20 years of Celebration is relly something to Celebrate! And so we did a Saturday in May 2012 in Gwanda Zimbabwe!
Long  weeks before the big day the preparations for the Celebration day started.
Big questions for the day? Who many people will come? Do we get permission from the local Polis for a Parade round Gwanda with songs, music and  schoolchildren?
Will there be electricity?
Who will be singing and dancing for us?
The questions where thousands and the work went on!
More will come!

New Pictures directly from Gwanda and our Library

Hello again friends,
Today I will show you pictures that just arrived from Gwanda and the Library! It will not be much text, just look at them and feel good!



Love from Kersti


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or mail to:[email protected]


Storytelling in a swedish school

Hello again dear friends of Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust Library in Gwanda,

Last week I wrote about storytelling, and promised to come back to the subject. To celebrate "World Book Day" i out school, Linnéskolan, in Älmhult, Sweden, the elder pupils read to the younger ones, This is a part of the schoolday, to show that you can express your self infront of others. When you are 13-16 years old you dream back to old times when you heard so many stories, at home, in school and in the local library. Most of the time they chose books which were popular when they were preschool kids. And that is good, because when you read/tell a story you have loved as child, the feeling is still there and your voice will be warm and smooth. You give the children a gift, very often they take that warm and nice feeling with them through life.

Once  (it is 12! years ago now) I had a girl coming from Lebanon. She did not understand a word of Swedish, but she came with her class to the library and listend to my voice. She did not understand a word of what I was telling, but she liked the feeling in the room, the sound of my voice telling the story and seeing all children so concentrated on what I was telling/reading to them.

After some month, being able to speak more and more swedish, she told me that "she shivered of joy" when the teacher told them it was time for "storytelling" in the library. I never forget her and the longing for stories in this girl!
Do you have any stories about listining or reading for somebody else? Maybe something from your childhood, or anything with storytelling? Please tell me and I will publish it here on the blog.

love for this time Kersti
mailto:[email protected]
or mailto:[email protected]

Storytelling in Sweden

Dear friends of Edward Ndlovu Library in Gwanda, Zimbabwe,

In old times in Sweden, before television and electricity, when work was finished  in the evening, people sat down together in front of the fireplace. (of course still working, like knitting, making  tools of tree and other small things), there was a man or a woman telling stories, very often about         love, hate, lies, truth, trolls, giants, fairies, monsters and other scary phenomenon.

But most of the time they ended like: the princess got her prince, they married, got a lot of children and lived happily together the rest of their lives. The stories could also be funny making people to laugh.

The story tellers walked around from farm to farm, or from cottage to cottage. They were well respected and people longed for them to come.

Later all this stories were collected and written down. And now days we can read them in fairy tales collections. Today the stories are made films from, (like Disney) or collected in children books. And of course they are not terrifying the children. From the beginning the stories were written for adults and the children were there and listened.

And now days I sit there and read aloud for our school children, and I think most of you do the same. All over the world!

I would like to hear from you about story telling in your country and also memories from your childhood or from what your parents or grandparents have told you!

Lots of love from me in Sweden with the heart in Gwanda Zimbabwe!

Mail me: [email protected] or mail Jackson at: [email protected]

Storytelling at the Edward Ndlovu Library


An important part of a Library, at least I think, is storytelling. On this picture Mrs. Moyo, librarian, tells a group of children a story from a book. Mrs. Moyo read the book, first all the way through, then once again, stopping and discussed with the children. After that they got a piece of paper and some cryaons and the children was drawing something from the book they just heard. This is the traditional way of storytelling all over the world. I do so, every day of the week at  my School library in Sweden, but I am not so ambitious so I read the book 2 times and they do not draw pictures either. That’s because we don’t have the time I guess. This story telling is ordinary working days. But sometimes a real story teller comes and tell the children an old folk tale and that is something else. We have a Folk tale museum 55 km from Älmhult (where I work), and from there a woman comes and tell the children an oral story (that is without the book). She is an educated woman in storytelling. But maybe me and Mrs. Moyo have a different purpose with our story telling. We want the children to know about the book, and want to borrow it and take it with them home and ask parents to read to them and their brothers and sisters.

A story telling event is more of a performance and give the child quit another experience than our ordinary day reading. But I don’t say it is less worth, only different purposes! Anyhow I wish I had the education of a real story teller.

I think you in Zimbabwe have a very old and well developped tradition of storytelling, which we lost a good bit of in Sweden. We used to have it, and I am afraid the same losing of storytelling is on iny Zimbabwe of today!

What can we do to keep up traditions of storytelling? 

I will think of that and come back to you. I am most grateful for any suggestions and thoughts about this important subject.

Good bye from a lovely spring in Sweden and from a still hot Zimbabwe, which is waiting for the cold period you call WINTER!


mailto:[email protected]

mailto:[email protected]

About Books

You can chose to give us money and buy books or you can chose a special book, but then we need money for transport costs!

With spring greetings from a cold and icy morning! Kersti

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mailto:[email protected]

School Library Books

Hello Again!
This year, 2011, will be the great School Library Book year at Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library in Gwanda.
The book boxes, which are sent out to rural schools in Gwanda District, have been passed around for many years now. (12 years??? maybe) and the books are read and worn out during all these years. So this year will be THE BOOK YEAR!
The books on the picture I bought for the boxes when I was in South Africa last year. These I chose from knowledge about the books. We have them in Sweden at my library in Älmhult also and they are much loved by the children.
I bought them from money I had collected in Sweden before my trip to Southern Africa. The lady in the Museum shop in Cape Town was a bit chocked to sell so many books to one custumer and my arms were a bit longer after carring them all the way to Gwanda and the library. Maybe you could get them cheaper somewhere els, but as a librarian, you want to see and feel the real book in your hands and it is also a happiness to collect them like this.

We need to ask our self: A book for the library book boxes in Gwanda cost as much as HALF A BOTTLE of wine or a package of cigaretts or half the price of a cinema ticket or two loafs of bread or HALF A PIZZA, all in Swedish prices!
If we all go together and offer that half bottle of wine or make a homemade Pizza, we get an awful lot of books for the school children and their parents.
So let 2011 be the great BOOK BOX YEAR!
Want to join and buy a book instead? Please contact me!

Mailto: [email protected]
[email protected]

Love for today and think of what a diffrent a book can make!

On stage again! Here we comes!

Dear friends to Edward Nlovu Memorial library in Gwanda Matabeleland South Zimbabwe Africa! Back after a real long break, but now I am here again!

I have got so many requests on start writing about the library in Gwanda again, and here we are! But I ask you all to help me and give me feedback on what I am writing! And also send material and texts to this blog.

To write in a blog is fun and interesting, because while writing you form your thoughts and idéas.

This is one of my favourite photos from Zimbabwe and shows one of many central figures at the library in Gwanda. The picture shows Mr Jackson Ndlovu with one of 4 grandchildren. Jackson is most happy when he is among the children.
 His own grandchildren, the children at the library, the children out in schools in the rural areas, which is provided with
school library books in boxes from Edward Ndlovu Library.It was the same when Jackson visited us in Sweden, it was among the children he felt most comfortable.


And that genuine interest for people is essential for a librarian, all over the world. You must feel that happiness when right book or right piece of information reach  the customer in front of  you. Maybe , if you have that good feeling you go on working with the library and providing books for many years. And in Gwanda Jackson Ndlovu is known as a passionate librarian.


Please let us be in thouch, mail us, make comments, give us ideas of what you want to know more about and so on.

My eamail is : [email protected]

Mr. Ndlovu you reach on: [email protected]


The Library as a study circle place/ Biblioteket rum för studiecirkel?

After some weeks of rest, (due to Christmas and that I am back in full time work after several month of resting after a knee operation) I am now back with this library blog.

The picture I chose for today shows the library as a place for a study circle for adults. I think it is a brilliant idea, as long as the study circle not intrudes on ordinary opening hours. And as long as the librarian can go home after a full day job! (Now I see to myself!! I am quite tired after 8 hours work!) But of course library premises are to be used as much as possible. Another aspect is that I have found that some people do not find it easy to go into a library; maybe they think it is for the reading people only, and maybe someone will ask if I read…

From the library perspective a study circle could show some of these people that a library could give everybody something, and that we never control what your purpose with your visit is.

A comment in last blog site was:

 Libraries as meeting points are indeed very interesting!!! I'm sure there are many nice people coming there, and the good thing is that people go there voluntary and to enjoy which means that they are probably in a good mood. And yes, it must be satisfying to help so many people in so many different ways every day.

Just one comment, don't you think libraries got get even more funding if it became known what an important role they have to fill in our society????

I wonder if politicians think like that, if they had done so, there would have been libraries spread out over the country (Zimbabwe, Sweden, England and so on) but that is not the case!

Do they not see how well a community could be developed, by opening up the library with technical equipment, newspapers of all sorts, books, and above all some good librarians and library assistants? And even open up the libraries in evenings with study circles for any idea, and a librarian there to support the study circle?

Why is not this case?

 Love from Kersti in a cold snow and ice in Sweden





A queue in the library

To be in a long queue is a skill! I am not sure our Swedish kids always are as patient as these children in the Library in Gwanda! And I also wish people were visiting the Swedish libraries in such a great number as you can see here!  But it must be tiring for the librarian to have such a lot of people to handle all the time! And what a lot of cleaning in the end of the day! And organizing all books that you found anywhere in the library!  I get tired only of the thought!

But on the other hand where do you find such a lot of nice and kind people? I will say nowhere! A Library is a wonderful place for satisfying people!

Most of the time they come in to the library for very different reasons. Someone wants a book, and when you can give him/her the book they are so happy, or if you can order it from another library, they are even happier, because then they are special and important, when I take my time and fix the book for them.

Somebody comes into the library and wants to know something, for example a word in a crossword or for their exams in school or university, or to solve a discussion among friends or at their work place.

Somebody comes to tell about their personal problems or joy! For example a divorce or a new found love!

Somebody died or was born.

One elder lady came in to the library and asked me to tell everybody that she had some fresh eggs to sell! And of course I did!

Everything is discoursed at a library and I found it most important that there is a place in a society where it is possible to do that. But I am not sure our politicians think they would support the library to be a social meeting point in that way. So don’t tell them!
I am sure this is the case all over the world and to keep a library in a village, makes it to a place for information. Perhaps you have to be very careful not to make it into a political arena. You have to balance between hand over information the customers want and what is allowed to hand over in the society.  That is really a big deal in most countries!

Love from Kersti in a dark, rainy, a bit cold and dull Hässleholm in the south of Sweden, about 10000 km north of Zimbabwe

You can also follow my private blogg at http://www.kersti.webblogg.se

Donkey Libraries again and A short story competition

I have been looking for a picture in my box with photos from 1994. I wish I was an organized person with all photos in a well organized archive, but I am not. I think I have to live with that, at least I have most photos in my mind anyhow.

So I had to go to the world wide known web, and of course I found a nice photo of a monkey driven library. The web address was : http://www.ru.ac.za. I “googled” on pictures on Google.

You can see the nice photo above the text.

I also “googled” on “Obadiha Moyo” and found some articles, but not one relevant for this blog. But I will ask Mr. Jackson Ndlovu to arrange a meeting once I come to Bulawayo, so you can learn more about this brilliant Librarian.

For the moment all thoughts are focused on Thursday “the official opening day”. I don’t have more information for the moment. What Mr. Ndlovu and I have decided together is to have a “writing competition”, amongst children. They have to write a short story, around 2 sheets A4. Three classes: 
                     A: write a short story and that’s all.

                      B: write as above and illustrate the short story

                      C: write a poem with or without an illustration.


When I come to Gwanda, we can have a second, (or third maybe, official opening) because I can’t attend the opening on Thursday, due to my bad knee and to money. On that day we will invite the winners and give them  a prize. I have got some real good stuff and are looking for more as prizes. As I am an old school librarian by now, I know children love competitions and lots of nice things to win.

I also think of, if we can connect the competition in Gwanda District with our pupils somehow, maybe give the same competition in Älmhult at Linnéskolan, where I work and then they could read each others texts and make comments, not on small things like spelling or grammar, but on text contents. What do you think out their about this form of cooperation between schools? The problem is to get the texts from Zimbabwe to Sweden. My ambition is to publish the text on this blog so you all can read them and even see the drawings. This time I will take them with me to Zimbabwe and then the winning texts and some more back to Sweden.

 Love to you all from Kersti

Also follow my private blog: http://www.kersti.webblogg.se Written both in English and Swedish.

Bodils blog: http://pieceofclementine.blogspot.com/ Bodil is my daughter and this is her blog from all over the world.


The Official Inauguration of the library in Gwanda

On Thursday the 19th of November 2009 the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library will be officially inaugurated by the ambassador of Canada and England!

After years of dreams, negotiations, work, delays, surprises, discussions, clay, bricks and hard work  it is there peacefully erected in the centre of Gwanda, close to the communal facilities and also close to shops, schools and the big road to which pass through Gwanda on its way between Bulawayo in south west Zimbabwe and Beitbridge, the border to South Africa.

I do wish I was there, but I can’t make the journey until spring 2010, but then we can have an other party, more informal but still as joyful as the one on Thursday.

My thoughts will be with you on Thursday and we will go on working towards new goals.

Pictures, names and what happened on the Inauguration will follow as soon as I get the story from the Library in Gwanda.

Love from Kersti

http://edwardndlovulibrary.webblogg.se/  the address of this blog

http://kersti.webblogg.se/ my blog in Swedish and English, most about Nyamandlovu and about my knitting adventures.

 http://pieceofclementine.blogspot.com Bodils blog about life in Hungary, written in English 

A true happiness in these eyes!

A true happiness in these eyes!

When I look at this picture I see that the happiness over a good story or performance is the same all over the world! When you have heard somebody tell a story you feel happiness for several days afterwards! I have seen this so many times over the years. When I worked as a public librarian in Färlöv (in the south of Sweden, a small village outside Kristianstad), we worked together in the community to give the young children up to 12 years old. To work together means that the library, the church, the school and private people in Färlöv, put money together to buy a performance for the children. The individual can not afford so much, but if you put small amounts together you get so much more. Another perspective is that you start to work together you learn more about your different activities and I learnt to know so many nice people. When they heard that I got a sum from the library the school said we give you the same sum and so the church gave us a sum also. Sometimes we used the church room, sometimes the library room. This was a perfect opportunity to talk to each other and have a very nice time together.

1994 I came to Murewa in the north of Zimbabwe, it was several drama groups connected with the Culture house there. School classes came in to take part of the performance and I saw and heard lots of nice and very good poetry.

In Älmhult, at Linneskolan (Linné School) we had a girl in one of the highest classes, who had been to school in Zimbabwe (outside Harare). She did such a good performance in poetry. Our Swedish pupils are not as skilled as the Zimbabwean school children, they have much to learn! (Of course our pupils has other skills)

A couple of years ago I got a video from Jackson, from a school outside Bulawayo, who were exellent in their dance performance. I am still impressed!  This must be something to develop and what an exellent culture exchange between Swedish teachers and Zimbabwean teachers to learn how to love and preforme poetry!

Love from Sweden, from Kersti with her heart in Zimbabwe!

Blogs you can read: http://www.kersti.webblogg.se this blog is my private written both in English and Swedish. You are all invited. http://pieceofclementine.blogspot.com This is Bodils blog, my youngest daughter. She writes in English from her life in Budapest.


Today I have looked at a Swedish organization, Afrikagrupperna. They are located in Stockholm, but have local support teams all over Sweden. The text below is from their homepage about Edward Ndlovu Memorial TrusLibrary, and a translation made of me. I don't think those of you that follows my blog every week will find so much of news here, but it could be useful to know that a lot of people support this project. 
If you want to support this library a good idea is to contact Afrikagrupperna and ask them for banking number. It is important for us that you tell them that the support is for ENMT! You can be anonymous or give them your name. Both Jackson Ndlovu and I would appriciate if you tell us that you have given us support this way!
my email: [email protected]

ENMT är en organisation som driver bibliotek och når ut
med böcker till 26 skolor i och omkring staden Gwanda i Matabeleland South. Projektet gäller stöd till att utveckla en läskultur och att bidra till ekonomisk och social utveckling. Aktiviteter i projektet är tillhandahållande av böcker och nödvändig information, kurser för bibliotekarier, rektorer, lärare och studiecirkelledare, stöd till bildande av studiecirklar och uppbyggnad av administrativ kapacitet. I studiecirklarna bearbetas ämnen som exempelvis jämställdhet och hiv/aids. Organisationen riktar sig till människor som arbetar och studerar i skolan men även till samhället i stort. Institutionellt stöd ges till andra bibliotek i distriktet och ett lokalt arkiv är i planeringsstadiet. Hjälp med lobbying erhålles för att få makthavare att tillhandahålla utvecklingsassistans till olika behövande områden.

ENMT is an organisation who is working with libraries and reach out with books to26  schools in and around the town of Gwanda in Matabeleland South. The project is a support to develop the Reading Culture and to contribute to economic and social development. Activities in the project is to provide books and necessary information, library training for the stuff, headmasters, teachers and study circle leaders, support to found study circles and to build up administrative capacity. In the study circles you learn about subjects as gender and iv/aids. The organisation is for the people working in schools but also to the community in all. Institutional support is given to other libraries in the District and a local archive is planned. They get help to lobby among the leaders of the community to provide developing assistance to different needs in the area.

Storytelling for school children



This is a lovely picture from Gwanda and the Edward Ndlovu Library!
The school children come to the Library from most of the schools which are located in walking distance from the central placed library. They can borrow 1-2 books and take home (that is if they have bought a library card, which cost a small sum every year), they can sit in the library and read, sometimes there is a story teller who tells them an interesting story or even makes a “book talk”.

That is to present a book suitable for the age and reading skills, in a way that makes it popular to the children and “everybody” wants to borrow just that book. It is not easy to catch up the children all the time, but if you really make a good “book talk” a few times the children starts to listen to you at once next time. I also check what book I talked about last time I saw this group of children (you have to make a very good dairy about your book talks) ask them questions about what they liked the book, how many have read it and if they can recommend it.

Children love to give books points.
That is: how many points do you give this book from 1 to 10? You can make a list on to put on the wall where the children can arrange the books they read during a semester, from the best to the worse. Of course these books have to have their on shelf and are to be marked somehow. On the wall the children can write a resume on the book, tell the title, the author, the illustrator, what the story was about and so on. They listen more to each other than to you.

For a whole school year I had 2 girls coming into the library making “the week’s book” (or the book of the month). They recommended a book they had read (it has to be one of the library books) telling which grouped of children that could like it and why, if it was suitable for parents and so on. This was very popular. All the children rushed up to their shelf and looked for the new book and it was a long queue of children who wanted that particular book.

The girls doing this were 12-13 years old, and they took responsibility for choosing different books suitable for different children.

Love from me as a school librarian in Sweden with a special interest in Gwanda Matabeleland South in Zimbabwe. Kersti

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