A consignment of books was on Friday donated to the management of Observer Company, publisher of the Daily Observer newspaper by the Books for Africa, through an organisation called Better Community Association.
The presentation ceremony, which was held at the conference room of the company, was meant to face-lift the editorial department's library, thus enhancing the knowledge of the reporters and other staff of the institution.
At the ceremony to receive the books from the president of Better Community Association (BCA), Joy Buchanan, was the company's managing director, Pa Malick Faye and other senior staff of the editorial department.
The books that include arts, humanities and social sciences, such as English communications, world history and religion; science and engineering, information technology, general reference, dictionary amongst others, will improve literacy, reading culture among the staff of the company, as well as serve as reference materials for the journalists.
Presenting the books, Joy Buchanan, acknowledged what she called the good work carried out by the Daily Observer, thus noting that the books will enhance the knowledge of the beneficiaries. "It's important for writers and journalists to have access to literature because myself, I have been a writer all my life and professionally for about 20 years," she underscored.
Madam Buchanan hastened to remark that the books that are part of the larger consignment they shipped to The Gambia were provided by Books for Africa, supported by the Margaret Rivers Funds. She disclosed that the value of the total consignment is about US$240,000. "We have distributed to 40 destinations and the aim of the Books for Africa is to send a million books to The Gambia to improve literacy and reading culture," she further remarked.
The Better Community Association president went on to state that the project is large and far-reaching with the aim to set up libraries in different places, thus justifying their donation to the Observer's library. "There are many reasons for one to read; to be clever, to interpret words, learn new things, satisfy one's curiosity, answer questions and stimulate the minds and to speak the imagination," she explained,
Buchanan further stated that the aim of the Books for Africa is to end the book famine in Africa. She noted that the first distribution of the books took place in 2010 with the 7,500 books that set up the medical library at the Sulayman Junkung General Hospital in Bwiam.
"Approximately, 44, 000 books were distributed in February, 2012 to schools in the North Bank Region. We will send one million reading books to The Gambia and build up to six regional libraries within three to four years' period," she further disclosed.
On receiving the books, Observer's managing director, Pa Malick Faye, thanked the donor and her organisation for choosing his institution as one of the beneficiaries of the worthwhile donation.
"The books will revamp our library and from now on, we will not allow any journalist to sit idle without doing anything because the more you read, the more you develop your capacity in terms of writing. As journalists, they should be exposed to new writing skills," Faye underscored, while assuring the donors that the books will not gather dust in Observer's library.
Also speaking at the ceremony, a sub-editor of the Daily Observer newspaper, Hatab Fadera, welcomed the donation, which he described as timely given the fact that Observer lacks certain books in its library. Commending the Books for Africa and Better Community Association ofor what he called a worthwhile donation, Fadera said the donation will enhance the company's library and encourage the journalists and other editorial members to use the books to read and better strengthen their writing skills.
"As journalists, we need to read a lot and not just reading about journalistic materials, but we also have to be exposed to other books to know different things that will give us the knowledge we need to carry on with our job," he underscored.
A senior legal correspondent of the newspaper, Sidiq Asemota, who facilitated the donation, said the donation will help the company to upgrade the staff in terms of reading and writing in other areas and in different aspects of life.