Meet Amanuel, the Head of Degale Library. Degale Public Library and Computer Center, located in Mudula, is the first public library of its kind in the area. It officially opened April 2015.
Amanuel was born and raised in Mudula and was hired as the full-time librarian as soon as the building construction was complete. Amanuel received his Bachelor of Education and was working as a high school English teacher at the time he was hired. He took the job immediately because he believed "the opening of this library would change the reading habit of the community." He was so passionate that he helped collect more books from former Mudula High School students.
The Degale Library reading room can hold up to 120 people- but during high school exam time, Amanuel states that is not enough! Students are regular library users although more male students than female students visit because "girls have so many more responsibilities at home." One frequent library user declares, "I love coming here to read every day! I spend most of my time here after class." Amanuel sees that the students who use the library regularly are performing better in school and on national exams.
Amanuel reports that while the library still needs some more books and staff, it has shown tremendous progress. "We have gained a lot of experience visiting other libraries, and the way we serve our library customers has changed a lot," says Amanuel.
Amanuel hopes that more adult learners will visit the library. Many adults assumed the library was for students only and did not realize it was open to all. Amanuel goes out of his way to tell them to visit the library to read or use the internet. He says that now "some housewives come to the library just to learn how to type on the computer."
Overall, Amanuel thinks having the physical structure of a public library has made a huge difference to the community. "People are using the library as intended- in fact, more than expected and beyond what was planned. WEEMA International is playing a great role in changing the new generation through the public library. It is a very inspirational place."