ILCE-IG Events at MPLA/CALCON 2016

Library Globetrotters: Library experience in five countries

Track: Wild Card
Canyon Maple A
Thursday, October 20, 2016
2-3 p.m.

Colorado has many “globetrotters,”  librarians who can share experiences in international libraries they visit or help.  Four librarians will share their experiences in five countries.  Nebeyou Nunamo, Ethiopia, will describe libraries in his home country and his immigrant experiences  in the United States.  Lisa Priebe spent the last three years in Whitehaven, Cumbria, England and will present a travelogue of rural libraries.  Nancy Wood will describe the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities in building the first public library in  Liberia.  Sue Keefer will share her experiences in Nicaragua on the recent CAL tour.   Enjoy an international experience!

Lisa Priebe

Lisa Priebe

Lisa Priebe is a former librarian from Colorado and has spent the past three years living in Whitehaven, Cumbria, England. She benefited from access to the community’s public library and historical archive centre. Lisa wishes to share what she has learned about the public libraries in and around Whitehaven during her marvelous adventure living in this beautiful green land where there are more sheep than people.

 

 

Nebeyou Nunamo

Nebeyou Nunamo

Nebeyou D Nunamo is originally from Ethiopia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Information Science from Jimma University, in Jimma, Ethiopia, and Master’s in Library and Information Science from University of Denver.  He is currently employed at the Aurora Public Library as a Library Assistant and is the web content manager for Yehabet Educational and Entertainment.  In his current role with Yehabet Educational and Entertainment,  he supervises four people located overseas and is responsible for the overall operation of the organization website (http://www.yehabet.com/), media collection, and marketing strategies. While at the Aurora Public Library Central Branch, he teaches classes, assists with circulation and records management using Sierra (Innovative Interfaces Inc.), provides instruction to customers in the use of the library resources and equipment, performs reference searches using online databases, provide patrons with information and reference services by accessing and demonstrating how to access information through books, computers, and media services.

Finally, he has a dream to be a world class data scientist. It always has been his dream to increase his leadership skills to contribute to the information organizations greater goal. He considers himself an innovator and a good leader and desires to be part of an organization that seeks a problem solver.

Nancy Wood

Nancy Wood

Nancy Wood serves as Branch Manager of Park County Public Library – Fairplay Branch.. When she co-founded “Hope for Children of Africa” in January of 2005, she was not a librarian. After recruiting a global alliance in 2010, to build the first public library in Liberia, West Africa, and was given the title of program manager, did she seek to become a librarian. She will share with us her adventure through a style of storytelling that she witnessed in Liberia. The presentation title is “Hearing a different drummer with a beat from West Africa”

Sue Keefer

Sue Keefer

Originally from northern Illinois, Sue Keefer has lived in Colorado since 1978. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and has worked on daily and weekly papers in Illinois, Iowa, and Colorado. She began her library career in 1983 and has worked at public libraries, school libraries, a bookmobile, and a prison library before receiving her MLS from Emporia State University in 2010, when she also was hired for my current position of Learning Resources Director of the Otero Junior College.

Going to Nicaragua was an amazing experience for her. The gratitude and smiles received for simply delivering books was a humbling experience. Being able to participate in the Anniversary Celebration was icing on the cake.

IFLA President, Donna Scheeder, to Speak at MPLA-CALCON 2016

Donna Scheeder

Donna Scheeder

Donna Scheeder, outgoing president of IFLA, will speak on So People May Know; Access to Information Around the World on Friday, October 21, at 5:00 p.m. This program is co-sponsored by the ILCE-IG of CAL.

Donna Scheeder is the current President for the International Federation of Library Associations, where her presidential theme is “Libraries: A Call to Action.”

Prior to becoming IFLA President, Ms. Scheeder served as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. She provided leadership for the provision of a wide range of information and collection services for the U.S. Congress, the Courts, the Executive Branch agencies and the public. Ms. Scheeder introduced a number of innovative services during her career including establishing the first collection of legal blogs and instituting the Electronic Briefing Book product for the Congress. She serves on the organizing committees for both the Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian conferences which place a heavy emphasis on showcasing the latest developments in the field and the innovative services that take advantage of those developments.

Ms. Scheeder has been a member of the IFLA Governing Board for 8 years including two as Treasurer. Her networking skills have been sharpened over her 45 year career and record of volunteer public service. She is a former President and Treasurer of the Special Library Association (SLA). She is also a SLA fellow and a recipient of the John Cotton Dana award given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of special librarianship. She was elected to the SLA Hall of fame.

Ms. Scheeder lives on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Hill Center and she also serves as Chair of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee.

International Adult Beverage Reception

Adult beverage reception

Adult beverage reception

Please join us for an international adult beverage reception following Donna Scheeder’s program. We will be featuring adult beverages from around the world. Location to be announced.

 

 

 

Support the ILCE-IG through International Jewelry Purchases

Nancy Bolt supports ILCE-IG with international jewelry sales

Nancy Bolt supports ILCE-IG with international jewelry sales

Stop  by Nancy Bolt’s booth in the exhibit area. A percent of all sales is donated to the ILCE-IG to be used for grants and programs.

 

ILCE-IG at IFLA

ifla-2016-logoILCE-IG at IFLA in Columbus

Several members of ILCE-IG participated in the IFLA Congress in Columbus, OH.  Many were first-timers.  Some have attended and presented multiple times. 3100 delegates from 120 countries participated in this international congress.

 

 

IFLA Fellows

Jimena Sagas and Rita Puig at the Fellows reception

Jimena Sagas and Rita Puig at the Fellows reception

Rita Puig, Regis University, and Jimena Sagas, Colorado State University, were named as North American IFLA Fellows with some of their expenses covered by the grant.  They participated in an opening reception and were paired with a mentor.  From this point forward, they will be part of a unique cohort of librarians who can call upon one another, share experiences, and network.

 

 

Rita Puig, Jimena Sagas, and Janet Lee during the First Time Attendees session

Rita Puig, Jimena Sagas, and Janet Lee during the First Time Attendees session

First Time Attendees

The First Time Attendees session was filled with useful tips on networking and getting involved in committees.  Best piece of advice?  Sit in on a committee of interest and introduce yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

Poster Sessions

Janet Lee and Nancy Bolt present at the IFLA poster session

Janet Lee and Nancy Bolt present at the IFLA poster session

Janet Lee setting up poster at IFLA in Columbus

Janet Lee setting up poster at IFLA in Columbus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ILCE-IG was well represented at the Poster Sessions.

Nancy Bolt and Janet Lee submitted “From Local to Global: How a Local Library Organization Can Impact International Librarianship,”  relating the many activities that ILCE-IG has sponsored since its inception such as: mentoring, library partnerships, sister libraries, international travel, programming, advocacy, grants, and international education.

The poster was one of approximately 200 that were accepted.  Click on this link for a detailed look at the poster and the poster proposal:  http://library.ifla.org/1552/

 

 

Rita Puig discussing poster during IFLA

Rita Puig discussing poster during IFLA

Orolando, Jimena, and Rita plan for a future conference

Orolando, Jimena, and Rita plan for a future conference

Rita Puig discusses the Dual Language program at Regis University in “Building an Authentic Bilingual Library: Regis University’s Dual Language Learning Resources Center.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krystyna Matusiak from the University of Denver

Krystyna Matusiak from the University of Denver

Krystyna, K. Matusiak,  Bridget Bowers, Kathryn Bodnar, Frank Andreas Sposito, and  Giovanna Montano submitted “An International Collaborative Project between the University of Denver LIS students and the ENSSIB students in Lyon.”  For more information on this project, check out the December 2015 issue of International Leads, http://www.ala.org/irrt/sites/ala.org.irrt/files/content/intlleads/leadsarchive/2015r.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sessions

Nancy presents on services to the homeless

Nancy presents on services to the homeless

 

Nancy Bolt chaired a panel on “Guidelines for Library Service to People Experiencing Homelessness: Overview and Examples.”  (Library Services to People with Special Needs).  Panelists spoke on services in the U.S. Croatia, and Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie LaRue

Jamie LaRue

 

“Banned Books Week: What are we afraid of?
James LaRue of ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, presenter.

Bannedbooksweek.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Events

Opening Session.  IFLA president, Donna Scheeder, opened the 82nd IFLA World Library and Information Congress.  Cleveland Cavaliers announcer Olivier Sedra served as the Master of Ceremonies, and introduced a host of characters celebrating Ohio’s history.  Appearances included animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, aerial acrobats, a drag queen, a tribute to astronaut and former Ohio senator John Glenn, the Columbus Gay Men’s Choir, a contemporary fashion show, and the distribution of Life Saver candies.

Conference reception.  The Cultural Evening reception was held at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) showcasing the culture of the city of Columbus and the United States. The evening’s
theme was “Coast to Coast,” with food and entertainment venues of five regions of the United States: Midwest, West Coast, South, Mountain West and East Coast.  It was a great opportunity to meet colleagues from other nations and for international visitors to sample food from different regions of the U.S. including mac n cheese, pizza, sliders, and tofu.

Janet Lee with new friends from around the world

Janet Lee with new friends from around the world

Rita and Jimena rocking to the music

Rita and Jimena rocking to the music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said Rita Puig, “It was fascinating to hear what librarians are doing in other countries to address issues such as team building, partnership between 1st world and 3rd world countries, learning strategies, capturing institutional knowledge, and innovation.”

 

 

Future Conferences 

August 2017:  Wrocław, Poland

 

 

 

Wroclaw, Poland, 2017

Wroclaw, Poland, 2017

 

 

 

2018:  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

IFLA 2018

IFLA 2018

Axumite Heritage Foundation Library and Cultural Center

Denver Street, Axum Ethiopia

Denver Street, Axum Ethiopia

Axumite Heritage Foundation Library and Cultural Center, Axum, Ethiopia

by Janet Lee, Regis University

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Axum, the historical city

Axum is an ancient city that flourished 400 BC as a great trading partner in the region.  In 1980 UNESCO added it to its archaeological sites to its list of World Heritage Sites.

In 400 CE,  a large segment of the population converted to Christianity, making Ethiopia one of the first predominately Christian nations in the world.

Stele

Stele

DSC05759

Stele

Stellae

Stele

Stellae field

Stele field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is perhaps most well known for its stele, or obelisks, which date back to 5,000 to 2,000 BCE.  The function is to serve as a marker for underground graves.

During the brief occupation by the Italians in the 1930s (Ethiopia having never been colonized by a European country), one of the major stele was appropriated by the Italians and shipped to Italy where it was reassembled and erected.  After years of negotiations, an upgrade of the Axum airport, the stolen stele was returned to Ethiopia and placed in its proper place in the field of stele from 2005-2008.

 

Church of St. Mary of Zion

Church of St. Mary of Zion

Tradition has that the Arc of the Covenant is housed within the walls of the Church of St. Mary of Zion, thus the city is revered as a holy place. The Church is located within walking distances of stele fields.

 

 

 

 

 

The ancient remains of Queen of Sheba's palace

The ancient remains of Queen of Sheba’s palace

 

Dungur Addi Kilte, popularly known as the remains of Queen of Sheba’s palace, but could also have been the palace of a wealthy Axumite.   Excavated in the mid 1960s.

 

 

 

 

Queen of Sheba's baths

Queen of Sheba’s baths

Tradition also has it that the reservoir pictured to the left is the Queen of Sheba baths.  According to legend, Sheba had a tryst with Solomon, resulting in a child.  From there is a long dynasty that included Emperor Haile Selassie.  This story is repeated frequently in art work that is sold on nearly every street corner in major cities like Addis Ababa.

 

 

Ancient hieroglyphs

 

Ethiopia has its own written language, based on the ancient Ge’ez script, a church language.

 

 

 

 

 

New Axumite Heritage Foundation Library

While I was on sabbatical in 2010, working in Mekelle, I had an opportunity to meet Dr. Tsehaye Teffera, the founder of the Ethiopian Community Development Council, headquartered in Silver Spring, MD.  He came to the library in Mekelle because he was about to embark on a new library project in Axum.  In previous years, he had opened up a library in the old Governor’s Palace, but it was beginning to outgrow its space.  Denver and Axum are Sister Cities, part of the International Sister Cities, International program, celebrating 20 years in this relationship August 2016.

At the time that I began working with Dr. Tsehaye, I heard that there was another Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, an engineer, who was working with him, also.  By chance Dwight Sullivan and I were put in touch with each other and are collaborating on this project.   I visited the new library building when it was in its infancy in 2013 and took this opportunity while traveling for another project to get an update.  Each visit on this trip has left me in wonder at all that Dwight and Dr. Tsehaye have accomplished.  No longer is it a shell of a building, but one that is very much nearing completion and at the stage where we can seriously start discussing library programming.

The current library in the former Governor's Palace

The current library in the former Governor’s Palace

Front of the New Axumite Heritage Foundation Library

Front of the New Axumite Heritage Foundation Library

The concrete brick building has been faced with local stone from areas near Axum, including Adwa, the site of the infamous battle against the Italians, which Ethiopia won.  Windows have been imported from nearby Dubai. Dwight has leant his mechanical expertise, and building skills, and shipped power tools to enable this project to be completed expeditiously.  It is truly a work of art.

 

Grand entrance

Grand entrance

 

The entrance to the library is quite grand with two staircases leading up to the first floor.  On either side of the staircases are accessible ramps that lead to the lower level and to upper floors.  A rough in for an elevator is also available from the lower level to the third floor.  This is significant because few buildings in Ethiopia are accessible for persons with disabilities.

 

 

Auditorium stage

Auditorium stage

Rear of auditorium

Rear of auditorium

 

The auditorium is nearly complete.  It is accented with stone from local quarries.  Dwight has found theatre seating, which is currently in a container ready to be shipped to Ethiopia and installed in the upcoming months.  We discussed options for acoustics and will be creating cloth panels that will appear to be wall accents, but will serve to buffer the reverberations that were apparent in the room.  The panels will have a version of Axumite crosses that are prevalent in this area.

 

Classroom

Classroom

 

A large room has been designated to serve as a set of classrooms that will have partitions to separate the larger area into four classrooms on an as needed basis.

 

 

 

 

Great reading room

Great reading room

Great reading room extended view

Great reading room extended view

Overlooking the great reading room

Overlooking the great reading room

 

 

 

 

 

 

The primary traditional area of the library is the Great Reading Room.  It will contain the primary print collection and a range of seating and study areas for students and researchers.  Dedicated ports have been installed around the perimeter and wireless access will be available.  There is ample natural light and ceiling light fixtures.

 

Computer room entrance

Computer room entrance

Computer room with drop ceilings

Computer room with drop ceilings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjoining the Great Reading Room, is a computer room, complete with drop ceilings.  It is anticipated that computer classes will be offered on a frequent basis.

 

Rooftop reception area overlooking the former library

Rooftop reception area overlooking the former library

The fourth floor opens up to a large balcony that can serve as an area for receptions.  A small kitchen has been roughed in that will facilitate food service for the receptions.

 

 

 

 

 

Accessible bathroom

Accessible bathroom

Accessible ramp

Accessible ramp

Several bathrooms have been installed including one that will be accessible for persons with disabilities.  Public bathrooms in general are few and far between.  These will probably be restricted to staff and to guests.  A separate outdoor bathroom has been proposed for the general public.  An accessible ramp will allow access to the lower level and to the first and second floor.  Only the balcony reception area will not be accessible.

 

 

Stone wall detail

Stone wall detail

 

A stone wall façade highlights the natural beauty of the new building.

 

 

 

 

 

P1020415

Commissioned art

Commissioned art

Commissioned art

 

Dwight commission art on animal hides that depict various historical events, such as the Battle of Adwa, where the Ethiopians defeated the Italians.  Adwa is approximately 15 miles from Axum.  These pieces of art are currently hung in the existing library in the Governor’s Palace and created by a local artists.

 

 

Toys in the children's library

Toys in the children’s library

Temporary staging of materials in the Children's library

Temporary staging of materials in the Children’s library

 

The children’s library is on the lower level.  It will contain books, toys, educational materials, child-sized furniture, tiered seating for story hours and AV presentations.  Dwight and I have been approved for a Returned Peace Corps Legacy grant, which will allow us to raise funds for the children’s library.  For more information on donating to this project, click on  https://eandeherald.com/rpcv-legacy-program/axum-childrens-library/

 

 

Tutoring a student in sign language

Tutoring a student in sign language

Although not yet opened, it is already being used for sign language tutoring, and sewing classes.

 

 

 

 

A young woman mixing cement for resurfacing the current library

A young woman mixing cement for resurfacing the current library

The current library in the Governor’s Palace is in the process of being renovated and will serve as a cultural museum.  This worker is mixing cement for the façade of the former Governor’s Palace.

 

 

 

Next Steps

Although there has been great progress since my visit in 2013, there is still much to do, much of it dependent on fundraising.  Significant donations have been received from the Ethiopian Diaspora, many who fled Ethiopia during the military regime.   Fundraising is ongoing.

Dwight is preparing another shipping container that will contain the theater seating, computers, more building supplies, books, and other materials.

I met once again with library staffing and IT personnel at the University of Aksum (note the alternate spelling of Axum, a transliterated word).  In my visit, in 2013, I had been informed that the online catalog had become corrupted with a virus.  On this visit, one of the IT experts had just downloaded Koha, an open source online catalog platform.  Thus, they have been without a catalog for this entire time. I was quite humbled when one of the Digital Librarians, pulled out my card from a prior visit.  I provided them with forms for database access supplied on an individual basis by the American Spaces as part of the U.S. Embassy.  The best I can determine, there is no access to commercial databases at the university.  They have made great headway with their institutional repository, using D-Space, another open source product.

Libraries in Ethiopia are faced with many challenges including the lack of training, professional status, library education, and general infrastructure.  During the last four days that I was in Ethiopia, the government-controlled internet was shut down, purportedly because of unrest in major cities in the country.  Yet, everywhere that I visited, there was optimism for the future and a drive to improve their skills and better serve their constituency.

Got more information, contact Janet Lee, janet.lee35@gmail.com

 

Aurora Sister Cities International/Adama Ethiopia

Sister Cities/Sister Libraries: the next steps

by Janet Lee, Regis University

Adama, Ethiopia

Nearly two years ago, the City of Aurora (CO) formalized an agreement with Adama, Ethiopia to become a Sister City, as Aurora Sister Cities International made the positive decision to reinvigorate and reestablish its Sister City program. A delegation, including the mayor, came from Adama to Aurora formalize the agreement.  In turn, a delegation from Aurora, including Mayor Steve Hogan, traveled to Adama.  In both instances, the delegations visited their counterpart’s libraries.

More recently, I have joined a library committee within Aurora Sister Cities International to investigate ways the International Library Cultural Exchange Interest Group and the Aurora Public Library could partner with libraries in Adama.

Taking advantage of a travel opportunity to Kenya with a Regis University colleague, I decided to travel through Ethiopia on my return. I also wanted to take the opportunity to meet with my University of Denver colleague, Dr. Shimelis Assefa, who was on sabbatical since January and teaching at the Adama Science and Technology University.  Jeglalo Guye, Executive Director of the Adama Sister City program, attended to local arrangements and with Shimelis greeted me at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa (the new flower) and capital of Ethiopia.

As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Ethiopia from the 1970s, I have seen many changes on recent visits. The most striking change on this visit was the express/tollway from Addis Ababa to Adama.  As we approached Adama we were met by a wind farm of 50 to 100 wind turbines, which supplies this region with much needed electrical power.

I immediately was escorted to the Adama Science and Technology University where I was greeted by Tagel Aboneh, Director of Libraries, who gave a presentation and overview of the libraries. In attendance was Vice President Lemi Guta who was very helpful with further explanations.

Universities in Ethiopia have specific areas of specialization and students who pass the national exam enter the appropriate program, even though the university may not be located within their region. ASTU, as the name indicates focuses on science and technology.

On Saturday, I visited three public libraries in the city, donated several children’s books including a copy of a book in Afaan Oromo, which I printed from the African Storybook Project (http://www.africanstorybook.org/) and holds a Creative Commons license.  I also presented the librarians a thumb drive that included 12 stories in Afaan Oromo and 12 stories in Amharic to either be printed or shown on a computer.

Finally, I met with library staff on Monday to determine next steps for the library committees.

The following photos will serve to illustrate the next steps in our discovery process.

An Adama City welcome: including Jeglalo Guye, Dr. Shimelis Assefa, and Abigail

An Adama City welcome: including Jeglalo Guye, Dr. Shimelis Assefa, and Abigail

 

 

Tagel Aboneh, Director of Libraries

Tagel Aboneh, Director of Libraries

Vice President Lemi Guta attended the presentation and provided valuable information

Vice President Lemi Guta attended the presentation and provided valuable information

Tagel Aboneh

Tagel Aboneh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was greeted at the airport by Dr. Shimelis Assefa, Associate Professor at the University of Denver, who is completing a sabbatical project at the Adama Science and Technology University and by Jeglalo Guye, Executive Director of Adama Sister City International.  We immediately drove to Adama using a newly built super highway/toll road to Adama for a prearranged visit to the ASTU libraries and a presentation by the Library Director Tagel Aboneh.  Seated in the audience was ASTU Vice President Dr. Lemi Guta, who was showing both his support for the libraries and his great appreciation for their work.

Tagel gave a noteworthy presentation on the current state on the six libraries on campus, including defining the mission of excellence and to become the leading library in science and technology as a 2025 goal, a goal which I believe they will achieve.  The ASTU library system has 65,000 books, 14,795 photocopies of books, and 25,000 ebooks.   The libraries can hold approximately 1500 students at a given time.  It should be noted that the spring session just ended and most students are on break, otherwise the seats would have been filled with students.

Throughout Ethiopia, universities typically have a room or area that is designated female only.  ASTU is different in that it has an entire library that is designated female only.  With 24/7 access to all library buildings, this is done for the female students’ safety in mind.  The female-only library is located near the women’s dormitory.

Tagel oversees approximately 250 total staff who maintain three shifts to cover the 24/7 access.  These include employees with diplomas, first degrees (Bachelors) and second degrees (Masters).

Like 90% of the university libraries in Ethiopia, ASTU runs its online catalog using Koha open source software.

The institutional repository utilizes D-Space.

They receive great support from KOICA, (Korean-sponsorship) and plan to digitize 10,000 in high demand book titles utilizing 20 scanners of varying levels of robustness.

He has a proposal to the Vice President for Administration to implement a fully electronic library and 200 additional computers.

Challenges faced are similar to those worldwide:

Capacity building

Advanced technical training

Lack of RFID microchip

Resource & experience sharing

Community service project with local libraries

 

The circulation desk

The circulation desk

Newspaper area

Newspaper area

Newspapers in local languages

Newspapers in local languages

 

 

 

 

 

Computer room

Computer room

Computer room

Computer room

The stacks

The stacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atrium

Atrium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In visiting the primary library we were shown the circulation area, newspapers in local languages and in English, the general stacks and the computer areas.  Dr. Lemi also informed me that they are investigating a plan to equip 300 high performing scholars with laptops to aid in their instruction.  There are approximately 9700 total students, 30% female and 70% male.  They are actively recruiting female students to the school for this upcoming year.

Final group shot in front of the library

Final group shot in front of the ASTU library

 

Youth Center Library # 1

 

Initial greetings with Youth Center Manager # 1 Gizaw Alemu and Abebe Yifru Library staff member

Initial greetings with Youth Center Manager # 1 Gizaw Alemu and Abebe Yifru Library staff member

On Saturday, I was greeted by the library staff of all three of the Youth Center libraries at Youth Center Library #1.  The libraries are under the direction of the Youth Center and are situated in the same building as the recreation center, allowing children and students to avail themselves of both.  I was initially confused because I saw photos of the library when the Aurora Mayor and his contingent had visited.  This didn’t look like the same building as in the picture, but it was.  The main difference was the removal of wooden shelving and the replacement of much sturdier metal shelving with the books neatly in place.

Daily attendance records

Daily attendance records

IDs

IDs

 

 

 

 

 

The library staff tracks attendance and Youth Center Library #1 usually sees approximately 300 student on average per day.  Students drop their IDs in the box upon entrance.  Similar to other libraries that I have visited, there is an abundance of textbooks and very few reference books of note.  Also missing were any types of books for young children.  Aurora Sister Cities International has shipped a container of books to Adama, but it is being held up in Djibouti, a not so uncommon experience.

 

Jeglalo with Yomi Abeje, Youth Center Sport Office, Youth Center Coordinator

Jeglalo with Yomi Abeje, Youth Center Sport Office, Youth Center Coordinator

Reading room

Reading room

Abebe, Gizaw, Janet, and Yomi

Abebe, Gizaw, Janet, and Yomi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reading room is spacious, especially now when school is not in session.  The library staff did state that it is frequently full as students look for a quiet place to read and study.  There is ample natural light, but no signs of technology.

 

P1020057P1020060resizedP1020067

 

 

 

 

An Ethiopian-American author found me on the internet seeking advice on children’s publishing.  He published Zonni’s Manners on Amazon as an ebook and just a couple weeks prior to my trip announced that it was available in print.  I purchased a few copies and promised that I would take some photos of children reading his book.  I also downloaded books from the African Storybook Project and printed one copy in Afaan Oromo and one copy in Amharic for demonstration purposes.  I left this copy in Afaan Oromo as well as a flash drive with 12 titles in each language.

Janet presents books to Gizaw Alemu

Janet presents books to Gizaw Alemu

P1020090

Janet presents book bag to Yomi Abeje Youth Center Coordinator

Group shot outside # 1 with Library staff member, Abebe and Library manager, Gizaw

Group shot outside # 1 with Library staff member, Abebe and Library manager, Gizaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon the recommendation of Jeglalo, I gave all of the books that I had for Adama to Youth Center Library #1.  It is the larger of the three libraries and the one more likely to have children.  Definitely more books are needed in the future.

 

 

 

Youth Center Library #2

Youth Center Library # 2 Manager, Jamal Tuke

Youth Center Library # 2 Manager, Jamal Tuke

Local language collection

Local language collection

Group shot with Jamal Tuke

Group shot with Jamal Tuke

 

 

 

 

 

Jamal Tuke with Janet in front of Library # 2

Jamal Tuke with Janet in front of Library # 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The strength of Youth Center Library #2 is its local language collection, both in Amharic and in Oromo. One could also say that about its Library Manager, Jamal Tuke, who brings eighteen years of experience to his position.  High school and University students come to this library to take advantage of the local language materials.

 

Youth Center Library #3

Group shot in front of a table filled with health-related brochures

Group shot in front of a table filled with health-related brochures

Adil Ahmed describes the health related pamphlets

Adil Ahmed describes the health related pamphlets

Adil Ahmen with Yirgalem Mekonnen

Adil Ahmen with Yirgalem Mekonnen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet access

Internet access

Health related posters and pamphlets

Health related posters and pamphlets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth Center Library #3 holds a substantial health care focus with pamphlets, posters and other materials providing a wealth of information about preventative care for healthy well being.  It also boasts free, but limited Internet Access for interested parties to search for further health care information.

 

 

The final wrap-up

The final wrap-up

 

Everyone came together on Monday from Youth Center Libraries 1, 2, 3 as well as representatives from Tourism and Culture, which has a few libraries of its own.

The group articulated their major challenges and concerns clearly and fervently.  There was no expectation that the issues would be solved, but clearly appreciation that they had a voice.  After describing the services that they are capable of providing, they voiced some frustration that they could not serve to the best of their ability because of many challenges:  shortage of reference materials, no children’s books, inability to provide customer services at the level that they desired.  The materials that they did have were dated.  The size of their facilities was inadequate for the population that they served.  They lacked technology, even basic computers and internet.  The budget provided for salaries (they did not complain about salaries, but I am sure they are minimal) but did say that they were short staffed.  The budget provided for little else.  All services must be provided free of charge, so there is no provision to recoup expenses by charging for internet, for instance.  Overall they have had no training and would greatly appreciate training to improve their skills.  The libraries themselves are not attractive (although the new shelving in library # 1 greatly approved its appearance).  There is inadequate lighting for studying.  Some facilities lacked sufficient toilets.

In our discussion, we agreed that we are starting positively by having public libraries and that the next step is to make improvements.  Jeglalo is charged with voicing their concerns to the mayor by giving a report of activities.  He will also meet with Tagel at the University Library to arrange for the training that the library has so generously offered.  When the Mayors of Aurora and Adama met, they spoke of a new library in the new industrial complex that will be developed over the next decade.  I will return to Aurora Sister Cities and share their concerns and see what ASCI might be able to do.  We discussed the possibility of first language publishing and Jeglalo would see if there are funds to print the remaining African Storybook Project books.  We departed on a high note with hope for the future.

 

 

Rural Kenya: Baitigitu Primary School

Welcome! Karibu!

Welcome! Karibu!

Welcome! Karibu!

 

Rural Kenya: Baitigitu Primary School

by Janet Lee, Regis University

I was invited to join colleague, M.D. Kinoti, Associate Professor in the Masters in Nonprofit Management program at Regis University, to join him and his family for a trek to Kenya. One of his enticements was the opportunity to meet his mother.  Joining us would be Roberta Bourn a member of a local Rotary Club, and her grandson Chris.  We would each carry a 50 pound suitcase of medical supplies furnished by Project Cure, located in Denver.  Kinoti grew up in rural Meru Kenya, where he attended primary and secondary school.  Upon graduation from high school, he attended and graduated from Moi University in Nairobi where he met his future wife, Victoria.  After working for several years, he took his family, now including son Timothy, to California to attend Fuller Seminary where he went on to earn two masters degrees and a PhD.

As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Ethiopia, I longed to return to this part of the world and the opportunity to explore rural schools and especially rural libraries. By planning carefully, I would also be able to hop on over to Ethiopia on my return.  In preparation for the trip, Kinoti and I Skyped with an organization called Worldreader, which utilizes Kindles as a delivery method of distributing books.  Worldreader began its program in Ghana and is now in Kenya.  Although we hoped to visit a school that had a program, ultimately we made do with meeting a rep on the last evening.

It would not be possible to visit Kenya for the first time and not go on safari. This was my second visit to Kenya and my third opportunity to go on safari in East Africa, but there is still a thrill to see animals in their natural habitat.  We saw three of the Big Five the first evening and repeat sightings of many different animals on the second day.

The universities in Nairobi have modern libraries complete with databases and other resources, but the main point of the trip was to visit schools in rural Meru, Kinoti’s ancestral home. Over the course of several days we visited a tea plantation, met with local Rotary Club members, met with local farmers who belonged to a farming co-op, and three schools:  Kaubau Primary school, Uruku Girls School, and Baitigitu Primary School, Kinoti’s school when he was a boy.

In this posting, I will focus on Baitigitu Primary School. All three schools mentioned had many similar challenges:  inadequate toilet facilities, insufficient number of textbooks for students, and lack of water.  Kaubau had a library, but it had not been maintained and in fact the books were disintegrating from lack of care.  Uruku Girls School was a boarding school, typical for rural secondary schools in Kenya, did not have a library and had a more pressing need for a dining facility and improved kitchen.  One set of pit latrines had collapsed and more latrines were needed.  The dormitories were built of stone with the interior walls exposed.  In time, it would be aesthetically pleasing to have the walls finished, but for now the dormitories appeared solid and functional.

Through photos I will include the reader on my journey.

Baitigitu Primary School

Baitigitu Primary School

Computer Room

Computer Room

Two of six computer donations

Two of six computer donations

 

 

 

 

 

Baitigitu Primary School is about 15 kilometers on a very bumpy road outside the town of Nkubu. The red dust was on everything, including the tall banana trees aligning the road.  One wonders how they survive with such a heavy coating.  We were welcomed by the children and the Assistant Headmaster, Mwende, who immediately escorted us to the computer room.  Over time, different organizations have contributed computers and expertise.  Most of the computers in this room were still functional.  Through the generosity of others, Kinoti presented Mwende with six computers, which had been cleaned and loaded with up to date software.  A high school student from the neighborhood was utilizing one of the computers.

 

One of many handwashing stations

One of many handwashing stations

 

Storage tank for rain water

Storage tank for rain water

 

 

 

 

 

Water, toilet facilities, and sanitation are huge needs in Africa.  Especially important is the ability to wash hands frequently.  Baitigitu had many handwashing stations spread over the compound within easy reach of the children.  It is Kenya’s winter and many of the children were coughing, whether it was from illness or the persistent dust might be debatable.  I know I was personally affected by the dust and coughed frequently.  During Kinoti’s last visit, he suggested that they capture and store rainfall from the roof and use it for irrigating the nearby garden.  He was gratified that they took his advice.

The Library

The Library

The Reading Room

The Reading Room

Closed stacks

Closed stacks

 

 

 

 

Baitigitu had a small but well maintained library, with a collection of about 500-1000 books.  It was organized by a 3rd grade student from Dallas, Joy Kendi Muchai, the daughter of a Kenyan doctor, who was also a graduate of the school. She had asked about their options for reading books and when she discovered they had none, took it upon herself to fundraise and collect books.  It does have closed stacks, but there are sturdy tables in the reading room to read the books that are fetched for them by staff.

 

Janet and Kinoti in the Library

Janet and Kinoti in the Library

Books

Books

Janet in the stacks

Janet in the stacks

 

 

 

 

 

The shelving in the library was also sturdy with ample space for growth.  The books were organized by general categories, similar to what might be found in a bookstore, and reflected the curriculum.  The shelf for dictionaries was visibly empty.  One of our future projects might be to put together a reading list of relevant books, and purchase them through an entity like Better World Books, which ships to Africa for free.

 

New soccer ball

New soccer ball

P1010781

Feeding program

Special Ed

Special Ed

 

 

 

 

The students, girls included, were quick to take advantage of the new soccer ball.  Since it was lunch time, many students availed themselves of a lunch of maize and beans that was served nearby.  Special needs students had their own classroom, expertly taught by a teacher.  She is working with them to develop skills such as jewelry making, but is having difficulty finding a market for the items.  Perhaps, this could be a project by the local Rotary club.  Much of her focus on students is to teach them survival skills because they are frequently taken advantage of by others.

Farewell assembly

Farewell assembly

Kinoti and son Wega speak to the assembly

Kinoti and son Wega speak to the assembly

Kinoti's wife Victoria describes her journey from Kenya to teaching in the US

Kinoti’s wife Victoria describes her journey from Kenya to teaching in the US

 

 

 

 

 

 

At both primary schools, we were met by an assembly of students as we departed.  Kinoti, his son Wega, and Kinoti’s wife Victoria spoke to the assembly encouraging them to study hard, stay in school, and dream for the future.  It was especially relevant since this was Kinoti’s home school.

 

Distributing pencils and a soccer ball

Distributing pencils and a soccer ball

Presenting books

Presenting books

Presenting books to student body president

Presenting books to student body president

More books

More books

Student body president with all of the loot

Student body president with all of the loot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the soccer ball, we presented the school pencils and pens furnished by the Westminster (CO) Rotary, and a number of African-themed books, including two specifically about Kenya.  The special ed teacher received the large, colorful book bag.

 

P1010868

Kinoti takes a seat at a desk in his former classroom

At the end, Kinoti visited his seventh grade classroom, now serving one of the lower grades.  It may have been nostalgic for him, but it was an inspiration for the students.  Although this desk seems full of books, most students share their basic texts on up to a 5 to 1 ratio.  There is still much work to be done.

 

Final goodbye

Final goodbye

As we departed, we took a look at the adjoining greenhouse, this one actually functional and growing a variety of plants.  Kinoti took the opportunity to plant one more tree, an avocado, for the future.

It was good to be back in Africa, to visit a school similar to one in which I taught so many years ago.  Now on to Ethiopia!

 

Presenting at La Salle University/Universidad La Salle in Mexico City

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Tacos and enchiladas – yes, food, that’s what we all think about when we think of México. But, there is so much more to that beautiful country including great institutions of learning and libraries.

13600222_744007409072989_8591516719985841149_nLike for example, La Salle University where library personnel are doing an amazing job serving the information needs of their students and faculty.

 

 

13606858_744006279073102_3802741727002554674_nRecently they invited Jimena Sagàs (Colorado State University) and Rita Puig (Regis University) to visit and present to their librarians. The presentation was attended by librarians from three institutions, including UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico).

 

13659144_744005769073153_3407112069166533412_nThe core message that Jimena and Rita tried to express was that of the academic library as a pillar of the university and an agent for social justice. A vibrant discussion followed the presentation resulting in an authentic exchange of ideas and best practices.

 

Some ideas were explored for continued collaboration with our colleagues in La Salle. It is certain that this is the beginning of a valuable international partnership.

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While in Mexico City, Jimena and Rita stayed in the famous neighborhood of Coyoacán. In addition to boasting as the residence of Frida Kahlo, Coyoacán is also well known for its culinary delights. Therefore, there was no way they could return to the United States before treating their taste buds to deliciously authentic tacos and enchiladas.

Nancy Bolt receives 2016 John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award

Nancy Bolt

Nancy Bolt

CHICAGO — Nancy Bolt has been named the 2016 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) International Relations Committee’s John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award, given to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. The award consists of a prize of $1,000 and a certificate to be presented at the International Librarians Reception on Monday, June 27, at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. OCLC/Forest Press donated the cash award.

The ALA IRC Humphry Award Subcommittee recognized Bolt’s “undaunted passion” in making its selection, noting that her “work with local, national and international audiences has been significant and she has made a great contribution to the field of librarianship and international cooperation.” Currently president of the library consulting firm Nancy Bolt & Associates, her professional career has included stints with the Colorado State Library, the Maryland Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In 1996, Bolt, then assistant commissioner of education for libraries for the Colorado State Library, hosted Iska Mahailova, from the Bulgarian National Library, as part of an ALA Fellows Program. The visit launched a partnership between two countries that has continued to the present. After coordinating a series of library visits and lecture tours in Bulgaria, Bolt founded the Bulgaria/Colorado Library Partnership Project, which at its height paired 29 libraries in Colorado, Iowa and Maryland with counterparts in Bulgaria. Several of these partnerships remain active, including those between the Aurora Public Library (CO) and a library in Silestra, Bulgaria, and between the Eagle (CO) Library District and a library in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. Funding from the project gave librarians from Bulgaria the opportunity to visit the U.S. and attend a major library conference.

This next stage of this partnership involved the creation of the American/Bulgarian Library Exchange (ABLE), which aimed, in part, to help Bulgarian libraries establish community information centers and encourage Bulgarian government and community leaders to increase their support of libraries. A major outcome of the project was a $300,000 U.S. Department of State grant to facilitate travel by U.S. and Bulgarian librarians and train librarians in Bulgaria.

In 2012, Bolt and a group of fellow members of the Colorado Association of Libraries began working to establish the International Library Cultural Exchange Interest Group within the CAL. Since that time, the interest group has established a grant and an award, received official Interest Group status from the CAL board, presented at the annual conferences of CAL and ALA, produced a brochure and newsletter, and hosted three international receptions at the annual CAL conference.  The interest group has also worked to establish Sister City partnerships and launch the first CAL-sponsored international library tour.

As adjunct professor at Emporia State University (Kansas) School of Library and Information Management, Bolt conducted the 2015 course Current Issues in Global Information Infrastructure: Bulgarian Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections, which included ten-day trip to Bulgaria featuring visits to libraries and cultural sites.

Bolt has also contributed to the International Resources and Exchange (IREX ) Project, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish evaluative criteria for library computer centers in Romania and Ukraine. She is co-author of “Community Based Librarianship; A Manual and Planning Tools,” published in both English and Bulgarian. Her professional service includes serving and chairing the International Relations Committee and the International Relations Round Table, and chairing several IFLA committees, including the Strategic Planning Committee, Government Libraries Section and the IFLA Division 2 Coordinating Board.