Saturday, June 25, 2016

Farewell to the Library Monitors

We had our final Library Monitors meeting at school this week. The Library Monitors are a program I created at my school where two students in each grade level are trained in how to use the library, and then assist me each week during their class’s library time. The kids have done a great job all year, and have really taken on a proactive role in the library. They go around and help the students find books, they put away the returned books, they make sure there aren’t too many students in the library at one time, and they come to me to reschedule library periods that fall during a school holiday. Plus they translate for me a lot, which really helps me out. Library has been my favorite part of my service, and they have been a huge part of that. So our last meeting was more about celebrating them and thanking them for being so amazing!

Since it was our last meeting, I started them off with a little library quiz. I divided them into two teams, and gave them a list of questions to answer using the books in the library. Both teams finished in about 20 minutes, then we went through the answers for both—perfect scores! I was so proud of them.

Next came the the certificates. I made certificates for each of them, with the hours they worked in the library as well as their training hours listed. I gave them a little speech about the importance of their role in the library, and how much I appreciated them, and how I hoped they would continue to work hard next year after I am gone. Then I gave the certificates to my Co-Librarian Mr. Kapira, and he shook their hands and gave them out. He also thanked me for all my work in the library, which meant a lot to me.

The Library Monitors showing off their certificates
Then it was time for biscuits and Fanta! Because in Malawi, you can’t have a meeting without biscuits and Fanta. (Side note—this is different than a party in Malawi, which means chicken and rice and Fanta, plus lots of music and dancing.) While they were enjoying their refreshments, I passed around a bunch of free magazines that I had gotten from Peace Corps during my service, including the Peace Corps Times and Worldview magazine. I let each student pick one to keep. They really liked them, and asked me questions about some of the articles and pictures. One student saw an ad for Geico with the gecko logo on it, and asked me what that was. So I told them it was a gecko, similar to the house geckos we have here in Malawi. Then they taught me the word for gecko in Chichewa, which is “nalimata”.

We took some group photos of them, and I promised that I would print one to put up on the library bulletin board. This is the one I think I am going to go with:

And that was our meeting. Thanks for all your hard work, kids!

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