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close this bookAbove and Beyond - Secondary Activities for Peace Corps Volunteers (Peace Corps, 1995, 116 p.)
close this folderPart two - A sampling of activities
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAppropriate technology & energy
View the documentArts & entertainment
View the documentBusiness
View the documentConstruction
View the documentEnvironmental education
View the documentHealth education
View the documentLiteracy
View the documentRecreation for children & youth
View the documentResource centers & libraries
View the documentServices for people with special needs
View the documentWorld wise schools (WWS)
View the documentVolunteer & vocational training
View the documentWorking with women

Resource centers & libraries

Establishing a Resource Center in Papua New Guinea

A PCV in a remote village in Papua New Guinea began to write letters to several non-government organizations inquiring about their programs and local affiliates. With every reply came a number of free books and publications.

When the PCV showed the materials to her supervisor in the rural health clinic where she was working, he suggested she collect them to start a community resource center, and assigned her an office for that purpose. She began to write to other organizations asking directly for free materials. For only the cost of postage, the center was able to acquire over 350 titles and subscriptions to eight publications on topics from literacy and hygiene to appropriate technology and games. By simply writing letters the PCV had increased tremendously a remote community's access to information.

Forming a Volunteer lRC Liaison Committee in the Solomon Islands

Interested in the development of their Peace Corps In-Country Resource Center (IRC), two PCVs in the Solomon Islands began working regularly with the Resource Center Manager as a Volunteer IRC Liaison Committee. Together with the Manager, they reorganized the IRC, set up a section for new books, and produced a Resource Center Guide. They also updated the collection, weeding out old titles that were no longer relevant and ordering new ones that were more appropriate to current Volunteer needs. Long after the two PCVs left Peace Corps, their secondary activity still was benefiting Volunteers who succeeded them in the Solomon Islands.

Organizing the In-Country Resource Center in Ukraine

Among the first group of PCVs assigned to Ukraine was a Business Development Volunteer who also was a professional librarian. For two years, until Peace Corps/Ukraine was able to hire a full-time Resource Center Manager, this PCV organized and administered the IRC as her secondary activity. Starting with bare bookcases, she was able to build up the Center with a collection of over 3,000 titles, mostly through donations.

Repairing and Binding Books in Kenya

This activity set out to preserve school library books and teach proper book care to teachers and students in a rural school. With the headmaster's support, the PCV organized a group of teachers and students to build a book press and taught them to repair books. As a result, many books were saved from needless destruction. In addition, the school set up a system whereby those who borrowed books would be charged if the books were damaged upon return.

Reviving a School Library in Fiji

Realizing that the school library had been out of commission for over a year, a Volunteer math teacher decided to take on the reorganization of the school library as a secondary activity, even though she had no real library experience. She enlisted the support of fellow teachers to help organize and repair the remaining books. One of the teachers, a nun, helped to get the books in circulation while the principal made a classroom available for use as a library. The PCV assigned Dewey Decimal numbers to the nonfiction books and alphabetized the fiction collection. She set up a system for students to borrow books, and a record-keeping ledger.

To purchase new books and the supplies necessary to maintain the library, fines were charged to students who returned books late. Other fundraising events were held, including a "Mufti Day" where students were charged a fee for coming to school out of uniform. The PCV solicited free books from the Darien Book Aid Plan and the Scholastic Book Service in the United States. In the end, this tireless PCV had procured over 1,000 new books and developed a thriving library used by the entire school community.