From: Julius Zake
To: librariesoflove@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 3:34 AM
Subject: Appreciation & Request

Hello Libraries of Love,
Greetings!

I’d like to thank you for your work in my home country Uganda, especially the work the organization has done with children’s and school libraries. The need to improve and build the African child’s reading skill is slowly but surely being realized thanks to organizations such as yours.

I was a student at Mengo Senior School – one of the schools you donate books to. I remember the first book I borrowed (back in 2007), it had been donated by Libraries of Love. This book was about growing fruits and vegetables, in a few weeks I was eating the cabbages I had grown thanks to the knowledge I’d obtained from that book. I even managed to plant an avocado tree! Sadly it didn’t survive the harsh cold weather at the time. Since I had enjoyed my first applied practical read, I encouraged my friends to visit the library and find a nice book. I told them, “That place is not just a store anymore, it’s a knowledge palace.” All of them borrowed books that evening, from novels to reference books to biographies on various subjects. We were finally enjoying reading, it was no longer a form of “torture” as we’d been brought to believe. We could finally access quality information and either apply it in our lives or simply enjoy thanks to the donation by Libraries of Love.

After my high school studies, I decided to pursue a Bachelors degree in Library and Information Science at Uganda Christian University. I chose the course and place to do it because of my deep admiration for the work your organization had done. My passion became delivering quality, needed information to people of all ages starting with the youngest. The beauty with the young ones is that they are still developing their reading skills, so books are a viable tactile and easy medium for them to learn from. I managed to graduate top of my class with an impressive GPA of 4.9 out of 5. This would never have been possible had it not been for that book I got from the Mengo school library that stirred up this passion in me. I definitely had to thank Libraries of Love.

Currently, I’m working with Orel-Vine International Academy which is also a Christian school – as their librarian and information systems officer. To me, one of the most impressive things about the school is what it stands for. The school motto is derived from Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” This gives me a chance to make a difference with people that have the same ambition in terms of learning and information literacy. The only problem could be the fact that we have a very low stock of books to serve the children ranging from 2 to 9 years and yet these are the ages at which children are most eager to learn. The school is new and as with most schools, may have to develop other sections before the library is fully prioritized. For now though, we have to rely on donations such as those from your organization to build our book collection. So I humbly ask, please please, as you have done before for children like me, inspire the youngsters at Orel-Vine to start reading at an early age through a donation. I’m very sure, even as the Bible says, when they grow they will not turn away from the awesome habit that is reading.
Otherwise, thank you so much for everything you do. We honestly do apprecite. Libraries of Love is changing lives in ways you probably do not know about. I can testify to that.

God bless you all,
Julius Zake

Julius Zake

Julius Zake poses for a photograph.