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Y Kara Library Center

A safe space where people can access books and a quiet place to study and do research

Library Needs

Establishing Bridges

Closed shelves, lack of extensive reference or circulating services, differing or absence of classification schemes, limited children's service and, above all, an emphasis on the primacy of the book over the reader are characteristics of Third World libraries.

 

Despite the chasm between cultures, librarians can establish bridges to connect, enlighten and empower our global communities.

 

Economics, education, societal structure, attitudes towards authority, the impact of colonization and its (supposed) overthrow, the predominance of the English language worldwide, religious beliefs, attitude towards work, low prestige assigned to librarianship, and even climate have affected the development of libraries in these countries, and have resulted in libraries which, to Western standards, may appear to be below the mark.

 

Our program supports the conception of the library as an organization of books, the evolution of a library profession, the attitude of service, the function of the library as an educational institution, the role of the library in the advancement of intellectual freedom, and the conception of organized information as a public resource and responsibility.

 

We work with developed nations and help them begin to see themselves as an equal partner in exchange.

We adapt rather than adopting the methods and procedures that we happen to favor for our own purposes.

 

This helps us develop an Ear of the Nuba Mountains as well as a Voice. We listen as well as tell, learn as well as teach, receive as well as give. To further this interactive rather than autocratic viewpoint, our programs acknowledge the need.​

 

Issue

Projects

Gender Justice

A structure in a medical compound in the Nuba mountains damaged by a bomb dropped on their location.​

Book Donations, Publishing and Distributing

Over 90% of books are imported but are too expensive for the indigenous population. Once students leave school, they are unlikely to pick up a book again. Our efforts are the best means to ensure literacy and relevancy.

 

In many cases in the past, a little attention was paid to the language, currency, or context of the material, and the recipient countries were rarely, if ever, able to choose their own books.

 

And even if the recipients could choose, they had little knowledge of what to request. We, therefore, provide suitable books, promote local book production, and ease the administrative burden on recipients.

 

We support local publishers by purchasing books published locally and then distribute materials through the region. Despite the increasing output of small local publishers, sufficient "suitable" material is difficult to find, especially children's books, which are in high demand.

 

We accept books from overseas but we also request the donors consider giving monetary grants that allow staff in libraries to select their own books: this ensures relevancy and support local publishing.

 

Low literacy and purchasing power and high unit costs necessitate small editions [of locally produced material], which in turn necessitate small markets and limited distribution. 

 

Local printers lack the capital required to purchase paper stock, which often needs to be paid for in advance. Made adds that various local languages and dialects can pose challenges as they may not translate well into the Latin alphabet required for printing.

 

We assist local publishers to solve these problems by encouraging and funding regional associations or consortia of publishers: combined purchasing power to buy bulk paper stock and combined expertise may help to overcome difficulties.

 

Children's books are in great demand in most developing countries, particularly in Africa, but the cost of a book, even one locally published, is beyond the price range for most people.

 

is one example of an attempt to get a holistic perspective within the literature area. The objective is to create and maintain a literate and reading environment and to protect freedom of expression. This requires access to books, newspapers, magazines and so on. The development co-operation shall strengthen the documentation of oral storytelling traditions, author organizations, independent indigenous publishing, the printing industry, distribution channels, libraries, and so on—all links in the complete chain.

stresses the special need for children's libraries in war-torn or famine-stricken countries as these libraries help refugee children who are "coping with stress and trauma."

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Academic Libraries and Archives

Academic libraries and archives in developing countries have garnered less attention in the past decades as aid organizations focused on literacy and books for children.

 

We support academic institutions through donations of current and back issues of academic journals, particularly in the area of medicine where the shortage is acute.

 

Journals are particularly difficult materials to supply because of sustainability problems: many aid programs are short term—three years at the most—and are dependent on fluctuating donations from institutions, not an ideal way to build a journal collection.​

 

We are working on projects to preserve audiotape and film that include oral traditions. Given the general lack of written cultures in most areas, these media were very appropriate for information gathering.

 

Governments in many developing countries are coping with cash shortages, health emergencies, and political strife and instability. As a consequence, they allocate a very low or non-existent priority to libraries, making the largesse of donors to fill this gap crucial.

We focus attention on the need to safeguard endangered and unique library and archives collections, and to improve their accessibility to people of the world, ergo our training programs.

Our indigenous training programs are geared towards the locals for self-sufficiency and promoting long-term commitment and sustainability as an alternative to the visiting experts who eventually leave.​

Long-Term Strategy

We've experienced the negative impacts of the lack of libraries and are working to effectively provide solutions.

We established and are currently developing public library systems with particular attention to the needs of rural and urban marginal areas, greater identification of libraries with literacy programs, and greater attention to education and training.

 

We address problems and issues inherent within library aid initiatives and seek to understand and respect different cultures, languages, and customs.

 

Our commitment has been a long-term strategy for ensuring that communities really benefit from assistance. We are conducting surveys are case studies that evaluate library aid in terms of a set of identified needs, and research that examines the changing needs of libraries as cultural and economic globalization advances.

Volunteer librarians gather, sort, box, and ship scholarly and professional books and journals to our local institutions.

We keep inventory lists of donated materials and circulate to interested libraries to make selections and only those selected items from the inventory list are sent. 

 

Get Involved

Your support provides opportunities for vulnerable women and young people in war zones and other vulnerable victims of injustice to access clean water as well as hygiene and sanitation programs. 

 

Join our community by making a one-time donation or, give monthly, or quarterly, or yearly and transform lives of survivors of war and genocide today.

 

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