Sharing the Joy of Reading with an African Child
for 25 years

Director’s Newsletter

July 25, 2013

Dear Friends,

Kathy and Bright, foreman for the new library project

This was another event-filled trip with as many library visits as could be squeezed in.  My dear friend and colleague Deborah Cowley, who has accompanied me to Ghana for almost all of my last 15 trips, was unable to join me this time, and I missed her attentiveness to keeping me organized and for taking care of money matters – not an easy task given the large volume of transactions there are in a given day.

The biggest task was to follow through with a myriad of details for the new Korle Gonno Community Library project. The library’s construction is a flurry of activity on most days with carpenters working to make window frames, masons building walls, electricians fixing their wiring and the list continues. The team under the guidance of contractor Kojo Maclean is progressing well.

I spent a day combing the streets of Accra to find what tiles were “in the system” with Raymond, our dear and competent tiler, who has completed the tile works for all our libraries since 1998. Over the years we have developed a special relationship and I know he wants the library to look as beautiful as possible. The next task was to rush around and buy all the tiles before they vanished plus to order all the terra cotta floor tiles from a local producer.

It was enjoyable to accompany literacy students from two different libraries on their excursions. One group went to a

Authors proudly holding copies of From the Blue Gate

glass bead factory just outside Accra and another watched a film featuring a women’s football team in Iran. These trips give them the opportunity to broaden their horizons, to see other places, and to socialize with each other.

We held a book launch at two libraries for From the Blue Gate, an anthology of short stories written by our own library members and generously compiled by Theresa Morrow, a former volunteer from Seattle.  The children were thrilled to see their own stories in print.  They  took great pride reading their stories aloud to their fellow library friends.

We celebrated Richard Tefe’s 10th year with the Kathy Knowles Community Library. The children each wrote notes of congratulation and presented them to him at an afternoon party. He was also given a monetary gift from OCLF to express our appreciation for his years of dedicated service. Richard is one of many now who have surpassed their 10 years of employment. When I asked him if he enjoys his work, he replied, “Fantastic, fantastic!”

Performers following the show!

I saw a three-hour show with dancing and drama at the Nima Centre thanks to Martin Adjei Legend, our talented theatre director, who continually amazes me with his leadership skills. On stage I noticed several new members exhibit their talents along with those who have taken part since the Centre’s opening in 2006.

During my stay, I spoke with many library members who first attended as children and who are now at university with dreams of a bright future. I was told that Richard Dzikushie, one of the six children who came to the library at the age of four, when it was held under a tree in our garden in 1990, is now studying law.  It is exciting to be part of their lifelong journey!

Yours sincerely,

Kathy Knowles

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