Are we going to be ready? Yes!
Will we have electricity, bathrooms, computers, and a few other necessities? No!
Will we have books, a few tables and chairs, a half finished building, and 2 willing librarians? Yes!
Ready or not, we’re going to open and I am very excited.
Right now the entrance, office, and children’s room are all ready:
The first reading room is almost ready, it still needs some paint, but it will be done soon. In fact, here is a picture of our local librarian painting:
And there are a few almost bookcases not quite yet ready for the books (poor books have been in boxes for a year now):
In just over 1 month we have a TON of work to do and a very, very small budget. We need to finish a few small construction details, install windows, clean, set-up bookcases, arrange and label the books, and do a million small tasks to get everything ready to open. It’s a lot of work, but I’m ready to get the library open and I know it will be worth it when we have our big opening party May 8.
I must admit that it is terrifying to be in charge of setting up this library, especially with such limited resources. But even though the reality of what we have now does not match the vision in my head for the library, I am so excited- and ready- to finally be opening the library. I will be more than busy over the next month with getting everything ready. At the moment the library resembles more of a construction site/boys locker room than a temple of learning. (The construction crew change their clothes in the computer room and leave their nasty work clothes there…I’ve told them starting May 1, I will burn everything that I find in there that is not a part of the library. They laughed. I also told them to stop leaving their tools in the computer room, so they took them over to the first readying room, rather than one of the unfinished rooms. Sigh.). With a little bit of concentrated effort in my spare time (like when I’m not configuring wireless networks and setting up servers in the Cyber, but that’s another story) I think the library will be “ready”- that is to say open- on May 8!
Meet the new librarian:
2 weeks ago we found a local boy, Bolingo who is interested in being the librarian. He was working on the construction crew for the road and fencing around the library and asked if he could be the librarian. The first few time we kind of laughed, but he was persistent, so we thought, why not? Let’s give him a change! Bolingo just graduated from high school with a state diploma (a big deal in Aru) last year and, at this time, is unable to continue his studies. He started working construction, but his real interest lies more in studying. In the last few weeks he has eagerly been learning all he can about libraries. I am very happy to have found young person interested in this work who I can train over the next few months.
As for the rest of the library?
Until further notice, all work has stopped on the other parts of the library. What is left of the funds will be going towards getting the first rooms open, hopefully there is enough to achieve that and the rest will come in time. And once the building is done, we still need LOTS more books.
But the Important thing is that the Library is opening!