Trang, a ninth-grader at Bao Son Lower Secondary School, loves literature, but she rarely visited her school library since it was hardly ever open. While she longed to have access to reference books that would expand on the brief information given in her textbooks, the library housed only a few old discarded textbooks and political documents, nothing of interest to this bright young learner.
Trang’s mother farms their land and her father is a driver. They both work long hours so Trang must be very self-directed in her learning. As the oldest child, she also takes care of the housework and her two younger siblings. Her family doesn’t have the means for her to purchase books.
As part of a broad-based development project in her community, YWAM Mercy Vietnam established several child-friendly libraries, including one in Trang’s school.
Not only was an accessible, inviting library room set up inside the school, but an outdoor library and library corners in the classrooms were created as well.
At Trang’s school, the library was equipped with 40 new bookcases, reading desks and chairs, and 1300 new books. The books were carefully selected by the school administrators, YWAM Mercy staff, and teachers, and purchased from reputable bookstores. Bookcases in each classroom were also provided, and books are rotated between classes on a weekly schedule.
Teachers and students worked together to establish the school library. Each book was coded and catalogued in their library management system.
On December 2, Trang and her friends attended the opening ceremony of the library. Many local government departments and community organizations attended, and they also contributed books to expand the library.
Now the Bao Son Lower Secondary School library is open on all school days, so students can go to the library to read and borrow books at any time. Besides reading, Trang and her friends are involved in other related activities organized by the librarian and their teachers, such as writing reports about books they read, or painting a character from their favorite book.
Trang is excited about the new library and regularly borrows and reads books which both bring her joy and expand her knowledge about many important subjects.
YWAM Mercy plans to bring additional child-friendly libraries to neighboring communities in the future.