As its facilities expanded in the late 1980s, the Children's Centre began seeking ways to extend its services beyond the university community. In particular, the library began reaching out to schools in the vicinity. This began in 1988 with a reading promotion project in six public primary schools around Nsukka. Students of the Department of Library Science conducted story hours and book sharing sessions, while the Children's Centre Library provided resources and transport.
This activity has continued over the years, with the bus also bringing groups of school children on library visits. Currently, this takes the form of visits to schools and bringing 2 nd graders from the University Staff School and 4 th graders from a primary school in the nearby Onuiyi community to the library for a series of story hour programs introducing the library and its resources.
The library has also added projects aimed at developing learning and information skills, using local community resources as well as conventional library materials. This has taken the form of taping the children's rendering of animal tales, as the basis for creating reading materials with local content and producing big books from information gathered by the children on such topics as birds, occupations, marriage customs, and gender discrimination. The IASL and RAN papers by Dike and Amucheazi (and Ajogwu) have more information on these topics. (See Publications .) The 2007 Abuja workshop shared these ideas with a larger audience of school supervisory personnel. (See Recent Events )
In 2004 the Children's Centre joined People United for Libraries in Africa (PULA) in a cooperative project to develop school libraries in the Nsukka area. Initially, six schools that had developed library accommodation and shown a high level of library awareness, like the Agu Achara primary school shown here, were given small collections of books. The project has now been expanded to include all interested schools in the area. To date, 15 schools have benefitted from book gifts and training workshops. (See Recent Events)