The following is an excerpt from the Annual Report for the Deschapelles Library prepared for the SCEH Board by Terry Smith and Bob Lamothe, Co-Chairs of the SCEH Library Committee. October 2017.
Library Activities/Programs and Administration
We receive monthly financial reports from the Bibliothèque Communautaire Deschapelles (BCD). Although financial reporting is still a work in progress, the team is making every effort to comply with SCEH requests.
We also receive a monthly report of the activities that are taking place at the library including presentations that are taking place. The report includes the number of visitors to the library each month and is separated into various categories. The team also sends a monthly and six-month report to FOKAL as part of the requirement for receiving funds from FOKAL.
Besly recently provided us with the following information:
- The library has approximately 4800 books of which about 3900 have been entered into the PMB computer system. (PMB is a system for categorizing books) The Library also provides access to Khan Academy in French as well as Wikipedia in French to students who are interested in supplementing and expanding the information they receive in school. In addition, we have a digital library of over 200 books and a great many interactive educational materials in French and Kreyol through Educa Vision, which is a publishing house based in Florida geared towards the Haitian (Kreyol)market.
- The BCD has registered 250 members and is working actively to increase that number.
- The library is host to about four (4) presentations every month. They have had lectures on the importance of the Kreyol Language and Culture which the Library fully supports with a large collection of books in Kreyol. Attendance at the presentations varies depending on the subject. The presentations have included visiting authors, astronomy, environment, current events, citizenship and health and sexuality issues. Recently, the Library has hosted a conference on the theme “Theater and Reading tools for Social Transformation and Cultural Emancipation” with André Miraklin”. The conference was covered in the major Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste which is undoubtedly positive for the library especially as Miraklin’s was quoted praising the library for its access to not only regular books but a digital library as well. (Lenouvelliste.com 10/5). Miraklin was responsible for the two-week theater camp run this summer at the BCD.
- The following clubs currently take place at the BCD:
- A Children’s Reading Club which meets twice a week
- An English Language Club which meets once a week on Saturday
- A Needlework Club
- A Robotics Club
- A Literature Club
The Library also plays host to a monthly meeting of supervisors of schools. This should encourage greater use of the library by teachers and their students.
We intend to purchase a Kreyol Encyclopedia from Educa Vision. Many of the books we are currently receiving are donated. Books are being loaned selectively using the Book Bags sewn in Essex.
The Google Chromebooks appear to have been a success and it has been suggested that at least one additional Chromebook be purchased as well as another laptop capable of handling Robotics software. We will assess the additional technology needs of the library including how best to secure any devices not only to the tables (they break if dropped on the cement floor) but also from being removed from the library.
Our relationship with FOKAL continues to be strong with periodic oversight and visits. (FOKAL is the organization funded by the SOROs Foundation to promote a free and open society which includes the promotion of libraries).