Andrew Amenyogbe – 2011

After lunch I sat in a room with librarians from around Ghana – they called this meeting “sharing.” As the title explains, the librarians shared different aspects of their libraries in an effort to help each other. These were spectacular women (and one man). Real human beings. Kathy asked me to share what libraries mean to me. Although I can safely say I’ve spent the last six weeks before arriving to Ghana hidden on the 5th floor of Schulich Library preparing for my exams, I decided to talk about the Pembina Public Library and what it meant to me as a young boy (for some reason all of these memories include my sister Nelly beside me, with an Anamorphs book in hand). It’s amazing how empowered these librarians have become through doing what they do.

The power of reading is an obvious primary result of the many libraries Kathy has sprouted, but hidden beneath each story are these librarians, the women who are given such a pure sense of independence and pride that no amount of money can buy. If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. With reading being just as much food for the soul as fish is for the body – Kathy is not only teaching people how to fish, but teaching librarians how to teach people how to finish. The thought of this is pleasantly fantastic!

Then I walked home, although the sun wasn’t at it’s fullest it was a great walk and I sweat all the same.