LIBRARY PROGRAMMING AND OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
On March 14, CW4WAfghan hosted a workshop on Library Programming and Outreach Activities in our Kabul office, with approximately 35 participant. The purpose of this event was to brainstorm ideas for activities that could be hosted in Afghan libraries. These ideas included how to promote reading and literacy, such as reading hours, book clubs, family literacy and other programming. We invited our partner organizations and a range of other organizations with experience to share, benefitting from many lessons learned in this field so far in Afghanistan.
We were particularly honoured to have Nancy Hatch Dupree, Afghanistan's revered historian and founder of ACKU, open the event with a word of greetings from ACKU and the Dupre Foundation. Ms. Hatch Dupree spoke about the value of reading, and commended CW4WAfghan and its partners for our effort to bring everyone to the same table. Nancy told stories of why she founded the ACKU, such as when she met a little girl in Northern Afghanistan who told her, “I used to be able to read but I can’t anymore”. Nancy realized that literacy can’t be sustained without access to books.
The purpose of the event was to generate ideas of the kind of programming activities can be offered in the space of a library, besides the ‘standard’ activities of signing out books and reading silently. CW4WAfghan's Projects Director Lauryn Oates gave a slide show of different examples of activities, organized by age group with content support provided by Janis Rapchuk, CW4WAfghan’s Vice-President and a librarian. Three of CW4WAfghan’s partners, ACKU, NECDO and Afghanistan Book House also delivered presentations on their own experiences in effective library programming. Following the presentation there was a discussion among participants on what they might introduce into their own libraries and to share what they have tried.
A huge thanks to all those involved in making this such a successful event, including Lauryn who spearheaded with the Kabul staff the overall plans in addiiton to giving her presentation, Janis who provided so many resources for the presentation; Ali who spent all day translating the power point and provided a translator for the presentation; Kawa for translating and partly facilitated discussions ... this was no doubt challenging as the discussion was going at a rapid pace, and he also brought a delicious cake for our staff that day! Thanks to all staff who helped equip the room at the midnight hour for this event: Basir, Haroon, and Murwarid. Thank you to all of those individuals who presented and those who attended as participants making this a very successful experience for all involved.