Rural & isolated children
The Nabukuyu Mumuni Library, Lubuto Library Partners’ first rural library, began its operations in 2014. Since its opening, this library has challenged and expanded our conception of what a Lubuto library means to a rural community. The Nabukuyu community is radically different than Lusaka, and we have continually aimed to re-shape collections, programs, and library services to address the particular needs, interests, and priorities of this community. With the opening of the Choma Mumuni Library slated for 2019, we will continue to find new ways to effectively serve children of the Southern Province’s Tonga ethnicity and language.
We have learned the importance of close collaboration with parents, caregivers, and traditional leaders in order to mobilize community support for rural libraries. As elsewhere in Zambia, the idea of a free public service is relatively unknown, and initially the library was approached with skepticism by some parents. “Nothing good can be gotten for free,” we were told, and it has taken concerted effort by the library staff to draw in parents, caregivers, and traditional leaders through events like our Community Open House and Library Day for Traditional Leaders. Library staff note the strong positive impact that these events have had on community perception and use of the library, leading to increasing numbers of out-of-school children visiting the library.