Restocking school libraries in the Maldives

Assisting Tsunami-affected Libraries of the Maldives

Project Supported by the

International Board on Books for Young People – “IBBY Support”

Project Report

Prepared by Aminath Riyaz

Introduction

The Maldives Library Association has taken an active role in providing relief assistance for the Tsunami-affected libraries of Maldives. The first major program conducted by the Association was carried out in collaboration with the National Library of Maldives and the Maldives National Centre for Linguistic and Historical Research (MNCLHR) in 2005. This programme was targeted at all the libraries affected by the Tsunami. Under this project, reading material amounting to 16,321 was forwarded to 45 libraries.

A second project was put forward to cater to the worst-hit libraries. As such, 10 libraries (5 public libraries and 5 school libraries) were selected based on the information received from the National Disaster Management Centre, Ministry of Education, and other reliable sources. The libraries selected and the proposed estimated funding is shown in the table below. The weighting of funding for each library was based on an assessment of the level of damage received to the individual libraries. It is noteworthy here that the projected funding estimates were based on an indication of the total amount to be expected to be received by the donor organization. The loss is by far too huge to be recovered with one donor group.

 

Name of the Library Type of Library Island
Ishoo Kalaidhoo School School Library Isdhoo Kalaidhoo, Laamu Atoll
Isdhoo School School Library Isdhoo, Laamu Atoll
Kandholhudhoo School School Library Dhuvaafaru
Ithaahaa Library (Kandholhudhoo) Public Library Dhuvaafaru
Husnuheena Library (Kandholhudhoo) Public Library Dhuvaafaru
Madhrasathul Jihad School Library Vilifushi, Thaa Atoll
Rasheed Library Public Library Vilifushi, Thaa Atoll
Thandhoru Library Public Library Vilifushi, Thaa Atoll
Meemu Atholhu Atholhu Madharusaa School Library Kolhufushi, Meemu Atoll
Laamu Atholhu Atholhu Madharusaa School Library Maabaidhoo, Laamu Atoll

The project proposal was forwarded to the International Board on Books for Young People in December 2005 and very generously accepted in January 2006, by which the Maldives Library Association received US$ 11,783.53 with a generous surplus of US$1658.53 from the projected estimate.

From the received surplus, US$ 445.00 was kept aside for administrative costs in relation to the project and the rest (US$ 1,213.53) was added to the budgeted amount for the reading material proportionately for each library.

Purchase of Material

Furniture & Equipment

It was decided by the MLA council that it would be better to utilize the allocated budget for furniture to buy only shelves, instead of trying to purchase an assortment of shelves, reading tables, or any other equipment. Hence 3 book shelves, costing $184.50 was purchased for each library and the surplus in the furniture and equipment budget was transferred to the allocated budget for the purchase of reading material.

Reading Material

During the early stages of project implementation, it was brought to the notice of the MLA Council that a major book fair was to be launched on 1st May 2006. The “Novelty Book Fair” is one of the popular and large scale book fairs held in Male’ and the prices are very much lower than usual prices. Hence, it was decided that even if the project has to be kept on hold for a couple of months it will do no damage to the receiving libraries. On the other hand we would be able to buy more with the available funding. Hence, it was decided that the US$7393.00 will be kept aside for the Book Fair and purchasing of local reading material and other preparations be made for the project in the intervening period.

The local reading material was purchased directly from the Maldives National Centre for Linguistic and Historical Research as their prices are lower than that of commercial bookshops.

The breakdown of materials for each library is shown in the table below.

Name of Library Number of books donated
Ishoo Kalaidhoo School Library 298
Isdhoo School Library 291
Kandholhudhoo School Library 335
Ithaahaa Public Library (Kandholhudhoo) 335
Husnuheena Public Library (Kandholhudhoo) 277
Madhrasathul Jihad School Library 301
Rasheed Public Library 321
Thandhoru Public Library 279
Meemu Atholhu Atholhu Madharusaa School Library 314
Laamu Atholhu Atholhu Madharusaa School Library 314
<b>Total number of books 3,008</b>

 

Handover of “IBBY Support” to the receiving libraries

Since IBBY caters for the Young Readers, it was decided by the MLA Council that the handover ceremony of the “IBBY Support” should be held on the Children’s Day on 10th May 2006.

To show appreciation to IBBY for their support, it was decided and approved by IBBY that all the material purchased with IBBY funds should carry a sticker with the logo of IBBY.

 

During the handover ceremony and the logo in everybook.

 

The official meeting to handover the “IBBY Support” material was held as part of the Children’s Day activities on May 10th, 2006 at 4:00pm in the National Library.

One participant from each recipient library participated in the meeting. A small parcel of books was handed over at the meeting as a token of the donation. The donated items include 30 book shelves (3 for each library) and a total of 3008 books.

The news of “IBBY Support” was advertised in the daily morning radio speak show on 10th May, and broadcasted and telecasted on the news on the 10th and 11th May 2006.

 

Conclusion

The project has given those people who lost their valuable collections, in the devastating Tsunami of 2005, new hope that they can start over with a fresh start. The total number of 3008 books when divided among 10 libraries does not amount to what they lost in the Tsunami. However, it was accepted by the recipient libraries with sincere appreciation for IBBY for their generous gesture.

The Maldives Library Association takes this opportunity to extend appreciation for IBBY for their generous donation, consideration and prompt delivery. MLA also extends gratitude to all MLA members and National Library staff for their time and input in the selection, purchase, and preparation of the material for the hand-over meeting.