By Iminza Keboge
published april 17, 2014
Thousands of children in Uganda–like their counterparts in Kenya and Tanzania–are set to benefit from bright, lively children’s libraries and librarians who will welcome and inspire in them a love of books and reading by 2015.
Saying it is building on its success in Kenya and Tanzania, Book Aid International of United Kingdom is expanding its ‘Children’s Corners’ project in public libraries across Uganda.
The first 12 of these libraries are now open, with the most recent opening in March 2014. Each library has been equipped with a collection of 800 new books from UK publishers, a grant to carry out refurbishments, and toys and games to turn a dedicated corner of the library into a welcoming environment for children. Each library has also received a grant to purchase books in any of the 40 local languages spoken in their area.
Book Aid International, a UK-based charity, has provided training for library staff from all these libraries so that they are more resourced and confident in supporting children to develop as readers. The first workshop took place in October 2012. The charity has also developed training resources so that trained librarians can train their colleagues independently, sharing knowledge and expertise.Book Aid International says the project is supported by an organisation called Headley Trust.
Each library is developing services to reach at least 600 children in their local area, providing a place where they can come and explore books and gain confidence in reading.
“We are now developing Children’s Corners in five more libraries in Uganda, with more to follow,” the charity says on its website. “We hope that this ambitious project in partnership with the National Library of Uganda will make a sustainable and considerable contribution to nurturing a reading culture among the youth of Uganda.”
Book Aid says it works in partnership with libraries in Africa in providing books, resources and training to support an environment in which reading for pleasure, study and lifelong learning can flourish.