LIFELONG LEARNING : BUILDING LIBRARIES
In Uganda, few public schools can afford the luxury of a library. After establishing five school libraries in the Rakai District, we discovered that merely having donated books, shelves and desks was not enough to create a vital library. Teachers and students often lack the knowledge and skills to organize and fully integrate their libraries so that they can become centers of literacy and learning.
In 2015, in partnership with the Peace Corp and Books for Africa, we created the Lead-Organize-Integrate Library Training Workshop, providing practical training in how to establish and maintain a school library, one that truly serves the school and the surrounding community. We have delivered this Training of Trainers workshop in 13 schools throughout Uganda and we are now monitoring the impact our program is having in these communities.
In just a year we have seen measurable progress with half of the schools organized to the point of incorporating a lending system. We continue to work with the rest to reach the goal of becoming fully functioning lending libraries by 2018. We are also working toward having regular library sessions, establishing a budget with school management committees, and supporting a teacher to serve as a full-time librarian in each location.
Partnering with World Possible, we are working to introduce the Rachel Plus System into school libraries in Uganda. This educational tool provides an Internet-like experience to communities that are off-line. We have trained our staff on the use of this technology and are now seeking an appropriate school to implement a pilot project.