Over the years, FAVL has helped create about 60 photo books for use in libraries in Burkina Faso.  We are excited to have funding through the Beoog Biiga project with Catholic Relief Services to provide each of 20 new libraries in northern Burkina Faso with 40 of these books, one copy of each title.  Kids in Burkina Faso really like these books, because they feature topics and themes that are their daily reality in the villages.

But boy is it a lot of work organizing, editing, publishing and transporting.  We are so happy that the publishing side is made easy by fastpencil.com, an online publisher.  (And they give us a nice discount!) The books are great quality, and the photos are really printed nicely.  We still have more work to do (18 more books have to be slightly edited and then ordered) but we are almost there!!

You can help us by donating, enabling us to get even more books like these into village libraries in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda.


Une volontaire au Centre Multimédia de Houndé

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Durant le mois de juillet 2015 Alyssa MIAWOTOE a séjourné à Houndé et Béréba pour travailler volontairement au compte de FAVL.  Son séjour à Béréba a été marqué par la visite des bibliothèques de Béréba et de Dimikuy. Elle aussi assisté et animer des séances de sensibilisation sur le paludisme l'hygiène et des séances lecture avec des smart phones.  A Houndé, elle a travaillé au Centre de production de livres des talents locaux. Elle a travaillé (saisie, tratement des images, montages sur publisher) sur une trentaine de livres écrits par des filles qui ont travaillé avec des smart phones dans les villages de Béréba, Dimikuy et Koumbia. Ces livres seront bientôt disponibles dans les bibliothèques de FAVL.  

Pour elle, ce fut un grand plaisir de travailler avec FAVL pour promouvoir la lecture.

Nous la disons merci infiniment pour son soutien à FAVL.

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Progress in CRS Beoog Biiga project in Burkina Faso

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Readers of this blog will recall that the CRS Beoog Biiga project in Burkina Faso is to establish and support for three years 20 community libraries.  Recently, our national director in Burkina Faso, Sanou Dounko, had a meeting with the CRS project managers.  Here is the summary of what has been accomplished and challenges going forward:

  • Buildings have been refurbished and accepted in Korsimoro, Kongoussi, Tikaré et Guibaré
  • Boussouma, Dablo, Namissiguima, Pibaoré, Ziga, Mané et Pensa
  • Work started on refurbishing the building donated by the community in Sabcé 
  • Bids by contractors are being evaluated in Pissila and Nasséré
  • In the community of Rollo, another partner refurbished a building, so FAVL signed a  convention agreement and will provide a hangar and outdoor (cement) benches
  • Radio advertisements have been issued for recruiting librarians in each of the 20 communities 
  • The team has started to order furniture
  • A team of regional coordinator and two animators have moved into a small office in Kaya to help implement the project
  • CRS is going to help with two laptop computers for the Kaya office and another motorcycle
So basically 15 of the 20 villages are on track, with buildings being refurbished. 

But there are some challenges:
  • In Kaya, the province capital, the plans proposed to extend a multimedia center building by constructing an addition seem to not be working out, so we are back to square one
  • In Zimtenga and Rouko the team is still working with the community leaders; partnership agreements have been signed but no construction yet
  • Some community leaders are asking for compensation to participate in the recruitment of the librarian
  • Planning for the training session for the new librarians is just starting and will be a lot of work!

Les travaux de réfections de bâtiments pour servir de bibliothèque communautaire dans les
communes des provinces du Bam et du Sanmatenga par CRS et son partenaire technique FAVL avancent très bien. La semaine passée une équipe est sortie sur le terrain précisément dans la commune de Guibaré ou les travaux ont fini pour faire la première réception. Le première vice prédisent de la délégation spéciale se dit satisfait car le projet est presque une 
réalité pour les population de ladite commune.

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Atelier de formation de six filles en l'informatique

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L'association amis  des bibliothèques de villages africain (FAVL) a organisé du 28 au 31 juillet dernier, un atelier de formation de six filles en  l'informatique. C'est le centre multimedia de HOUNDE qui a accueilli ces jeunes filles venues du village de DIMIKUY dans la province du TUY.  L'objectif était de leurs initier aux outils informatique, aux dessins et les processus de création d'un livre. Durant quatre jours elles ont reçu plusieurs modules notamment comment démarrage un ordinateur, la saisie dans Word, le montage en Publisher et comment illustrer les dessins . Les exercices de raccourcis du clavier (copier-coller, couper-coller, enregistrer, annuler et imprimer) leurs ont été bien appris. Ce fut l'occasion pour les participantes d'apprendre comment faire les dessins d'un livre a partir d'une histoire. Très satisfait a la fin, elles ont beaucoup salué l'initiative et souhaitent que de telles actions se multiplient  pour une meilleur maitrise de ces outils

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IFLA Day # 4

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Started to morning bright and early at 8am with colleagues at the Section for Children and Young Adults.  The chair of the IFLA section was passed from Viviana Quinones to Ingrid Bon.  Ingrid turned straight to me: What about this satellite meeting in San Jose.  Yes, get ready, IFLA invades San Jose and Santa Clara in a joint SJSU-SCU satellite workshop on youth and reading and the transition to a digital culture.  August 11.  Mark the date.  A call for papers will come out soon.

The section meeting continued with lots of other issues.   We are going to organize an off-site panel in the meetings in Columbus, Ohio, probably Wednesday August 17.  Brooklyn librarian Karen Keyes and I were tasked with organizing that, and it was so easy.  I just walked down to the exhibition hall and there was Wendy Ramsey, Team Leader in the Outreach Services division at the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the CEO, Pat Losinski, and they both readily agreed.

After the section meeting, went to a Literacy and Reading section panel, to hear Air Katz of Beyond Access talk about their new training manual for librarians, and Chiristine Nel talk about reading competitions at the libraries she manages in Greater Tzaneen Municipality in northern South Africa.  At Christine's, and a bunch of other talks, it was always like, "Wow, we should try that at FAVL!" and that is the benefit of IFLA.

After that I played hooky and went for a long walk.  I had seen a small restaurant called Bread, Milk and Honey, and was intrigued.  They offered a lunch buffet.  It was delicious, and moreover a wonderful, fully integrated (well, for upper-class Capetonians, it seemed), very lively café.  Great ambiance of professional urban Cape Town downtown at midday.  Then I walk around the Company Gardens, all the way up to the Jewish Museum.  After viewing the interesting exhibit (and later I had to Wikipedia Barney Barnato, amazing!), I spent an hour in their lovely café. Riteve, named after a town in Lithuania.  I continued my walk, through Company Garden's.  Table Mountain in the background, a cool crisp Fallish day.  Happened upon a delightful café tucked into the gardens, full of wicker sculptures that children could climb into and around.  Decided to have an early (and quite delicious) dinner there.

And then I went back to hotel, worked for awhile, and went to bed!  Dutch Manor Inn is really a very nice hotel.

IFLA day #2 in Cape Town South Africa

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As with any conference, the fun part is time between sessions when you get to have more in-depth chats about library stuff.  This afternoon I had coffee with Ari Katz from Beyond Access, who is now based in Thailand working on a multi-year capacity building project with libraries in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Philippines and Thailand.  There were so many commonalities between the work he is doing and our work at FAVL, and of course having the same questions (how effective is this?) and concerns (can we succeed in sharing a culture of innovation and creativity with staff of library service providers?).  He shared with me a great Android app, Com Phone, that I am going to have the staff in Burkina Faso test.  He also suggested using surveymonkey as a way to have librarians (if they can connect to the Internet) update library usage statistics at the end of every month.  Great idea!  Finally, he promised to share a bunch of training tools (and a lengthy manual) that was developed for the program.  Would be fantastic to use for our upcoming training of 20 librarians!  We both agreed that library enabling legislation needs to be updated from the 1960s...

Later this evening I got to finally sit down for 30 minutes with Viviana Quinones, children's library section at the Centre national de la littérature pour la jeunesse, Bibliothèque nationale de France.  Viviana is so wonderful, and produces the fantastic resource Takam Tikou, which for Francophone Africa is an essential service, and she also edited and brought to publication Faire vivre une bibliotheque de jeunesse, a great guide for library activities.  We're both optimistic about a likely resurgence of interest in Francophone countries in promoting reading and libraries.  (being in South Africa you cannot help but be optimistic: the country now have almost 2000 libraries for 50 million people... Burkina Faso has maybe 50 for 17 million people.  So the library per person ration of South Africa to Burkina Faso is like 40:3 or 13:1.... while GDP per capita ratio is about 10:1.  If Burkina grows at 7%, it will get to South Africa level in about 30 years... and libraries will grow from the present 50 to about 600 libraries (and more if population keep growing).  That is a lot of libraries!  They will be more effective if Burkina Faso starts investing now, and learns (institutionally) from the investments and experiments that are made early on.

Oh, my talk went well, I think.  Hard to tell when you are up at the podium and there are 250 people scattered in the hall that is built for 1,000!  I really enjoyed presentations by Carole Bloch, Jane Meyers, Ahiauzu Blessing  who spoke of reading programs they operate in libraries in Africa.

« La rançon du mal » de Idrissa Konditamdé

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More details are here.

« La rançon du mal », c'est le titre d'un nouveau livre dont la dédicace a eu lieu le mardi 2 juin 2015 à Ouagadougou. Ce recueil de contes écrit par Idrissa Konditamdé, un jeune communicateur, a été préfacé par le Larlé Naaba Tigré, parrain de la cérémonie de dédicace, présidée par le directeur général du livre et de la lecture publique, Yves Dakuo, représentant le ministre de la Culture et du Tourisme.
I will be in South Africa for the 81st annual IFLA / World Library and Information Congress!   Let me know, via email, if you are attending.

Formation des jeunes femmes au Centre multimédia de Houndé

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Alidou Boué, animateur régionale, nous informe:

unnamed(3).jpgLe centre multimédia de Hounde (CMH) a abrité du 28 au 31 juillet 2015 un atelier de formation sur le dessin et la création de livres. Cet atelier de formation a connu une participation de six filles du village de Dimikuy, le formateur Michel Gama, la volontaire Alyssa Miawotoe, et l'assistante Koura Clara.

Le programme dudit atelier s'est déroulé de la façon suivante:

La première journée était une initiation à l'informatique.  Les participants ont appris comment allumer et éteindre un ordinateur, le rôle des différents éléments du clavier, des exercices de saisie et la création d'un dossier.  La deuxième journée a d'abord observée une révision de la première, ensuite elles ont étudié comment utiliser un programme sur l'ordinateur (Word - Publisher), création d'un nouveau document fichier Word (la saisie, la unnamed(4).jpgmise en forme, la mise en page et l'enregistrement).  NB: les exercices de raccourcis du clavier (copier-coller, couper-coller, enregistrer, annuler, imprimer) leurs ont été enseigne avec succès.  La troisième journée, les participants ont appris les différentes étapes pour créer un livre: la saisie du document en Word, l'utilisation du document en Publisher séance théorique et pratique et comment illustrer les dessins en Publisher.  Apres quelques exercices de révision, nous avons constaté le succès du niveau de compréhension des participantes. La dernière et quatrième journée a concerné par une initiation en dessin qui a pour rapport globalement de créer une petite histoire, la raconter, la découper en séquences, l'illustrer, scanner et passer au montage avec Publisher. A l'issue de cet exercice, les participants ont ensemble créé un livre dont le titre est: la journée scolaire.

unnamed(6).jpgCet atelier de formation s'est bien déroule car les participantes sont reparties satisfaites chez elles et ont souhaité que de telles initiatives se multiplient pour leurs permettre de mieux apprendre d'avantage. Elles ont aussi souhaité l'obtention d'ordinateur à la bibliothèque de Dimikuy pour mieux se former.    

Health camps in Uganda community libraries

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The Uganda Community Libraries Association was able to work with a number of libraries to organize health camps in the past months.  Here's a lovely photo from the Centre for Youth Driven Development Initiatives. Children acted out a story about HIV/AIDS.

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Les Ombres de Koh de Antoine Bangui-Rombaye

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Un membre de l'équipe de Ouaga fait le résumé:

Les Ombres de Koh est une chronique de Antoine Bangui-Rombaye. Dans cette chronique il nous fait vivre son enfance, ses relations avec ses parents et amis, les contes de nuit autour du feux, les  mœurs et les cultures de son clan. La culture du cotons, le déplacement de ses parents pour l'honneur de son père, le temps de la colonisation, son inscription a l'école et tout ce qui s'en suit.  Pour moi, c'est une chronique très intéressante dans un français juste et clair. La prise de son père comme exemple de sa société. Nous partageons presque les mêmes mœurs que l'auteur. Il y a une ressemblance de la vie de son époque a celle que j'ai vécu a mon secondaire mais loin de mes parents.  Je conseille ce livre a tous les amoureux de la littérature africaine. Car ils vivront dans une Afrique d'hier très soudée mettant en valeur sa culture.

Nous sommes heureux que notre village Koumbia ai une bibliothèque communautaire. C'est notre meilleur lieu d'éveil présentement. Si nous nous levons les jours qu'elle est ouverte et que nous ne faisons pas un tour là-bas, c'est comme si nous n'étions pas à Koumbia. Vous voyez, c'est très bon pour nous les enfants de jouer en apprenant. Plus nous jouons, plus nous avons envie de grandir et de réussir nos objectifs et projets. Les jeux de puzzles sont nos préférés. Ils nous permettent de voir des situations normales puis désordonnées et c'est à nous de les reconstituer. C'est vraiment amusant, mais malheureusement nous n'avons pas assez dans notre bibliothèque. Nous demandons à nos parents de fournir la bibliothèque en jeux et livres pour enfants. Nous disons merci aux initiateurs et les invitent à ne pas baisser les bras. Vive la bibliothèque communautaire de Koumbia!

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Visit with head librarian at Bolgatanga Regional Library

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FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya today met with Bolgatanga Regional Librarian Mr. Ayesiya John.  Paul is planning a trip to Accra to purchase the books for the Gowrie, Sherigu and SUmbrungu libraries.  Mr.  Ayesiya encouraged Paul to purchase books written by African writers, which are in high demand.  He said most of these books can be found at EPP Bookshop, Legon bookshop and Osu Children's Library Fund bookstore.  Mr. Ayesiya also noted that the regional library had many books packed at Accra but there were no funds to fuel their library vehicle to Accra to convey the books to Bolga, and the central government says they have no funds. So they are waiting for funds, and as and when they get funds Mr. Ayesiya promised to bring the books and give some to our libraries as they used to do in the past.

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June activities at Gowrie-Kunkua Community Library in Ghana

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FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:

In the first week of the month of June 2015, normal library activity of learning and games took place at the Gowrie library. I visited the library on 3rd June 2015 and everything was going on well, the librarian was at post ensuring that everything was well carried out. Children and young adults were seen at the library, some were busy reading and others busied themselves with the Ludo game.

gowrie sm.jpgOn the 16th of June I visited the library during their daily period of learning; I was very impressed with the attendance that day. Some patrons were reading and sharing stories whiles the adults enjoyed themselves with the Ludo. It was this time that their daily attendance surprised me, the adults who were numbering more than 10 wait to have their turn in the Ludo game. There were other interesting games that took place, some children were competing each other in their local dance whiles others also fixed puzzles.

June activities at Sherigu Community Library in Ghana

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FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:
FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:
FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:
FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:
FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:

FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:
DSCN3547 sm.jpgThe first week of the month normal library activities of reading and learning went on successfully with both children and young adults patronizing in their numbers. On week two, normal reading and learning went on for Monday and Tuesday 7th and 8th of June 2015 respectively. On the 9th of June, I met with some of the teachers of St. Peter and Paul primary at the library, to look at ways of improving learning, reading and patronage to the Sherigu Community library. The teachers suggested that more modern Ghanaian books should be brought to the library and the unused foreign ones taking out from the shelves, they also spoke about the damaged nature of some books in the library that if something could be done about it, it will help greatly in improving the learning process. Other also suggested that we reach out to the children and talk to them on the importance of patronizing the library hence there are some children who are not aware about the existence of the library.

I thanked them all for their time and the fruitful contribution they made in the discussion, I told them the director of FAVL Professor Michael Kevane is putting together plans to get the library stocked with more books which will solve the problem of damaged books in the library, I told them to be patient and manage with what we have as we wait for response as to what do from our Director Professor Kevane.

On week three of June normal reading and learning took place, on the 17th of June 2015, I visited the library during the day; the pupils were in their numbers learning. At noon I had a group reading with the pupils, we read the story "The Lucky One" about a 10 year old boy by name Masawoud who was born with crooked legs and feet.  Masawoud means the lucky one which happens to be the title of the story we read. The pupils loved the story and wished we were able to read it all but the time did not permit us as some pupils had to return to their classes.

June activities at Sumbrungu Community Library in Ghana

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FAVL/CESRUD coordinator Paul Ayuloliya writes:

DSCN3531 sm.jpgThe first week of the month, normal libraries activities such as reading, storytelling, learning, games and group discussion took place. The number of patrons increases as the days go by, the librarian was always there ensuring that every single activity went on well. On week two of June the same normal library activities were carried out save on the 10th of June 2015 at 12:00pm Ghanaian time that I (Paul) had a group reading with the pupils of St. Charles Lwanga. They were 37 in number, the girls were 22 in number and the rest 15 were boys. We read about the story of Fati and The Green Snake, the pupils were very happy and requested that more of such group reading be done always.

SS girls sm.jpgThe third week was the very unique week of the month for Sumbrungu Community library, the Executive Director of FAVL/CESRUD Mr. Rex Asanga together with his communication team and the media called at the Sumbrungu Community Libraries on the 18th of June to look at the performance of the Library and to also talk to the pupils about the need to regularly patronized the library. The library hall was full of the pupils to its capacity, some pupils were standing outside because there were no space left in the library room. One of the communicators (Osman) expressed his gratitude for the establishment of the library, he asked the pupils to take their studies serious as the saying goes "education is the key to success" he told the pupils with the help of Mr. Rex and his NGO (FAVL) more books will be provided, not only books but in future the library would be stock with computers. The pupils were very happy and applauded his speech. Mr. Rex Asanga also encouraged the pupils to take their studies serious, they should always be reading hence doing that will improve their English Grammar and help them a lot in the future. The pupils clapped their hand and express their appreciation for their visit and promised to do as they were told.

After that in the following week pupils from Kulbia primary who used not to patronize the library well started coming in their numbers, pupils from St.Charles also increased in numbers, coming to the library to read.

We will be ordering almost $50,000 worth of books for 20 libraries in northern Burkina Faso.  If you want to supplement the (small) initial book collections, because you have a collection of books in French that you would like to donate (and that are suitable for village readers) please contact us.  Unfortunately we have no budget for shipping, but would encourage you to donate also the cost of shipping which is about $1 per book (via mail, since we do not anticipate you have 25,000 books to ship in a container!).


Books, reading, and libraries relevant to Africa by Michael Kevane, co-Director of FAVL and economist at Santa Clara University.

Other contributors include Kate Parry, FAVL-East Africa director, FAVL Burkina Faso representative Koura Donkoui, FAVL Burkina Faso program manager Krystle Nanema, and FAVL friends Emilie Crofton and Elisee Sare.

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