The Community Mobile Library Project is a project to build a culture of reading in Rwanda. Here in Rwanda there aren’t many books available, and reading books for pleasure is unheard of. USAID and Education Development Center (EDC) have teamed up to bring books to rural villages in Rwanda in order to encourage young people to enjoy reading. The Community Mobile Library Project is working with Peace Corps Volunteers and Volunteer Service Overseas Volunteers across the country to set up libraries in villages.
Since my village already has a community library, I signed up to work with this project. The community library has many textbooks in English, but there are few books suitable for young children. The Community Mobile Library Project collection has a variety of books; some are simple picture books for children, some are novels published by the African Writers Series, and some are titles in Kinyarwanda. I’m excited to bring the new books to the community library so that there are better books for the young kids, our main clientele, to read.
The keyword in Community Mobile Library Project is mobile. The idea is to create several small libraries at different schools or in different villages and to rotate the collection of books between them. Since we already have the community library in my village, that’s one library down. Only two more to go! This past Monday, my counterpart, the Sector Education Officer and I visited two neighboring villages to talk with headmasters of the local schools. Both the headmasters and teachers seem very enthusiastic about working with the Mobile Library Project in the future. We plan to have a training for new schools and their chosen librarians over the school holidays so that we can get the books moving at the beginning of the school year.
Today our collection of books was delivered! I am so excited to start reading them. Now begins the long process of sorting the books by title, creating reading levels, marking the books, etc. before we can finally put them to use. For now, the books are in my bedroom so I can work on organizing them at night after I finish teaching. I have high hopes for this project’s success, and I can’t wait to really get it going in the next few months!