Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Library

In the picture below, little Tracy "reads" a book to Rev. Sam-Peal in the new Children's section of the school library. Books were still being unpacked and sorted to be put on the newly cleaned and painted shelves when this picture was taken.This picture of Emmalee and one of the trainees chatting is how the library looked before the transformation. This picture was taken during the training workshop. The book shelves on the end wall are where the Children's Section is now located.

Lott Carey Mission School is blessed with a lovely library building. While we were there the library doubled as the training space so we spent a lot of hours in that room. As the pictures show, it is a long, high-ceilinged room with long, handmade, mahogany reading tables like those that used to be in most libraries in the U.S. Windows (with no glass) on both sides of the room provide nice cross-ventilation (although that natural cross-breeze was supplemented with large fans as a courtesy for those of us used to air conditioning). Tall book shelves are located at the front and at the back of the room.

Public libraries are not common in Africa and are non-existent in Liberia so there is no concept of the library as an open, accessible place. Even in schools, the library is not generally used by students in the way that it is available to students in U.S. schools where weekly library day is the norm and students can spend hours doing research or studying.

The LOEP training team worked with Rev. Sam-Peal and his administrative staff to begin transformation of Lott Carey's library into a student-friendly space starting with a children's section for the youngest students. Cheerful vinyl flooring covered the bare concrete, shelves were re-varnished and walls painted. Little tables and chairs were placed and books were unpacked and cheerful reading posters were placed on the walls. Other sections for older age groups with study areas and research sections will be added as there are resources available.
The pictures show remarkable change that took place in just a few short days due to the commitment of Lott Carey's leaders, Rev. Sam-Peal, Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Banks, who are determined that their school will be a place where children can grow and learn and where the library is a friendly, accessible place.

No comments:

Post a Comment