No library? Build your own!

The OM Mozambique team builds a library in Mocuba to support and provide resources for the local community.

The lack of libraries (or even one library for that matter) in Mocuba inspired the OM Mozambique team to build one themselves in order to support the local schools, university and churches.

Submitting a proposal, they began looking for a location. After seeing a few possible buildings to rent, they were advised to build the library themselves instead of renting to ensure that the library could remain there for many years to come. 

The city gave the land to the team, and the plot is not far from the main road. In addition to the library, the property will also be home to “Tabitha”; a skills training programme that enables women to provide for themselves and their households through sewing and tailoring. The library building consists of two offices, two open rooms for people to read and study, as well as the cataloguing room that holds all the books. 

The vision for the library is to provide locals with the opportunity to read and educate themselves; to motivate children to read; to give churches access to Christian resources and material and to create opportunities to transform lives and the community through education. 

“The activity of reading is hard for (Mozambican people),” explained OM worker Arnaldo, head of the library project.  “(We want) people coming to read at the library and being helped in their interests, their school work and their ministries. Seeing people reading and getting something from the books; that is the project impact. People being transformed and their way of thinking transformed.”

Books, books and more books

A library isn’t a library without books. Therefore, the library team is currently accumulating books from stores across Mozambique; researching which will be most useful to students and pastors as well as finding the best prices. 

The idea is that the library will span a wide range of topics, as well as literacy levels, in both English and Portuguese. 

Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique and as such the team would like to have more Portuguese books in the library than English.

With the visit of the Logos Hope to Maputo in late February 2016, the library received a great number of Christian books to be added to the shelves.

Each visitor to the library will sign up and receive a membership card that will allow them access to the library. Those who prove reliable and trustworthy will be permitted to take books home, while those who are not known to the staff will only be permitted to read inside the library. 

What will make this library different?

“The way we will attend to our public, our readers, is that we will make them feel at home,” said Arnaldo. “We are training our librarians to attend to the people in a good way, with good manners. The people are coming to read the books; it will not be easy to go up to them and ask to talk about Jesus because they are busy reading. So we will not interrupt them. But the way that we attend and serve them will be God’s way.”

In addition to librarians serving with a Christ-like mindset, Christian booklets and pamphlets will be available on the tables and desks for people to read or take with them. 

The library will be opened after a few finishing touches on the building are complete and enough books have been purchased. Praise God for the provision of land for the library and good relationships with the local government. Pray that more quality books in Portuguese and English will be found and purchased so that the library can open and start reaching out to the community.

 

By Rebecca Rempel