A post about what one of our library staff members gets up to in his time off. Not content with just working in a library, he’s also helping to stock a new one. Over to Shaun:
“Two years ago I was lucky enough to be invited to take books to Nigeria. A friend of mine has been collecting and sending boxes of books since the 1990s. We teamed up and sent three pallets of books to the village of Ifon Osun in the Orolu Kingdom, Nigeria.
When we arrived in Ifon, we saw how badly books were needed. We were introduced to a library that had more empty shelves than books, broken windows and no lighting inside. I met teachers in schools who prepared for their lectures using their phones to access Wikipedia. I found an atlas that was so outdated that it was published before the capital city of Abuja had been built.
Through extremely generous donations, we had collected dozens of boxes of books from various libraries, bookshops and very generous individuals from around London. By the time we left Ifon two weeks later, the shelves were overflowing and we couldn’t have felt more proud.
We are going back again in April this year. This time we are bringing books specifically for the young people of the village. So far we have collected two thousand books – children’s non-fiction, picture books, textbooks for students, workbooks and revision guides. In addition, we have just received a donation of over forty boxes of books from a London junior school who are updating their library to the new curriculum and donated almost all the existing stock! Our aim is to turn the bare room out the back into a children’s library.
We also are running our very own version of the Summer Reading Challenge as we have collected stickers and badges for children who complete the challenge. Through this project we aim to instil a love of reading that will continue for many generations to come.