Fellow school "librarians" and others!
As a retired middle school media specialist, I am now volunteering to
set up elementary and middle school libraries two weeks each year in a
large village in coastal Ghana, West Africa.
We are finding that there is little, if any, prior knowledge on the
part of even the teachers, as to library skills and use. There is no
electricity available in the schools at the moment, but new buildings
are being constructed which are scheduled to have electricity,at least
in the libraries and potential computer labs. Hopefully there will be
computers; at the moment, the only computers are in the nearby
hospital's internet cafe, which hosts scheduled classes. We are using
the Dewey Decimal System (modified) and have a card catalog in one
school with title and author cards, as well as title cards by Dewey
Numbers (again, modified) in a separate drawer. We have color coded
the fiction books by school levels, which are guesstimates at this
point (2009 was only our third year doing this). So, my questions
1. Since we are not using subject designations for fiction books, is
it worthwhile to have title and author cards? If not, should we use
just one (title? author?) as a type of shelf list?
2. We are thinking of using the nonfiction D.D. down to the 10's
instead of just the 100's. Does this sound o.k.?
3. What are some good sources of instruction in basic library skills
that we could use with teachers who in turn could use them with
students? We are only there 2 weeks each year and do not have access
to copiers or electricity at this time. We would have to take
everything with us or send it ahead in a container. The chalkboard is
the #1 source of information for student consumption.
4. Does anyone know of an easy method for circulation? One school
does, one doesn't at the moment. Perhaps a card for each student on
which they could write the title of the book and some sort of due date
or date checked out? There are about 900 students in each school.
We rely primarily on donated books (we do have a selection policy
now) and have taught some basic cataloging to some teachers, but are
now hoping to accomplish much of that here in York, PA, where we're
based ,before we ship them over.
I would appreciate any information, shared experiences, etc. that any
of you could give. We are plowing new territory in Apam, but perhaps
there are others who have "been there and done that" who could save us
some trial and effort. Thanks in advance.
Carol Howie MLS 1978 U. of Md.
for Education Committee of Building Solid Foundations