Guidelines for collection development were drawn up in 1982 and revised in 2003. Fiction is selected by the twin criteria of relevance and quality. In pursuance of this, the CCL aims at a comprehensive collection of African children’s books and a selection of the best international children’s literature (in English and English translation). Selection criteria for the nonfiction collection emphasize the three basic areas of the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. Nonfiction titles are selected in the following order of priority: books specific to African culture or environment; books describing a similar or related environment; books universal in scope or illustrating aspects of the variety of the natural world or human environment.
The reference collection is made up of basic reference sources suitable for children, such as encyclopedias, multi-volume series, dictionaries, and atlases, etc.; nonfiction titles with an African background (second copy); and children’s magazines and related periodicals. The vertical file collection of pamphlets and clippings from Nigerian periodicals provides local and topical information to users and has proved especially useful for school assignments. Audiovisual resources include a picture and map collection, story kits, toys and puppets, and indoor games such as ncholokoto, scrabble and chess. In 2005 the library added three computers to its collection.
To assist parents and others involved with the education of children, the library also maintains a small basic collection of titles on child development, the child in relation to society and culture, parenting, early childhood and primary education, children’s literature, reading development, and a selection of reading aids.
The newest collection is the library of the Psycho-Educational Testing Service. This is made up of periodicals and books in the areas of educational psychology, child development, and special education, as well as tests and reading materials.
African Children’s Literature
The African Children’s Literature Research Collection is one of the most important areas of the library collection. This collection of over 1,000 titles includes a second copy of each title the library acquires of African children’s literature. It aims to provide a comprehensive collection of Nigerian children’s literature and a selection of literature from other African countries. The ACLRC is housed in an alcove donated in memory of Prof. (Mrs.) Edith Ihekweazu. Scholars from within and outside the University of Nigeria have used this collection extensively for research purposes. This collection is especially vital because many titles are no longer available. One of the library’s greatest areas of need is for funds to purchase titles of African children’s literature, and local Nigerian titles in particular. Click on Publications for more information.
(Back to Top)
Story Hour -One of the oldest activities run by the CCL is the Saturday story hour. Over the years this activity has taken various forms, consisting of storytelling, reading aloud, poetry, songs, puppet shows and games. Storytellers include members of the Children’s Centre Committee, youth corpers, university students, or other volunteers. Themes have ranged from rain and wind, animals, tricksters, to friendship, holidays, and cultures of the world. Numbers vary from 10 to about 90 children of the ages 3 to 10 years.
Reading Clubs - The library has also organized reading club activities. The most recent is the Youth Reading Club initiated by Ngozi Osadebe in 2010. The club, which is aimed at promoting reading of Nigerian literature has considered three books so far: The Great Ponds, by Elechi Amadi, The Joy of Motherhood, by Buchi Emecheta, and Wedlock of the Gods, a drama by Zulu Sofala.
Women have organized their own book club, which has discussed Nigerian novels as well as titles of American and English literatuare. This club was initially supported by People United for Libraries in Africa (PULA), which supplied multiple copies of the first 7 titles. For discussion of book club titles, see Book reviews.
An earlier example for younger children was the Garfield Reading Club, organized by Ada Udechukwu to encourage voluntary reading, foster creativity, and increase awareness of the variety of reading materials available in the library. The club considered folktales, poetry, biography and nonfiction literature and wrote original stories.
Virtual Projects - The Library has participated in two virtual projects. The first was a Virtual Summit on water involving schools around the world. This online global water summit introduced to us by former member Ogonna Agu. Children from the United States, Nigeria, Sweden, India and other countries studied issues relating to water by communicating online, sending digital photos, accessing video clips, calculating water usage, and sharing ideas and experiences. The project culminated in a global summit on May 9, 2008 during which the Children's Centre gave a powerpoint presentation on the problem of water scarcity in the Nsukka community.
The second, in November 2008, gave children the opportunity to share Amadi's Snowman , a picture book about an Igbo boy who discovers the value of reading, with children around the world . Amadi's Snowman is written by Katia Novet Saint-Lot, who spent many years in Enugu, Nigeria, and illustrated by Dimitrea Tokunbo. Members of Children's Centre and children from Central School I in Nsukka discussed the book, shared favorite books and experiences with reading with children in India , the United States and other countries. They also exchanged pictures and answered questions about their life in their respective countries. More information on the virtual tour is available at www.papertigers.org/wordpress/tag/katia-novet-saint-lot .
Outreach-The Children's Centre Library has active outreach programs to local primary schools and prisons. It has hosted a number of Conferences and workshops for teachers and school librarry personnel. Click on Outreach for more infromation.
(Back to Top)