FAVL Readers

Every village has a few dozen avid readers, and these are the people who appreciate most the library. Here are short profiles of five avid readers from the village library of Béréba in Burkina Faso.

Dobrahima Traore

Dobrahima Traore

Age: 18
Occupation: High School Student

What do you like about the library? I like reading books by African authors, like The Ambiguous Adventure by Cheikh Amadou Kane and God's Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane.

Future Goals: "I want to graduate at the top of my class so I can win a scholarship to go to college. I plan to study physical sciences and to become a pharmacist or doctor."

Book currently checked out: Maïmouna by Abdoulaye Sadji (it's my favorite)

Librarian's comments: Dobrahima is our library's most prolific reader. He is constantly reading different books in the library, and always leaves the library with a new book.

Fernanda Traore

Fernanda Traoré

Age: 9
Occupation: 4th grade student

What do you like about the library? "I love to read! I come to the library for the weekly story-hours with the librarian. I like to read the comic books in my free time."

Currently checked out: The children's magazine, Astrapi.

Future Goals: "I want to become a nurse."

Ini Kambiré

Ini Kambiré, winner of "The Library's Best Reader of 2002"

Age: 14
Occupation: 7th grade student

What do you like about the library? I enjoy reading novels and legends about Africa because they help connect us to our past. History is my favorite subject at school because we can learn so much from things that have already happened.

Future Goals: "I want to become a nurse."

Book currently checked out: The Beautiful Tella, by Yollande Teme (it's my favorite)

Librarian's comment: Ini is by far our most prolific female reader. She can read a novel in the morning and come back for another book in the afternoon.

Lohabate Koura

Lohabate Koura

Age: 22
Occupation: Farmer

What do you like about the library? "The library is a place where I find a variety of reading materials, from newspapers that update me on current world events to history novels that inform me of things before my birth. The library is very important because it allows people to be [intellectually] awakened, to learn good manners, and to develop the mind."

Future Goals: "I would like to become a school teacher so that I can share my love for education with others."

Book currently checked out: The Suns of Independence, by Hamadou Kourouma

FAVL intern David Guo's Comments: I found Lohabate reading "Theory of Economics" at the library because this year, since his father died, he had no money to start high school. Thus, reading textbooks at the library would be his only recourse to continue his education and possibly land him a job other than subsistence farming.

Sayouba Dera

Sayouba Dera

Age: 24
Occupation: Bike mechanic, Vice-president of the English Club of Bereba

What do you like about the library? "I go to the library to improve my English skills. I wanted to pursue English through the university level, but my high school did not offer English so I enrolled in technical school. Since then, the library has been my only access to English. Going to the library is like getting a free education, and things rarely are for free in Burkina. I can't thank you enough for the gift of reading."

Future Goals: "I want to travel to America and speak English!"

Book currently checked out: Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier