Monthly report of the Ghana libraries for January

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Paul Ayutoliya writes:

Both the Sumbrungu and Sherigu libraries received fewer visitors than normal during January. This may be due to students being on vacation for Christmas and New Year. Many of the students don't attend the libraries unless they have school assignments to work on. Additionally, many students don't have any means of transportation to the library over the vacation period. Another explanation for the low patronage during vacation periods may be attributed to children spending their holidays assisting their parents on the farms, and with household chores, rather than attending the libraries. However, many children continue to read over the breaks by borrowing books from the libraries and reading them at home. Despite the low attendance at the beginning of the month, attendance sky rocketed at the Sherigu library after the holiday vacation, and by the end of January the attendance totaled 1217 during the daytime hours and 848 during the night sessions. In contrast, the Gowrie-Kunkua library had good attendance that remained steady throughout the month.

Activities in the libraries included critical thinking questions to follow up group readings, which most of the students were able to adequately answer.  Many of the students also participated in storytelling. One student at the Sumbrungu library told a story about how two good friends, a hawk and a hen became enemies. The story begins with the hawk one day asking the hen if she wanted to build a drum with him. She said that she couldn't because she wasn't feeling well. So, the hawk built the drum alone. However, whenever the hawk wasn't around, the hen would secretly play his drum. One day the hawk caught her, and demanded she give him one chicken every day as retribution, and from that day forward, the hawk and the hen were enemies. Another activity that took place at the Gowrie library was organized quiz competitions between the girls and boys, every Friday, in which the first place winner would take home a prize.

Although the libraries ran very smoothly during January, there are a few issues that need to be addressed, including new fans at the Sumbrungu and Sherigu libraries, as well as more seating at the Sherigu library due to the high quantity of patrons that have been in attendance.

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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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