A Firm Belief In the Value of Books

This, from my friend in Zimbabwe:

With my usual lack of wisdom and burst of energy, I have taken on yet another commitment. Senator [ ] the (not so new) Minister of Education, asked me to chair the National Libraries and Documentation Services Council, and I was persuaded to agree.

So I am now a beggar for books of any and every kind, any and every age, new and old, well thumbed and annotated. The council was launched on 1 July. The council oversees the development of all Government, school and public libraries in the country. As of now, we do not even know what the state of our libraries is. We need to start with an audit of all libraries, and sort out the infrastructure. We have to develop both the book libraries and electronic libraries, and patch up and secure existing buildings to house the libraries.

In a country where the school system is tottering, libraries will supplement what little there is
(though it will never be possible for libraries to substitute schools!) As a child, I spent many wonderful hours in libraries, and I am sure all that reading gave me an edge over my agemates.

Start saving up on your books and magazines, I will be begging for them soon!

Meantime the council that has been set up is made up of committed men and women who will not just work with nothing, but will use their own resources at the start. There is not a penny in it. We will be fundraising just for the initial activities, for the process of the audit, for secretarial staff to be employed, and then for the material and programs for the libraries.

We are basically starting from scratch, with nothing but Faith, Hope and Love (and in this instance, the greatest of these is Hope)!

And what possessed me, on top of my extra ordinary load of work, to take on such a task? Other than David’s Coltart plea a firm belief in the value of books and reading to the development of the human character and human skill.

And I believe God will provide the necessary resources through His children everywhere.

I’ll keep you informed about this.  I could see this becoming my pet project in the year to come. 

Books for Zim! 


5 thoughts on “A Firm Belief In the Value of Books

  1. Well, I’m thinking you sent this to me just in time…before I have the big estate sale! Can I assume no “religious” books would be allowed? I think  my dad would be THRILLED to have some of his books go to this project! Is there any *cheap* way to send these books?

  2. My local library is always discarding books and I would love to save them for this project.  Right now they have shelves and shelves of history – mostly as it pertains to America – but other history, too.  Is there someone here in the US who is collecting books, then putting them in overseas shipping containers to go to Zimbabwe?  I’d love to participate in helping also!

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