in the rural areas, families move to overcrowded cities where urban poverty is common.
In 1996 while Hilda Bromley was recovering from surgery for a brain tumor, she visited a library with her husband Kirt. "Go build me a library was the call she her from God. Hilda and Kirt understood this to mean, "Build me a library in your hometown of Kukurantumi, Ghana." From that time, the Bromleys began to collect books. In the summers of 1997 and 1998, they shipped over 12,000 books to Ghana and built a library to house them.
Soon after setting up the library in Kukurantumi, Ghana, the Bromleys were asked to set up libraries in neighboring towns. Using a developmental model, the Bromleys asked the local community to provide the building, furniture and salary for the librarian, and they provided as many books as the library had shelves (minimum 3000 books).
Books for Africa Library Project has shipped over 350,000 books to Ghana, and set up 63 libraries in rural areas. Local people were trained as librarians, and each library was set up to be managed by a local Board of Trustees.
Since 2000, Books For Africa Library Project has hosted an annual inservice for librarians. Presentations have been given on establishing Reading Clubs and Reading Contests to enhance the effectiveness of the library in reaching students. Each year over $200 worth of locally published books were distributed to each library. Talks and information on HIV/AIDS have been part of the inservices.
Classrooms in Ghana can be very overcrowded with more than 50 children in an elementary classroom. We have noticed that a number of children are reading far below their grade level. Books For Africa Library Project will be providing remedial reading and literacy training at the 2019 inservice. In addition, each library will receive at least $200 worth of locally written and published novels and textbooks.
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