Sierra Leone News: Kambia library needs funds to enhance reading

Kambia district librarian, Momoh Mansaray, said that facilities within the library cannot be accessed due to lack of funds. “The sad part is we have made our 2018 budget presentation without receiving anything for this year.”

Mansaray said he is finding it difficult to run the library and has made several complaints to his boss, the Chief Librarian, the Chief Administrator and the Finance Officer at the Kambia District Council.
The District, he said, needs more sensitization to increase reading habits amongst its inhabitants and most especially school pupils, who need access to knowledge.
“Kambia District is not like other areas, like Bo or Freetown, where people know the importance of reading. You don’t need to meet people to come and read. Here is different,” he said.
The library provides reading materials for children as well as researchers. “We cater for schools and we also make provision for the community.” Access to the library is free of cost.
The library is equipped with computers with access to internet. “For the time being, there hasn’t been light. The generator is in order but there are no funds to buy fuel. People make use of the books.”
When he took over the library, Mansaray said he befriended the area school principals in a bid to target pupils and get them engaged in reading and research. “We sensitize schools and communities on the importance of reading. We have been making a great impact and making sure that the library is useful,” he said.
Basically, they have at least 80 people accessing the library per day, and an even larger attendance when schools are in session.
According to UNESCO statistics, two-thirds of the world’s kids who are not learning are in school. Of the 387 million primary age children unable to read proficiently, 262 million are in a classroom. There are also about 137 million adolescents of lower secondary age who are in classrooms, but unable to meet minimum proficiency levels in reading.
The data suggests the new numbers are rooted in three common problems. Lack of access with children who are out of school, having little or no chance, to reach a minimum level of proficiency.
By Zainab Joaque
Awoko Monday, October 02, 2017.

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