On Friday 19th of August, 2022 Open Foundation West Africa (OFWA) officially launched the Book Exchange Booth in partnership with the ARA Children Playground at the Achimota mall.
The idea is to encourage readers to donate old books from a stationed booth and pick up new ones in order to encourage sharing and repurposing old books among the youth while maintaining an environmentally friendly way of reuse that eradicates the burning of books.
To quote the famous Dr. Seuss “the more that you read, the more things you will know. the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” As part of the organization’s goal to make open educational resources available, we came up with the Book Exchange Booth initiative.
According to Knoema, in 2018, the adult literacy rate for Ghana was 79 %. The adult literacy rate of Ghana increased from 57.9 % in 2000 to 79 % in 2018 growing at an average annual rate of 17.02%. The book exchange booth is one of our ways of contributing our quota to increasing the literacy rate in Ghana.
The inspiration for this project sprouted from a work-related visit to the Czech Republic by one of the founders of OFWA in 201… During his trip, he stumbled on a booth stocked with books and people exchanging books by dropping off old ones and picking new ones in return.
The fascinating concept triggered him to propose the idea to the team. Two years later we are elated to say that the idea came to fruition with the help of our wonderful partners and our vibrant community members.
“We started off by making a call for donations of books to stock the booth. We received books from the EPP Books and A Rocha Ghana and some community members. After receiving these books, we were steadily communicating with most of the malls in Accra to mount our booths. Fortunately, the ARA Children shop at the Achimota mall shared our vision and has agreed to place one booth at the ARA children playground.
While we waited for confirmation from these malls, we thought it wise to put the books we received to use before the launch of the Book Exchange Booth. We came up with the idea of a mini-library project in the office premises.”
The Goethe-Institut donated a bookshelf to aid us in starting off this project. We stocked the bookshelf with the books we received from our donations and made the office available to our community members and the public to visit the office and read the books.
The concept of the book exchange booth pivots on the tenets of sharing, trust, and sustainable reuse. These booths will be mounted at vantage points all over the country starting from the ARA Children Playground at the Achimota mall.
We are still accepting book donations and calling on organizations who see an avenue to strike a partnership, to reach out to us.