REVIVING THE READING CULTURE IN AFRICA
The provision of libraries in all African schools and communities is not only necessary, it is also possible. Libraries are places where information services are rendered to users. In the context of libraries, catering for the needs of the users ideally means provision of physical and bibliographic access to information sources.
When a library is adequate, a reader can pursue to its depth, a study of his choice. He can translate himself to whatever time and place. Besides, he becomes not servant of a given view, but a master over an empire of knowledge. With proper preservation and storage, books endure, as most work of man does not. They speak from one generation to another and provide the union of understanding that links the generation and cast our vision of life forward into a future we shall not see. The provision of a well stocked and appropriately staffed library will not only aid in the development of basic reading skills but instil a love of reading in our children and youth. Yet, despite such unequivocal acknowledgements, school libraries, the traditional home of ‘learning materials and resources’ have been hopelessly neglected by the Society.
Library is a busy workshop where people of all ages share the experiences of many other persons by reading about their thoughts and achievement. The books on library shelves give us the ideas and facts that men have collected for thousands of years. Libraries also provide up to date information in all fields with collections of books, newspapers, pamphlets, postal’s, photographs and motion picture.
iRead Mobile Library is a flagship service of Funmivirtuous Educational Consult Limited an initiative campaign to encourage the culture of reading and to put books into the hands of children, parents, and the community. While schools may have text books and other school materials, there is a dearth of books for recreational reading. The Mobile libraries will be essential in providing access to such reading materials. Mobile libraries will be deployed across the country in urban as well as the most isolated of communities, where there is little opportunity to access rich and enjoyable reading materials.
Locally and internationally-produced books in English are reviewed and critically selected so that only books of the best quality which appeal most to communities will be included in the libraries. Books will be classified and color-coded according to reading level to allow children and community members to choose appropriately. The aim is for parents, teachers, older siblings, and others in the community to borrow books along with children to model and encourage the habit of reading. iRead Mobile Library is motivated by a vision to promote a sustainable reading culture/ habit in children because we know that good reading culture builds up positive reading attitude among children over a period of time which is a basis for growth and development as well as projects one for greatness in life.
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) helps to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, the sharing of knowledge and information. ICT has the potential, to contribute to effective learning through expanding access, promoting efficiency, improving the quality of learning, enhancing the quality of teaching, and improving management systems. ICTs also offer possibilities for lifelong learning. In addition, everyday people have flocked to the internet in droves trying to provide as much free information as humanly possible.