I'm a teacher librarian & recently started a community based blog for getting boys to read - http://GettingBoysToRead.com. Please send me a friend request if you'd like to network, share ideas, and learn more about getting boys to read.
first of all thank u for addingme as a friend and am glade to be also yr friend , i think the libraries in Rwanda face the same things which we face here in the Occupied Palestinian Territories , so here what i did the first step .
Palestinian Libraries have suffered tremendously during the past 30 years of the Israeli Occupation to the West-Bank & Gaza Strip. Most of these libraries operated under very difficult circumstances and a very limited facilitates and budgets. Thus most of theses libraries lack resources and facilities, consequently are unable to meet the needs of people.
The Palestinian Ministry of Culture (MOC) was established in 1994 pursuant to the Palestinian Self Government Agreement according to OSLO Agreement signed in Washington on 13/09/1993.
One of the aims From the first moment to the MOC was to develop the already existing libraries & establish new ones among sustainable & viable lines , it is essential to access to data. Therefore , to obtain the required data the Palestinian Ministry of Culture proposed to conduct a survey of all libraries in Palestine.
The proposed project was carried out by a group of Palestinian librarians, who took the direct supervision & coordination of the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the British Council in Jerusalem. “Library Directorate which was for more than 5 years from one person who’s now the Head of the Directorate thats me "
The survey covered all libraries serving the Public such as schools, university, municipal & institutional libraries. The survey aimed to study the conditions governing the work of these libraries & learn more about what is existing, & to come out with a strategy to the Directorate for the development of library services in Palestine. The study focused on several aspects such as filing, documentation, lending & funding procedure, which aims among other things the sharing of these available resources between these libraries, also it covered equipment, hardware & software as well as the expansion & development procedure.
1. The study provided a database for :
• The Ministry of Culture to use when planning for establishment of the National library, libraries in cultural centers & mobile libraries.
• The Ministry of Education to utilize when working on the development of school libraries.
• Data for the Municipalities & civic councils.
• Data for the librarians, researchers & other concerned organizations & individuals.
2. Provided information about the libraries in Palestine for:
• University students & researchers.
• Writers, journalists & literary people.
3. Provided detailed information about the existing libraries in the West-Bank & Gaza strip, their needs & the obstacles impending their growth, problems & weakness facing libraries all over the country & suggest solutions with work plans.
The study showed very serious problems the most important of which were:
• Poor collections of library resources ,the collection of books & periodicals were the weakest points in the libraries, the lack of new additions during the Israeli Occupation years to the West_ Bank & Gaza strip has meant that much of the book stocks is old & out of date . Since then it has not been possible to repair the damage or to begin to acquire an adequate number of new books & there are main reasons for this , lack of money , difficulties with supply , lack of locally –published materials , especially children’s books & the high coast of books .
• Lack of professionally qualified staff & unavailability of training in library & information skills. The study shows that only 7per cent of those surveyed had an academic qualification & that only 28 per cent had attended training courses in librarianship & information work, this lack imposes a major constraint on future development of libraries & information services in the country .
• Undeveloped IT system & almost non- existence of using IT in information centers.
• Lack of trained personnel in IT.
After publishing the study to palliate this weakness the Directorate designed a project of Developing 60 children libraries (the project included renovation, equipping, buying books, educational toys & training). The project was funded by the Swiss Government & SIDA and is now successfully implemented.
The Directorate success in all the 60 libraries engorged a lot of partners to be involved in continuing the project & in developing more libraries now we have 12 new libraries which we developed & another new 3 libraries which are funded by the CHF to be developed, so we have now 75 libraries & our goal now to reach the number of 100 libraries at the end of 2005.
The project also engorged developing children’s literature through establishing children’s books Resource Center, The establishment of the Children’s Resource center in
coordination with the Ministry of Culture as part of its national plan for developing children’s literature, has facilitated the opportunity to work with 72 community- based libraries distributed throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In order to attract children and encourage them to frequent the library, special activities like story- telling, drama, drawing, creative writing, handicraft, music... etc. are conducted on a regular basis. The library also provides the opportunity for local society to participate in its activities. Establishing a network among the sixty children’s libraries, developing librarians’ skills through training courses, and providing the opportunity for local society to participate in supporting the library. The idea of the network resides in getting the libraries involved in joint activities for the purpose of developing common grounds on how to deal with children. This has been partially achieved through the various visits and meetings among librarians, in which they exchanged ideas on types of activities and shared personal experiences. The project needs more effort in the coming period to reinforce group work among libraries and to lay the basis for the libraries’ network. Furthermore, librarians have been trained to use the Dewey decimal classification System, which has been adopted, by all libraries. They were also taught how to conduct workshops for local society so as to form a committee of parents to support the library. Around 120 librarians have benefited from this training program.
The Directorate also focused to support libraries which serves the disabled people (blind people)
Spring of 2002 was a horrible time for the Palestinian Libraries, Archives, and Other cultural institutions & even for the Ministry of Culture( which was occupied for more than 135 day by the Israeli Army who destroyed everything in the Ministry : Archive , files , furniture , equipments , hard disks were taken by the Israeli Army from all the computers ) a lot of libraries were destroyed during the re-occupation to the west bank & Gaza strip . The Ministry put an emergency plan to recover all the damage in the ministry & for all the cultural sectors .