Joanna has been with OCLF since the first small library opened on Osu Avenue in 1991. She not only runs her busy library but manages training for lay librarians, teaches literacy classes and oversees OCLF facilities. Joanna visited Canada in 2005 to volunteer with schools and literacy groups. She then travelled to Tanzania in 2007 to help set up seven libraries in rural schools. In 2010 she accepted the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award in Spain.
Joanna: “I am very excited to work in this library. Every day I watch children reading and see adults learning in our literacy classes. This puts a smile on my face.”
Hannah has been the head librarian since the library opened in 1998. She oversees a number of activities including literacy classes, a food and bathing program, and a young cultural troupe. Hannah travelled to Canada in 2001 on a cultural exchange with Canadian Crossroads International and returned with many new ideas.
Hannah: “Working in this library has been such a great inspiration for me, motivating me to give my best at all times. I am very happy to be part of this great success story.”
Sharon joined the library a few years ago and within a short time assumed a leadership role. The library is usually very busy with children crowded around tables reading while others are doing puzzles and playing games. Cultural dancing is now taking place weekly, thanks to the enthusiasm of young library members. The gardens around the library are lush with flowers and trees. Everyone is proud of the carved Winnie-the-Pooh, a friendship symbol as declared by former U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Sharon: “I really like having children around me and I love watching them playing and enjoying the books. This is the right place for me!”
Abigail has been part of our OCLF community since 1995 and was appointed head librarian when the Nungua Library opened in 2003. This is one of our largest libraries and on many days more than 300 children pass through its doors. Abigail travelled to Canada in April 2009 to share her experience with Winnipeg school children and to participate in literacy programs with Emilie Wall, a former OCLF volunteer from Manitoba.
Abigail: “I love working with children so the library provides a perfect opportunity. The children enjoy coming to read books or do puzzles and when the building is packed, we are very busy!”
Vivian’s first library was on the beach where she read to children from a basket of books. She then persuaded officials to provide an unused classroom at a local school for this purpose. OCLF opened a new library in June 2008 with strong local support. At the community’s request, the new facility was named the Kathy Knowles Community Library. Vivian is now illustrating her own book, Abena and the Corn Seed, with fabric, beads and feathers. She has already completed the textile illustrations for My Animal Book to be published in 2013.
Vivian: “I enjoy my job because I love children and I like reading too. Anytime I am with children I feel very great because I learn from them and they learn from me.”
Naomi was among the first staff members when the Centre opened in 2006 and has recently assumed the role of manager. She does her job with enthusiasm, is attentive to details and handles matters concerning various layers of government with diplomacy. Naomi lives close by and, being acutely aware of the needs of her people, she strives to make the Centre a hub for her community.
Naomi: “I never believed in libraries until I found myself there. Not only is it a quiet place to acquire knowledge, it is a place where you can improve your critical thinking. I love my job at the library.”
Matilda assumed the responsibility of OCLF’s largest library with grace and determination. The library has a study hall for senior students and a children’s section. It takes a great deal of coordination and skill to make sure that the library is always kept clean, well organized and with stimulating programs that will appeal to all age groups. In 2012, she took the initiative to introduce adult literacy classes.
Matilda: I believe I have the responsibility of making the library the citadel of academic excellence to both the young and old within the community.”