Much like us at the Early Learning Resource Network, you were probably engrossed in all the World Literacy Day webinars, tweets, blog posts and project launches that flooded the social-media timelines on 8 September.
There was a lot going on in the early literacy space, including an illuminating webinar hosted by African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) in collaboration with Neil Butcher and Associates (NBA). If you didn’t get a chance to join on the day, you can view the recording below – it’s well worth a watch.
The panelists, Dr Nkem Osuigwe and Dr Sarah Kaddu (AfLIA), and Kirsty von Gogh and Lisbeth Levey (NBA), get stuck into some of the fascinating findings produced by a survey that was conducted recently by AfLIA. The questionnaire was put together to get some insight into how public library staff in Africa see their existing roles and responsibilities when it comes to early literacy, and how they’d like to engage and interact with children in their communities going forward.
Caption: This infographic is a representation of some of the survey findings around language use in the public libraries surveyed.
The survey was targeted at librarians and library staff in 18 English-speaking countries on the continent, and thanks to in-country champions driving engagement, the response rate was incredible. All this rich data and anecdotal evidence only confirms that there is a lot that can be learned from librarians and library staff, and this survey is just the start of an insights-driven, synergistic learning journey.
AfLIA and NBA are working together to develop a course on early literacy development. Based on a project announcement that was published on the AfLIA website earlier this year:
…the course will train public and community librarians to understand and practice techniques for teaching children vocabulary development, print and phonemic awareness in mother tongue and English. The course is also expected to lead the participants to a deeper understanding of how to prompt the creativity of children as well as how to use open licensing to increase appropriate reading resources for the target age group through the translation of existing stories into mother-tongue languages.
Once complete, the openly licensed course will be piloted with a select number of library staff; following that it will be made available for free, with translation into other languages and adaptation encouraged.
Caption: This infographic is a representation of some of the survey findings around computer and internet access in the public libraries surveyed.
If you’d like to learn more about the development process, please join Dr Nkem and Kirsty at the mEducation Alliance symposium on Thursday, 30 September from 9:30 to 10:30 EDT (15:30 to 16:30 CAT or 14:30 to 15:30 WAT) in a discussion titled: The Role of Librarians in Early Literacy Practices in Africa.
They will be joined by Beatrice Ampadu, Senior Librarian, Ghana Library Authority and Mandla Mona, Programme Manager, National Library of South Africa, who were both in-country survey champions.
Take a look at the symposium schedule here, and register for the event here. Please feel free to share information about the event, and to send any questions or comments about the course development via Twitter to @librarian_Nkem or @NBA_South Africa