The purpose of the Books For Africa Library Project is to collect books for Ghana, West Africa and to help establish libraries in rural communities which lack such resources. By making these resources available the Project desires to create glory for God by allowing more people to attain their full capabilities through access to educational materials.
Of equal importance to the project is the sharing of information among Americans about the people of West Africa and their educational needs. The Project asks for donations of books, and moneys to ship and distribute the books. Thus, by providing Americans opportunities to help meet the needs of people in rural Africa God is glorified.
Since 1997, Books For Africa Library Project has shipped over 350,000 books to Ghana, and donated them to libraries in rural areas. We accompany the books to the town libraries, and help arrange them on the shelves. We also train the librarians and organize a local Board of Trustees to manage the library. Presently, we are purchasing locally published books rather than shipping them from the USA.
We have developed a curriculum for librarians in rural towns. We have given training to all of our librarians, and over 40 have been certified by us.
With the help of four Library Advisors, almost all of the 63 libraries have been visited in the last two years. These library advisors were chosen for their outstanding work in their own libraries. Vida Afloe visits the libraries in the Volta Region and Greater Accra. Francis Addai visits libraries in the Eastern Region. Lawrence Donkor visits libraries in the Western and Central Regions of Ghana. Alhassan Babatummi visits libraries in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana.
In rural areas of Ghana, it can be difficult and expensive for people to obtain eyeglasses. Eyesight clinics are infrequent, and optometrists are located in big cities. For the past 8 years, Books For Africa Library Project has provided reading glasses for the citizens of Kukurantumi, and some of the new library towns.
We have provided information on HIV/AIDS and alcoholism to the librarians who come to our annual inservice. In addition to literature, we have had speakers address these important health concerns.
We have found that children will be attracted to the library when there is a reading contest. Reading contests last 3 to 4 weeks long. Letters go out to surrounding schools, and students are invited to participate. Librarians briefly quiz each participant after they have finished a book; directions for this are included in the file for download. Simple prizes are awarded at a ceremony, and all children get a small gift or eatable treat for participating.