07 Oct 08 Library card

Today I joined the regional library in Sandema for one Ghana cedi. As well as giving my name and address I have a card to fill out and on the back someone must vouch for me. I took out my allotted 3 books. Silas Marner by George Eliot on Simona’s recommendation. I think I have read it but it will be fun to read it again and talk to Simona about it. Next of Kin by Roger Fouts about Chimpanzees. Last Outerbridge Reach by Robert Stone, I have no idea about this author but it was a thick book!

The library has two main rooms and two smaller rooms. The smaller rooms have tables in them for study.  The adult room no larger than an American livingroom. There are two tables and a few chairs in the adult room. The adult room has 7 or 8 wooded bookshelves arranged by subject and  one is fiction. The books are all in English. And they are pretty much American books. The fiction is mainly  American and  English classics. Most of the nonfiction looks like booksale leftovers. I asked for some African authors and the librarian said they did not have many. I offered her the few books I had about Africa and she eagerly accepted. Asking when will you bring them. So Friday I will bring the books. I will talk with her more as well and find out how she gets the books for her collection.

The other room is the children’s room. It is ½ the size of the adult room. The books are on 4 or 5 wooden shelves about kid height. There is a table in the kids room. The children’s books ae also in English and may also look like booksale leftovers. Books in English is not bad becuase of the limited space they have for a collection it would be hard for them to collect in all the regional languages and have any depth to the collections. I am not sure how many books are written in the local languages. English is the official language of Ghana.

There were people in the library. Each study room at two or three people working at the table. There were 3 kids studying at a table in the children’s room and 5 or 6 adults in the adult area. Percentage wise 85% of the seating was used.

I am tempted to ask you all to send me books but I would like to create a realtionship with the librarians at the regional library and at the school’s library. That way I will know what they need and a good time for the books to arrive. Then I may come a begging. (But if friends or family want to send me one or two books by African authors I assure you they will end up in one of the libraries.)

The three books added a lot of weight to my market bag so I was very happy to “follow” the school bus home today.

-vc

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