13 Nov 2012

A view from Zimbabwe

Ireland getting you down? Fancy moving to a country with one of the best climates in the world and helping to get a new generation of Zimbabweans back into their libraries?
If so, read on…

Here in Harare there is a grassroots movement underway to renew our city libraries. Harare City Libraries consist of the main library on Rotten Row in the city centre and 5 other suburban branches. Efforts this year have seen reading and storytelling session carried out by volunteers to encourage our next generation of readers to make use of this important community resource and to bolster membership of our libraries. The city of Harare libraries is also hard at work sourcing new books to renew the collection and to raise funds for essential repairs to the libraries, in particular the main library.

This was established in 1902 as the Queen Victoria Memorial Library, celebrates an important anniversary in 2012.  This year, the award winning building to which the library moved in 1962, turns 50. When it was completed, the building was awarded a medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects as one of the best designed buildings in Southern Africa during the period between 1948 and 1962. This is one of only three Bronze medals ever awarded in the whole of Africa. Sadly over the last 10 years the library has fallen into a state of disrepair. 

Many thousands of people have used the library facilities.  A generation of Zimbabweans fondly remember Saturday mornings sitting in the light and airy building as they benefitted from reading the library’s huge collection of books. Our aim is to create these seem memories for a new generation of Zimbabweans and this is your opportunity to be part of this important and exciting initiative!

Through Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) we are looking for a senior librarian and a community librarian who can work with us to restore the City of Harare Libraries to their former glory! At present, there are two paraprofessional members of staff who have obtained diplomas from Harare Polytechnic however there are no fully qualified and experienced professional staff. We’d like you to remedy that!!

If this sounds like something that you might be interested, please get in touch with either Deirdre NĂ­ Cheallaigh dnicheallaigh@trocairezw.org or Katrina Wallace-Karenga Katrina@yoafrica.com for more information about the two posts. 
Read the blog at: http://thehararevillager.blogspot.com/

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


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