Archive for September, 2009

In a New York Times article published yesterday, African children demand “Give us libraries and librarians.”
And it’s so sad —  You would never hear a child in the United States, Canada, the EU demanding information and education this way.

Even where there are libraries, very few countries (outside of South Africa) have started looking at library infrastructure  and knowledge management, said Kimbo Mchombu, a professor at the University of Namibia. Because of this African countries  are falling behind in building online libraries and digital archives.

I would hate to be the one on the management chopping block to say no to libraries for these kids:

The marchers in Cape Town, who numbered in the thousands. The marchers echoed a children's uprising against apartheid in 1976.  NYT/ Pieter Bauermeister

The marchers in Cape Town, who numbered in the thousands. The marchers echoed a children's uprising against apartheid in 1976. NYT/ Pieter Bauermeister


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I first learned about innovative bookmobile projects  in The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton. Well, that isn’t all!

The “Biblioburro” is a traveling library run by school teacher Luis Soriano  – distributing books to rural Colombia from the backs of two donkeys, Alfa and Beto. Soriano has been doing this for 10 years and has received of publicity around world including an article in the NYTimes. Here he has come out with an innovative video! (Thanks to the Bilingual Librarian for posting this.)

It’s unforgettable how he rides down the road on the back of his burro to the shouts and excitement of children following him. He tells the children about the books “…here they are. You can take them.”

(The video from World Focus, created by Ayoka Productions.)

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WARA is accepting applications for WARC Library Fellow for the summer of 2010. This program is designed to encourage the next generation of Africana librarians and to assist in capacity building at the library of the West African Research Center (WARC)in Dakar, Senegal.

The WARC Library Fellow will work with the WARC librarian on electronic cataloguing and use of electronic research databases and should have well developed skills in these areas. Preference will be given to those who are fluent in or have a working knowledge of French.

This internship will provide round trip travel to Dakar and a stipend of $1500 to cover the cost of living for 6 to 8 weeks. This competition is open to US citizens who are enrolled in a graduate program in Library Science and who plan to pursue careers as
Africana librarians. Priority will be given to those enrolled in graduate programs at HBCUs and to those who completed their undergraduate studies at an HBCU.

Applicants should submit a statement of not more than six double-spaced pages describing their career plan and how this internship would contribute to their professional development. This should indicate particular areas of interest and expertise as well as describing personal and professional goals for the internship.

A complete application must include the following:
· A WARA grant application cover sheet (downloadable from website)
· A statement (6 double -spaced pages maximum, described above)
· Three (3) letters of reference from professors
· Resumé
· Both undergraduate and graduate transcripts (copies of official ones are acceptable)

An excellent source of suggestions for preparing your application can be found on the SSRC website at http://fellowships.ssrc.org/art_of_writing_proposals/

Complete applications will consist of one original and three copies of all materials (4 sets total) except letters of reference. Letters should be included in the application packet in envelopes sealed and signed by the referee.

Letters of reference sent separately will not be considered.


Upon completion of their internships, grantees are required to submit a detailed report of their work and findings. This report will subsequently be published in the biannual WARA newsletter. Please direct inquiries and submit applications to:

African Studies Center,
Boston University
270 Bay State Road
Boston MA 02215
Tel: 617-353-8902
Fax: 617-353-4975
Email: wara@bu.edu

(Thanks to IREX Global Libraries for this info.)

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