Libraries (built within the Greater Accra Region, Ghana)
Kathy Knowles Community Library, Accra (1992)
OCLF’s first permanent library is a converted 40-foot shipping container. Programs include storytimes, literacy classes, computer instruction, arts and crafts, cultural dancing and lay librarian training. The library is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 – 5:00 and Saturday until noon. OCLF books are for sale there. Contact Joanna Felih at 027 745 2380 or moc.oohaynull@jhilef for inquiries.
My First Day at the Library by Foster Dankwa
Directions: The library is on Second Avenue in Ridge, 50 metres from the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence.
Nima Maamobi Gale Community Library, Accra (1998)
The Nima Library offers literacy classes and numerous outreach activities, including regular storytimes and a daily food program. The library is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 - 5:00.
Directions: The library is located on Kanda Highway. Coming from Ring Road, it is just beyond the last traffic light before Gold House Junction. Look for the Canadian and Ghanaian flags. There is a parking lot immediately before the library.
Mamprobi Gale Community Library, Accra (2001)
The library, adjacent to a large school compound, is one of OCLF’s busiest. It is known for their beautiful garden which features a Ghanaian-carved statue of Winnie-the-Pooh! The library is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 – 5:00.
Nungua Community Library, Accra (2003)
The library overlooks the ocean and can accommodate 300 members at any one time. Dancing and drama are popular and a daily food program meets individual needs. The library is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 – 5:00.
Nima Maamobi Community Learning Centre, Accra (2006)
The Centre accommodates 200 in the upstairs reading hall and 250 in the lower multipurpose room/theatre. Evening literacy classes and a full scale theatrical and dancing troupe make this an exciting community hub. Workshops addressing community needs are arranged throughout the year. The Centre is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 – 9:00.
Directions: Take the Tema Motorway and continue on the Aflao Road towards Togo. About 30 minutes after the Tema Roundabout, you reach the Sege intersection with a green signboard indicating Goi. Turn right and follow the road until you reach the sea and then turn left. Continue until you reach the village of Goi.
Accra College of Education Community Library, Accra (2011)
This library lies within the compound of the Accra College of Education on the outskirts of Accra near Madina. The upstairs reading and reference hall accommodates 200 and is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 -9:00 and Saturday until 5:00. The lower level accommodates 100 children and is open Monday - Saturday from 9:00 – 5:00.
Directions: The library is on the IPS [Institute of Professional Studies] Road. Its compound was formerly known as ATRACO. Most taxi drivers know both landmarks.
Libraries (outside the Greater Accra Region, Ghana)
Library at the School for the Blind, Akropong (2000)
The library room attracts many of the school’s 280 students with its excellent supply of Braille books and tactile educational toys. The library opens according to the school year’s timetable.
Directions: Take the road to Aburi Gardens and continue until you reach Akropong. The signboard for the School for the Blind will be on your left.
St. Cecilia School Library, Ho (2004)
The library started in an unused classroom under the leadership of Mawunyo Klu, their hardworking librarian. A new freestanding library is almost complete. The school matched OCLF monies to fund construction costs, and a grant from Manitoba Council of International Cooperation provided partial assistance.
Directions: Drive to Ho and ask of the school.
Libraries (supported outside Ghana)
Marondera Children’s Library, Zimbabwe
Kathy Knowles met head librarian Patricia Matira at the Zimbabwean International Book Fair in 2002. Patricia invited Kathy to visit her library, and this began a long-standing friendship and partnership. Patricia visited Ghana in 2012 to see OCLF libraries and to share ideas from her many years of experience.
OCLF has worked in partnership with Friends of African Village Libraries [FAVL] for many years. This has included visits to Burkina Faso, sharing of ideas and joint publications in local languages. Kathy Knowles visited in 2006 and 2010. During her most recent visit she showed library staff how to make beaded bracelets and necklaces using magazines, glue and thread.
OCLF, in partnership with the Robin Hurt Wildlife Foundation, ran library workshops for 14 schools in 2007 and 2010. OCLF is now funding the construction of the Arkatan library, a pilot project in a Maasai community near Arusha, with local citizens contributing 20% of the cost.
Arkatan community members remove building materials from the truck.
Land is pegged out in anticipation for construction to begin!
The trusses are in place and the library will be roofed soon. Kathy Knowles and librarian Vivian Amanor from Goi will be visiting in September. Vivian will remain for three weeks to mentor the new librarian.
The library is nearing completion! Vivian Amanor, a librarian from Ghana, stands with students from Arkatan School and Wesley Kaleshu, an officer for the Robin Hurt Wildlife Foundation, OCLF’s project partner.
Following the 2001 Reader’s Digest story about OCLF, Sr. Natividad Parin, a nun from the Philippines, wrote, “I’m sure your labour of love, the Gift of Literacy, can cross the deep ocean to reach our shore… the article has kindled hope to start a reading centre.” Soon after, this dream was realized. OCLF has provided book donations and ongoing encouragement.