Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life of the Library

Much of what we do on a daily basis right now has to do with libraries. James has been busy organizing and cleaning a library at one school, at another I'm sticking stickers on books to represent different learning areas, and at the last I'm playing chaperone to children who want to come and read the books. It's funny because neither of us really wanted to involve ourselves in library work (mostly because we didn't want to get stuck cataloguing books for two year) but it's become something we do almost everyday, and shockingly, it's rewarding.

The libary that is actually in use now is interestingly the only one that hasn't gotten donations coordinated by former volunteers but did have a lot of books donated in the past. The collection isn't that big but it's enough for most kids to find something they want to read. Kids come in and look through the books to find the perfect one to read. Interestingly, the books about HIV and AIDS are very popular as well as the one about how babies are made. Then they sit quietly or maybe in a group pouring over the words and the pictures. But the highlight of my time in the library thus far was when 4 grade 4 girls came in and decided to play school. One played teacher and picked up books to give lessons about. The others raised their hands and asked questions and repeated when she said to repeat.

Yet, the library is not always happy place. Last week, three grade 1 boys (yes, grade 1) broke into the library, grade 1 and 2 classes and wrecked havoc. I came in on Monday morning to find books all over the floor and broken glass. In the other classes, they spilled glue on the carpet and tore up notebooks. Though it was only a couple of hours till everything was put right, it still was hard to believe that these boys would want to destroy their own school and resources. Later that day, they came to see me with the other children and look at books as if they hadn't done anything wrong. And they did because really how are they going to learn to respect their school until they get to enjoy it.

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