*Agnes Manda was contracted for a week in April 2016 from Luanshya Public library on the Copperbelt of Zambia to assess the progress and needs of Nkhanga Library in Lundazi in the Eastern Province. We thank her for her sacrifice and selfless dedication.
*The Buckley Fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County awarded a grant of $5,000 to the Nkhanga Library. The purpose of this grant is to support the Nkhanga Village Library in honor of Greg and Sara Shorin of Lake Tahoe in California.
- The Library is in need of new books, as you know the Library has been depending on donated books which has also made it difficult for certain readers to appreciate the Library services. Donated books are good but mostly the receiver has no choice but to get what has been given unlike when you buy, you buy books that are of interest to the Library patrons.
- Our Zambian schools syllabus is dynamic as a result certain books that the Library has do not match with our schools syllabus and needs. Hence there is need to purchase new books for the Library time after time.
- The Library is also in need of furniture, the furniture that is there does not suit the children.
- The Library is also in need of solar panels and solar batteries for lighting.
- There is need to have the children corner in the library, creating a suitable environment for the children.
- There is also a need to buy a photocopying machine, a printer, scanning machine and a computer to ease some work at the Library.
- The Library is in need of tools for processing books, these tools are the sears list of subject heading and the Dewey decimal classification scheme.
- There is need to train Library staff if the Library is to operate effectively.
- There is need to buy a digital camera for the Library, this will help the Library staff in sending pictures about all activities at the Library.
- There is need to build up shelters outside the Library that will be used for some Library users who have group discussions or group work.
Challenges and Recommendations
- The local people do not have interest in using the Library. (Conduct outreach or Sensitization drives)
- Only one person has knowledge about Library operations. (More people need to be trained)
- No proper funding to support Library staff. (More Grant Funding should be sought)
- Lack of books that can match with the Zambian syllabus and general interest. (New more relevant books should be bought from Zambia and elsewhere)
- The other challenge that the Library is facing is cataloging and classification of Library materials. Books are not processed due to lack of sears list of subject heading and Dewey decimal classification scheme hence making it difficult for Library users to access books since the books do not have class numbers and subject headings (retrieval keys). Uncatalogued and unprocessed books do not save any purpose in a Library. (All the existing books and new donated books should be properly catalogued)
- There are plans of building up staff houses that will accommodate personnel at the Library.
- They plan to solicit for more books and other reading materials from other Libraries. As you might be aware the Library caters for different types of patrons. Each different patron may have interest in different types of books which may not necessarily be stocked in the Library. Finding out what each patron needs is the principle of the Library that can help meet the user’s needs.
- They are also planning to conduct reading competitions, debates and book discussions just to motivate Library users. This can be effective when projects and other activities with be planned in line with information and books that the Library is providing.
- They also planned to soon conduct sensitization programs and motivation talks about Nkhanga Library in schools and villages of Nkhanga area.
- They also plan to open an account for the Library.
- They have also planned to set up Library garden that will help to generate money for the running of the Library.