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REVIVING THE READING CULTURE IN AFRICA

Children in the Mobile Library and effectively using the web to achieve more.

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.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

Comments

Eliel sam's picture

Great work .

indeed catching them young is one of the ways to do this work , great one sister. Eliel Sam

funmilori's picture

Nice to hear from you

Thank you for your comment, Eliel. I had tried working with adults about 10 years ago but my experience was that, adults would borrow and pay as at when due, but it was very demotivating to find out they werent creating time to read but children's attitude towards reading is very encouraging and fulfilling. I feel so proud working with them.

Eliel sam's picture

That's ture dear.

That's ture dear.

gracest's picture

funmilori, Thank you for

funmilori,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with World Pulse! Your notes on the importance of libraries are so very true. I love your quote that "he becomes not servant of a given view, but a master over an empire of knowledge."

I have a question about the Mobile Libraries- are these physical libraries, or e-libraries (libraries on the Internet)?
As you mentioned, communication technology offers unlimited knowledge.. to those that can access it. How do you think we can do better to fuse the two ideas you mention-- libraries and technology-- to bring MORE information to children and the general population in Africa? It is certainly a challenge, but one worth thinking about.

Your sister,
Grace

funmilori's picture

Great to share with you

Hello Grace,
I'm really so happy to share my thoughts with you. Our mobile library is a physical truck that is stocked up with colourful attractive shelves and varieties of books for children, teenagers and adults. However, I cannot underestimate the power of technology. Physical books can only be a number, what is available for consumption in the web is overwhelming. I am presently working on two organisations that we can partner with so as to access their online books via our webpage. This will be much more cheaper for our members with lots of varieties however, it may not be totally accessible especially to children who do not have ready access to the internet. I look forward to a digitalized Nigeria.

Kind Regards,
Funmilori

Bheki's picture

Creating the Reading Culture in Africa

Dear Funmilori--

Thank you for your posting on creating mobile libraries. So wonderful to hear about what is going on in Nigeria. I think you are actually creating, not reviving, a culture of reading. I recently returned from 5 years working in rural South Africa and sit on the Board of an organization that is trying to set up libraries in one of the designated poverty nodes. It is quite the undertaking to try and instill in the adults, a value for what books bring. When you are not educated with a love for books, and they are not available to you, it is hard to create that, especially in areas where people are so focused on daily survival.

You are right that the internet plays a very important role in making information accessible to people and that it contains the opportunity for people to plug into an unlimited wealth of information. But there is something very personal, and very special about holding a book in your hands, turning the pages, and losing yourself in the story. For children the illustrations as so important for sparking their imaginations and bringing the story to life.

I wish you great success in your efforts. May all obstacles dissolve and may your work truly support the development of greatness in the children you reach.

With gratitude and appreciation,
Bheki

funmilori's picture

Thank you Bheki

I appreciate your encouraging words, Bheki. I feel very fulfilled reaching out to children and I do not take for granted the opportunity I have in influencing the leaders and decisions makers of tomorrow. I wish you success in all your endeavours too.

Cheers,
Funmilori

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