Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Learning to Build a Library

Library is not only for books

“What would you expect to see in a library? Of course books. What else? A library would not only keep books in shelves, but you could also keep newspaper clippings, magazines, tabloids, and even your essay or story”. These lines of words seem very odd to be told to us that spent so many times in a library in our school time or universities. But could you imagine, in your entire life you just found out that there are numbers of people that have just discovered that not only books could be put in library and that books to be put in shelves have to follow certain order? Imagine how I felt when I learnt about this. Madam Nadya, one of the participants of The Library Management Training (LMT) that was held in Ranto Panjang National Primary School, Meureubo Sub-district, West Aceh District (Aceh Barat), Aceh Province, Indonesia, on 7-9 April 2008, explained her feelings and gratitude to World Vision for organizing the training. The library training is specifically held to empower and encourage each school to start building and maintaining at least a simple library, therefore students and teachers could learn from all the literatures. Books are the window of the world, by reading a book; you can see the world outside you.

Gratitude to World Vision

All primary schools in Aceh, especially in Aceh Barat have received numerous kinds of books from the local government as well as numbers of NGOs like World Vision. Each school has the autonomy to distribute, allocate, and organize those books for teaching purposes. But this would astound you, almost no school could organize them in appropriate order. Some schools are equipped with a nice building and nice book shelves, some don’t. But, the bottom line none of these schools understand on how to classify and indexing all the books they have, told Ibu Mainasri and Ibu Yusni, facilitators from Banda Aceh. So, it is without any doubt how grateful they must have felt when realizing that World Vision inviting them in the sort of event. To some of them it was a once in a lifetime experience. Ibu Yusni explained how happy all the participant enjoying the 3-days seminars are. In almost all recess time, the participants still busy with their working group and late in about 5-10 minutes. Ibu Yusni told that as far as she knew, this was the first library training ever organized in all Aceh after the tsunami.

Pak Haji Usman, the headmaster of SD Ranto Panjang (the host of the training), exclaimed his gratitude and appreciation to World Vision and facilitators from Banda Aceh. He never expected that in his quite distant school, such great opportunity was given. Ranto Panjang primary school, same as other schools, has their own library, but they don’t have the manpower for library purposes. Therefore, Ibu Mainasri suggested a shift system for teachers to organize it. Teachers who don’t have any class could voluntarily control the library in shifts. Therefore library will always be open and students and teachers could gain access at any given time.

Pak Sudirman and his goldfish story

The three days training involving more than 30 participants out of several primary schools in Aceh Barat. Beside listening to teaching materials, the participants were involved in games and exciting indoor and outdoor activities. In a creative way, the facilitator allows the participant to absorb the lesson given just like children: with game playing and looking at examples. On the last day of the event, teachers are trained to develop their own story writing on a piece of paper, and then folded the paper in some ways that paper became a small book. By these, the participants not only being taught how to write stories, but also create their own small books. Many participants surprised with their own result. They never thought that they will write “a book” afterwards. The results of the training are fabulous. Numbers of small books were then collected and few of them wrote “Novel of their own”. One of them is Pak Sudirman, a teacher from a primary school in Meulaboh. He used to write stories in sheets of paper, but never publish any. He then realized that in the past there is no outlet of his hobby to write, but now, all his writings could became books. Or we may say small books.

He was so proud and happy to himself that his book is one of the best books in the training. At a glance, his story book about “goldfish and a grandma” very short, but he intended to write the long and better version of the book. Pak Sudirman relieved and thanked World Vision for the training, he now understand that library would not only be keeping huge and thick books from well-known authors. His simple books and writings will become collections in his school library in a near future.

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