Macha Public Library

WE BUILT A LIBRARY. What an amazing thing to be able to say out loud!!

We started here FIVE+ YEARS AGO…

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And now we’re here…

IMG_2432We have an endless list of people to thank for making this project possible. As seen above, this library started as a bookshelf on wheels five+ years ago-and thanks to the vision of our resident librarians, Amos + Beenzu, we now have a designated space for kids and adults in the community to come to read and check out books. There aren’t words for how grateful we are.

Having watched children fall in love with reading these past years has been the greatest privilege and more than ever has us convinced that the world is a better place when people have access to information. And so, we are in serious celebration mode over here!Chief Macha visit

We were honored to sit with Chief Macha last week to share how the library came to be + how we hope it will be a meaningful space for the community. We shared our desire to fill it with books written by African authors + all the Zambian curriculum we can find. Chief Macha cares about sanitation and education and we are committed to growing those subjects, too. It was an encouraging conversation + we were grateful for his advice and continued support.

The library is separated into three rooms. The middle section is where most of the children’s books to be loaned out can be found. Books are organized by subject or reading level and labeled accordingly.  We have an iPad with a library app that makes checking books in and out quick + easy.

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Our ‘blue room’ is our designated space to teach + encourage early learners. We have games designed to make reading fun and engaging. We’ll have a trained teacher on staff to work out of this room each afternoon-to help maintain an organized but unstructured chaos 😉

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And our ‘green room’ is designated for adults to study, read, + write. We have a small but growing collection of books to be loaned out-which we hadn’t previously had. We’ll have hours each morning + evening for those interested in doing school work or reading from a quiet space.

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The library has a large veranda with couches + we’re in the early stages of growing grass and planting shade trees-all designed to be inviting spaces that people want to spend their time. We hope the space comes alongside the other organizations + programs happening within Macha-to empower and encourage continued growth + development.

For now, we celebrate this space and thank Jesus-and so many of you-for playing a role in making it happen. The world is good-and this library is a testament to that truth.

 

Library Update

Here’s the thing. I think people might actually be exhausted hearing about this upcoming library being built. Here’s the other thing, I actually cannot stop talking about it. So here I am again. To tell you all the reasons this library is a dream come true-and to make a few requests.

If you’re new here, start with this post first.

First of all, I don’t know enough about the ways of this world to make any sweeping generalizations about injustice. So when I claim that a library is really important, I’m not saying it’s an absolute solution for any one given concern. But I am certain the world is a better place when people have access to information. And so, a library it is.

And we’re getting really close to opening the doors. Not like, tomorrow close. But hopefully January close. And folks have been asking how they can be involved. If you’re not one of those people, maybe pretty pictures will guilt you into becoming one of those people. Or maybe not. Either way, here’s a few finishing touches needed to make this space the best (+ only) public library in Macha, Zambia.

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  1. If you’re the praying type, we’ll take all we can get. That this building continually evolves to fit the needs of this community. That books are used to open hearts and minds to how grand this world is. That it’s a space people want to spend time in. And that it points people in the direction of Jesus, always.
  2. We need to fill the space with bookshelves and tables and a couple full length desks. They’ll be locally made-they’ll be beautiful-and they won’t be cheap. If anyone has interest in donating specifically to any of the following, I promise it’s a good investment as they’ll be well loved. Donations can be made through our US based organization, Push The Rock (you can choose ‘Eric Thuma’ from the drop down list of staff-all money donated in November + December will go directly towards finishing the library and support of our staff here.)

Wall length desk in children’s room – $148

Wall length desk in adult study room – $170

Round tables in children’s room – $105/each X 3

Round table in adult study room – $218

Tables in center room – $210/each X 2

Book shelf in children’s room – $180

Book shelves in center room – $48/each X 8

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3.Books(!!) : We cannot get enough. If you’re in the business of wanting to buy some books, here’s our Amazon Wish List (which will ship to my parent’s address and be brought to Zambia with visitors.) If you have good quality used books you’re interested in donating, I’ll be happy to collect them next summer when we’re back in Pennsylvania. If you think your children’s classroom, school, or church might be interested in collecting books on our behalf, please be in touch.

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Living in Zambia has taught me an enormous amount-about myself-and the ways of this world. I’ll forever have more questions than answers, but I’m also more certain than ever that everyone should have access to books. Books that give children and adults permission and encouragement to explore their place in the world. Grateful for the many people making that possible here.

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