Manchester City Library

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The Botswana Library Project

August 24th, 2012 · No Comments · Books, Children, City Library, Events, Main Branch, Trustees

Here in America, we often take for granted that there are places like the public library. Places where we can go to use computers, read, gather information and learn.  This is often not the case in other countries. Countries like Botswana.  Robert and Sara Rothschild have established a family foundation that, in collaboration with the Botswana government, is building libraries in villages throughout that country. In partnership with the Botswana National Library Service and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is providing computers and computer training to each library, the goal is to build twenty libraries within the next ten years. The eighth library was opened in November 2011 and more are in the planning and construction phases. Victoria Lang, director of the Holderness Library, met the Rothschilds—local patrons who live in Holderness. The fascinating stories emanating from Bob and Sara about their Botswana project were more than enticing to Victoria. She listened to the stories of parents walking with children of all ages for miles over several days and sleeping at night on the ground to get to the site of this new building being created just for them. She heard that it was beyond belief when parents learned that their children had, for the first time in their lives, a place to learn and an opportunity to have a future with knowledge learned at that library. When Victoria realized what was at stake, she volunteered to become a part of this project. She has been working on organizing an exchange of librarians between the two countries. Victoria recently hosted a visit from the Deputy Director of the Botswana National Library Service, who visited the Holderness Library and many other libraries in New Hampshire. In March of 2012 Victoria visited Botswana. She is the first and only Library Director from the state of New Hampshire to undertake this volunteer position in Africa. Her slide presentation of this project and her visit will hold you spellbound and, I am sure, will lead to countless questions after the final slide has been shown. The presentation of Victoria’s program will be at the Manchester City Library at 405 Pine Street on Tuesday, September 11th from 6-8 PM.

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