Librarians are key to communities being able to make the most of their libraries and the books we supply. They are especially important to the experience that children have in the library. Our training helps to develop inspirational children’s librarians who bring books to life for young people. With our support, they can transform libraries into special and welcoming environments for children where young readers are guided to books which will capture their interest, develop their reading skills and where the habit of reading regularly is nurtured.
Training for children’s librarians through our Children’s Corners programme
Our Children’s Corners programme aims to create vibrant spaces for children in African public libraries where children can discover books and begin to read. In each Children’s Corner we provide 2,500 brand new, carefully-selected books in English and a grant to purchase locally-published titles as well as a small grant for the refurbishment of the library space to make it appealing to young children.
In addition, we also provide two three-day training courses for two librarians from each Children’s Corner to help them to engage and inspire young readers. These training sessions not only equip librarians with the knowledge and skills to ensure young people can make the most of their Children’s Corner but also provide an opportunity for librarians to share their experiences and good practice across the African continent.
The training for Open Doors includes modules on:
- Creating a vibrant library space
- Outreach in the community
- Reading promotion
Training for librarians and teachers through the Inspiring Readers programme
Our Inspiring Readers programme seeks to improve the reading opportunities for 250,000 African primary school children by providing Book Box Libraries for use in the classroom. The model works by using the local Children’s Corner (established through the Open Doors programme) as a hub for up to 10 local schools. This means children have access to books both in school and in their library. As well as 1,250 books for each of the 300 schools and a grant to purchase locally-published titles, Inspiring Readers also includes training for the local ‘hub’ librarian in how to work with and engage schools in the programme and training (run by the hub librarians) for two teachers and a headteacher from each school.
The Inspiring Readers training for hub librarians includes:
- Being an inspiring facilitator
- Outreach programmes for schools
- Monitoring and evaluation
The Inspiring Readers training for teachers includes:
- Organising a Book Box Library
- Running reading activities for children
- Data capture and monitoring.
We also run teacher training as part of our ‘School Library in a Box’ project which takes place in mainland Tanzania and the Zanzibar Archipelago and for health workers as part of our ‘Books for better health’ project with four Regional Referral Hospitals in Uganda. Our Digital Futures project, which takes place in Uganda also includes a training element so librarians can help children to get to grips with the new technology.