EduSpots built the Akumadan Community Library in 2016 – it is a two-storey building in the heart of the Akumadan community, in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Edward Amponsah, volunteer librarian in Akumadan:
‘In my life, it has been my dream to help towards others towards the achievement of their goals. Being a librarian for a period was a great opportunity for me since l was passionate about the education in the area where l grew up. With the help of Reading Spots, pupils do their best to visit the library during their spare time, and parents ask me to help their children to learn how to read. I see pupils eagerly waiting for me at the library every day.’
The downstairs library is primarily for younger children, with books and games appropriate for primary-age students. The first librarian, Edward Amponsah, who was previously Head Boy at Dreamland School and is volunteering at the library, has been instrumental in teaching younger pupils the first stages of reading. The library is now run by Adu and James, who have taken extraordinary measures to get the local Senior High School pupils involved in a volunteer programme, with science, drama and reading clubs meeting on a regular basis.
Upstairs is a significant library for older pupils and adults, with books ranging across fiction and non-fiction. There are workstations which provide an excellent space for individuals to study quietly in the evenings and weekends. Together the two floors contain 7,000 books that were donated by pupils and parents at Brighton College. There is currently very little African fiction and non-fiction available at the library, and we hope to invest in this considerably in years and months ahead.
This library was designed and built by local architect and construction engineer, Frimpong George, and the first team of Brighton College pupils were able to choose the site and meet many locals during their time in the country in December. We are particularly grateful for the support of James Dugger, Director of the Dreamland School, for helping to make this project such a considerable success. The entire library was officially commissioned by the village chief and elders in Easter 2017 when a group of Brighton College teachers visited to organise the top floor of the library and purchase the final furniture. The second Brighton College team helped to organise the bottom floor in December 2016, painting furniture and organising the significant numbers of books.
Since the library was opened, the librarian Edward Amponsah reports that over 30 children from five different schools use the library after school each day. The schools using the library include: Dreamland School, The George Best Academy, The Methodist School, and The Presbyterian Church School.
A video of the library during last summer:
Looking at records in May 2018 pupils from nearly 10 different schools use the library on a daily basis.