Among the first ten ER libraries is the one at the Dejach Geneme Primary School in Addis Ababa. Dejach Geneme is a public school running from grade 1 to grade 8 with 1802 students. Ethiopia Reads provides the school with all the librarian training, furniture and books of different kinds, in both English and local Ethiopian languages.
The Dejach Geneme Primary School Library in Addis Ababa was established by ER at the end of 2006, funded generously by longstanding Bay Area supporters Sam (Sileshi) Tadesse and his family. It is a public school running from grade 1 to grade 8 with 1802 students, and ER provides the school with all the librarian training, furniture and books of different kinds, in both English and local Ethiopian languages.
Lidya Daniel, the school’s current librarian, has made a big impression on ER staff and colleagues in her cluster. The team leader for Addis book-centered training program says about Lidya:
“It is really motivating for other librarians to see the Geneme librarian’s efforts for her children. She is very passionate about her work. She encourages library members to do more reading. She invites teachers to help improve the student’s reading skills. She advocates for her library all the time with the school administration.”
The librarian is critical to the success of a library, of course, and we take care to train partner school librarians to be effective on a number of levels. There is more to being a librarian than shelving books. She must understand best practices in reading instruction. She must be prepared to advocate for the library among school administration and local government offices. She should collaborate with teachers and support the school curriculum.
Thanks to Lidya’s efforts, the library is a welcoming space. It’s spacious and well-lit. There are plenty of materials for both students and teachers. There are also some computers that teachers and library club member students use. And now teachers come to use the library more often to read books or work on the computers. That is good for the students because they see their teachers in the library, and take them as their role models.
There is a library club and members assist the librarian. They can support students even when the librarian is out. The library allows all students to check out books every Friday, and this encourages the children to come to the library more often. Teachers bring their grade 1-4 students to the library read aloud during these sessions.
The school plans to move into a new building currently being built. They also have plans to open a mini library for the youngest readers once the requested budget is approved. Stay tuned for more updates!
Lidya’s work, and the work of many other librarians, would not be possible without the support of generous donors. If you would like to help support librarians in Ethiopia, please donate here.