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Assela Public Library @ designed and developed by Bete Software Solutions
The real problems of poverty, exclusion, and injustice will only ultimately be solved by empowering people to learn, produce, and contribute as opposed to perpetuating a culture of dependence.
The Asella Public Library also referred to, as the Asella Learning Centre is a project to provide reading materials and access to educational information for the Asella community. Through this project, we wish to provide a wide range of current educational information to help foster reading habits, strengthen academic excellence, and nurture creativity among children, youth and adults in the community.
Ethiopian born Canadian Michael Alemu had a dream to open a library in his community of Assela. His friends and colleagues from Ethiopia, Canada and USA helped and a small library in a rented house opened in 2014. Books were brought by friends from various locations, including Michael’s own collections in suitcases, boxes, and bags to start the first library in Wolkessa Kebele 10.
We wanted to create a place where students can come in a quiet place to study, use reference books, and novels, or work on their homework. What began with 150 members and 800 books has grown to 2200 members, and over 30,000 books.
We are registered through local Ministry of Culture and Tourism Office as a community service. The library is managed by Michael and a team of staff and volunteers. We are aiming to build this library as the most up-to-date learning centre in the region.
We believe the library creates a place for students to increase their knowledge, complete their homework well, and study and problem solve with other learners. Adults also can explore and expand their world through reading, computers and the Internet. We want to help youth and entrepreneurs to develop business plans or prepare resumes, or research market trends. Patrons will read about various social and health issues, understand and cope with difficulties associated with poverty, and hopefully respond knowledgeably to issues they encounter in life.
Meseret, a grade 10 student comes to library regularly. She reads reference and academic books related to her studies, and said she doesn’t see any limitations with the books available here. The library is playing a part in her education and dream to become a doctor, she said. “When I read I will get good academic results. This will contribute to my vision to become a doctor.”