“When I come to the library I feel like I am coming to a place that is safe, important, no disturbance, no noise, no bullying, no fights…I am a member here.” – Boy at Fountain of Hope, age 11
I have over the past while been in touch with Jane Meyers, the founder of Lubuto Libraries in Zambia, and just wanted to share a little of the work they have been doing there. Much more can be found on their website here and I am not going to repeat it.
I do however want to highlight a couple of the things they do in the hope that readers of this blog will be inspired to go and find out more.
Firstly The Lubuto Collections. A website that has two sections – a ‘Learn to Read’ section in the various language groups present in Zambia, and a collection of Zambian stories – again in many different languages, including English. All available online! How brilliant is that? Stories rescued from obscurity, from out of print booklets – and brought back for adults and children alike.
Also, Lubuto Libraries has a particular focus on street children, children without opportunity. The libraries create a space where these children can read, be read to, take part in drama and performing arts and use laptops to learn. These libraries do not just take random book donations, they gear the libraries towards the needs to the children and donations are accepted accordingly. They are, above all, thoughtful libraries! I cannot do it justice in a short blog post – suffice to say it’s a great project – do yourself a favour and take a wander around their website – it is extremely informative. I am delighted that my own books have found a home in the libraries there.
Here below is Mulenga Kapwepwe, Chairperson of the National Arts Council of Zambia and a Lubuto Library Project Adviser, on the subject of bringing back Zambia’s literature.