Thursday, February 08, 2007

The 30th good thing about Lagos: Plenty of good reading material

I bet you thought that those library cards placed in the little pocket glued to library books and hand stamped with the date were gone forever. Those of you younger than 30 have grown up on bar codes and scanners and probably have no idea what I'm referring to, so I'll include a picture here. But those real library check-out cards and real card catalogs do still exist at the American Women's Club Library in Lagos. I was invited to come visit the library and, if I wished, become a volunteer there. The library collection exists solely from donations of books and other items from the expatriate community. It's open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. The other two LDS American women here volunteer there on Wednesday mornings and they assured me that there's a great bunch of women there and they have a good time each week. So, having nothing better to do, I decided I'd go for a visit and I found that the library is a really "good thing." It's in an old house and has 4 good-sized rooms of shelves with books for adults (with more shelves along hallways and alcoves) and a 5th room with a nice collection of books and videos for children. This picture below is of the main room downstairs. Along with books, there are also magazines, videotapes and DVDs.

Membership costs 1500 naira (about $12) and will be well worth it. Though there is a good bookstore here on Victoria Island, books are very expensive. I did bring some with me, but I know I'll appreciate having more of a choice in reading material. After I browsed the collection, I offered my services and was given the task of organizing the magazine collection. I did a pretty good job, if I dare say so myself. Those years of volunteering at the Pattison elementary school library really paid off! The house also has a room that is a thrift shop selling donated items as a fundraiser and a service to the community. I looked over the goods there and just missed getting a real find. One of the other workers nabbed a Cuisinart ice-cream maker that looked in quite good shape. Brent and I had just been talking about how we should put one in our shipment. Ice cream here is very expensive -- about $27 for a half-gallon -- so we haven't been stocking our freezer with it! But it's probably better for us if we continue our ice cream fast. We may go without ice cream here, but we aren't pizza-deprived. After closing up the library I went with some of the other volunteers to a pizza place that was new to me and we enjoyed visiting over lunch. So Wednesday mornings now will be good: a volunteer opportunity, new women to get to know, book browsing, lunch dates and, maybe sometime, I'll get first dibs on the thrift store "finds."


eva la said...

Hello, I am tying to find out more information about the American Womens Club in Lagos. I saw their cook book the store the other day and was just so excited to see that something like that exsits out here. Please, if you could help me by posting information on how to contact them that would be so wonderful.
Thank you

Carolee said...

Well, eva, the American Women's Club library doesn't have a home now, but you can contact the club by emailing Hope you get this message!