Establishing two libraries

Monday 10 February 2014

IBBY Children in Crisis

The Establishment of two libraries in Gaza - end of 2007

Believing that the book is the best friend and teacher for the child, the International Board on Books for Young People – Palestine supported by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY, established two libraries in Gaza , as part of the project “Children in Crisis Fund”.
In cooperation with two community based centres in Beit Hanoun and al-Shawka in Rafah. Encouraging the habit of reading, bibliotherapy and psycho-social activities are implemented there through: book discussions, storytelling, creative writing, drama, illustrations, painting, and preparing wall magazines and other similar activities.

The children embraced the library and were enthusiastic to participate in its creative activities. The local community welcomed and supported the two libraries due to heir positive effect on their children.

A girl child from the Shawka library expressed what every child there feels: “My dream is to carry my books go to my school with no fear or terror, like all children of the world who live in peace and enjoy all the beautiful things while we the innocent children of Palestine see only the blood and destruction. Where is the world from our suffering?”

Training of librarians and volunteers in animation activities in children libraries

Gaza: 13/12 - 18/12/ 2008


The training was supposed to be implemented few months before it did. IBBY Palestine (PBBY) was hoping the Israeli siege on Gaza would ease up and the training in bibliotherapy could take place in Cairo as originally planned. However, when the situation deteriorated and the siege was tightened, PBBY decided to carry out a 5-day training (6 hours each day) in Gaza to promote library animation. Despite the very difficult situation and the shortage of basic humanitarian needs, the training went well with great enthusiasm and commitment from the trainees and the trainers.

The aim was to train librarians/animators on activities for children that would combine non-formal education, creativity and entertainment, as well as stress-releasing activities.

PBBY opening the training to librarians/animators and volunteers who were working with children these marginalized areas.

The participants were selected according their interest and willingness to volunteer, as well having some experience in the field of library activities.

The training programme was agreed and the best available trainers in each field were invited to participate.


The training programme was distributed and the programme took place at the Al-Ata’Library in Beit Hanoun.

The topics included were:
1. Classification: basic principles
2. Drama: methods and activities
3. Imaginative activities for children
4. Reviewing and analyzing books
5. How to attract the children to the library
6. Anger-management techniques for the children
7. Creative writing skills
8. Story discussions
9. Puppet making and use
10. Storytelling: importance and methods


I Positive aspects:

The institutions were very happy to have their librarians and volunteers receive the training. The participants cooperated positively and they fulfilled their task to the best of their abilities and the majority of them attended all the training days.

There was very positive cooperation on part of the Institute hosting the training.

After the Israeli war on Gaza the PBBY librarians were contacted and they said that the training has helped them a lot in implementing activities with the children in drawing, writing and especially in drama activities.

II Difficulties

The training took place in Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza, which is far away from other Institutes, especially those of the Al-Shawka area (near Rafah in the south) , and some participants had difficulty in reaching the venue.

Because the felt needed for puppet-making activities was not available because of the siege, wood and cardboard was used for the puppets.

The participants were from the following institutions:

Beit Hanoun area:
PBBY/Al-Ata’ Association: 2 Librarians + 3 volunteers

Taghreed Association: Librarian + 3 volunteers

Center for Women’s Programs: Librarian + 3 volunteers

Al-Shawka area:

PBBY/ Al-Shawka Women’s Club: 2 Librarians + 3 volunteers

Al-Iman Center: Librarian + 3 volunteers

= = = = =

Report by the Palestinian Section of IBBY (PBBY)

Ramallah – Palestine, January 2009

Translated by H. Ruhayem

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