Recently in Literacy Category

I saw an article about this man in a few weeks ago and meant to post it and forgot, until I came across it again today on Oprah's Life Lift blog (don't judge - as lame as the name sounds, reading it really inspires you). The article originally appeared on the BBC News website in September. A man in Manila, Nanie Guanlao, started a lending library outside of his home after the death of his parents to as a memorial to the love of reading he had picked up from them. He left some books outside for people to borrow, and they returned them and even brought along some books too supplement Nanie's collection. The "book club" as he calls the lending library is very informal: patrons can take as many books as they want for as long as they want. He says that rather than stealing his books, people generally return them and often donate their own books to the cause. Thus, a collection that started at 100 has grown to a few thousand. He has also started a "book bike" and travels around Manila to bring books to people. His dedication to spreading his love for reading has inspired his friends to want to create libraries, both stationary and mobile, of their own.

Read the full article here.    

Fun book photos

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Emilie writes:

I was cheking out Changing Hands Bookstore 's facebook page and they have a lot of fun photos posted. Thought I'd share a few:

dont judge a book by its movie.jpg

book bath.jpgbook ring.jpg

hoarding books.jpg

love libraries.jpg

reading in bed.jpg

reading makes me smile.jpg

Changing Hands Bookstore at Bondi Beach, New South Wales

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Helene sent me this cool photo from  Changing Hands Bookstore at Bondi Beach, New South Wales.


The benefits of literacy

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Maybe FAVL should make this part of a literacy campaign here in Burkina. On second thought, it might not work so well in village, though, since mini-skirts are a definite no-no...


This is also why we need more libraries in Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso's State Secretary of Education gave a speech on how urgent it is to reform the Education system in the country. The happier thing she announced is that primary education will be an obligation and free for everybody. So the parents do not have any reason to not send their kids to school. This is a strong statement, but the governement will need to follow with strong actions. People need more schools, more libraries, well trained teachers, especially in the rural zones. A 30% literacy rate in the country is still very low and only 21% of women can read. Considering the important influence of women in a child's education in Burkina Faso, the government needs to do more. Read the article on the national elevision's website

How to save a library....burn books!!

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Emilie writes:

My mom (the librarian) shared this video with me. It's great that this stunt really woke people up about the importance of libraries. It's still incredibly sad though, that the group had to resort to ridiculous claims of book burnings in order to do so.

Seeing this reminded me of Alameda, where I currently live, and the recent vote on Measure C. Measure C proposed a half-cent sales tax that would pay for city projects including funding a library, cultural and recreational facilities, improving schools and fire protection/911 emergency response. In a city full of old, rich white yuppies, it obviously and unfortunately failed. I can't help but think that some sort of version of this stunt could have helped change ignorant minds...

Race for Reading: Only one week left!!

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Elisée write:

This is the only way to be in shape while supporting community libraries in Burkina Faso. Only one week left. Call our Ouagadougou office for registration or any support: +22650361341 / +22676678757 or email at


Sounding out words in Sumbrungu

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A really cute video of Brianna working with some of her more dedicated participants at her adult health literacy class at the Sumbrungu Community Library.

The next FAVL library....?

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I love this; a Creative Commons licensed foto by James Steakley.  "The L. D. Fargo Public Library at 120 E. Madison Street in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, was designed in a late Gothic revival style with Storybook elements by the Milwaukee architectural firm of Ferry & Clas and constructed 1899-1902."


Celebrate International Literacy Day!

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This week is full of days dedicated to reading and literacy. September 8th is International Literacy Day. The theme for this year is the link between literacy and peace.

According to the UNESCO website: today one in five adults is still not literate and about two-thirds of them are women while 67.4 million children are out of school.

So take today and do a little something that could help make a big difference to someone who doesn't know the joy of cracking open a good book!

Here is a video a literacy class in Ghana last year:

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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, Peace Corps volunteer Emilie Crofton, Krystle Austin, Elisee Sare, and Monique Nadembega.

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