As I mentioned in a previous post, Christine Allot-Bouty, from the French organization Res Publica, joined me on a tour of the libraries in the southwest. They currently have two libraries in small villages of Burkina. She was here on a site visit, and after having come across FAVL's website, was interested in seeing our work firsthand. In the course of two days, she visited the libraries in Boni, Béréba and Karaba. It was interesting having someone who also has experience with village libraries in Burkina visit and comment on those affiliated with FAVL. Christine really liked the libraries she saw and commented several times on how our strong suit was definitely activities and getting the community to participate and come to the library. She made several suggestions based on her experience, a lot of them organizational, (like chronologically ordering the cards from books that are checked out so that it's easier to see which books are late), ofwhich the librarians and Dounko took note. She commiserated over the almost-prohibitive price of African novels in French in Burkina. She would like some of the RWA photo books to put in her own libraries. During her visit to the FAVL office in Ouaga, she asked a lot about the reading camps, and Monique gave her a lot of information about them.
I received an email from Christine, which included several photos. Here's what she had to say:
J'ai aussi eu beaucoup de plaisir à rencontrer la jeunesse américaine et échanger avec vous. Pour Favl, tu ne peux que transmettre aux responsables mon vif intérêt pour votre travail. J'ai apprécié l'installation et le projet de chaque bibliothèque. Nous avons de notre côté deux installations et je ne peux que regretter le manque de temps sur le terrain. On voit que FAVL a un projet pensé et structuré.
[It was a pleasure for me also to meet and exchange with young Americans. As for FAVL, you can pass along to your superiors my interest in your work. I appreciated the installation and work of each library...You can tell that FAVL is a well-conceived and structured organization.]