For many rural children in Ghana, a community library seems like a far away dream. However, a mobile library is giving rural children access to books and computer lessons by delivering them right to their school.
The children and youth are excited to get inside the mobile library and anxiously wait in line for their turn. When they get inside, they will have access to books ranging in subjects like mathematics, literature and student government.
Nana, a 20-year-old student at the secondary schools, wants to be a nurse when she finishes school and borrowed ‘Sexually Transmitted Diseases” to aid in her education and inform herself.
“I took it because I want to be a nurse and know more about sexually transmitted diseases, says Nana. “At this time in Ghana, sexually transmitted diseases are becoming more common so I want to know how to prevent myself from getting these kind of diseases.”
14-year-old Marie took a book on fairytales because she thinks the stories teach her how to be humble and will help improve her English.
When the mobile library arrives in the rural communities, it visits all the schools in the area, including kindergarten, primary and secondary. It only visits schools without a community library.
For many children here, stepping inside the mobile library was their first time in any library.
“At times, this is [the children’s] first time holding a library book. Some of them have not even thought about reading a storybook,” says Ben Koranteng, one of the librarians that travel around with the mobile libraries to the small communities.
“They have heard of ‘library, library, library’ but they don’t know what a library is. Then seeing a library on wheels. It is amazing to see the children react to borrowing books.”
The Ghana Library Board started this project in two districts as a way to bridge the gap between the educational access of rural and urban children.