The Medina Children's Library is a reading room designed as a space for children to feel comfortable and explore. The thick carpet and pillows invite kids to sprawl and read. Their artwork covers the walls.
We have around 1200 books in Arabic, French and English, most of which have been donated. However only 25% of our books are in Arabic. Our goal is to have most of our books in Arabic. the first language of our community and our kids.
Help us welcome every child who wants to read
Every day kids line up outside the library to get their ticket for the next day. Up to 12 kids can come in on the hour. At the end of the hour they must leave to make room for the next group of children. With this limited space, many children are turned away every day. We simply don’t have enough room for all the kids who want to come in.
One of our main goals is to find bigger space and increase staffing hours so that we can welcome 100 children a day.
Will you please help us fund a larger space and more hours for our librarians so that we can open our doors to any child who is eager to read?
We can only accommodate twelve children at a time in the library due to our tiny space. But even in our little library, we still receive an average of 1000 visits each month.
We have also reached out to partner with local schools. Many schools in the medina don't have libraries or story books for their students. The Medina Children's Library has reached out to local schools and teachers in the medina teachers and opens its doors to visiting classrooms. We welcome entire classrooms of children to the library every week!
Samia Bachroui, 23, works full-time as our main librarian and you will find her most days running things and keeping the library a fun and creative place for the children. She has a BA in English Literature and plans to continue her studies next year working towards her Masters degree.
Samia says, "When I was a child growing up here in the medina there was no opportunity to read books. The Medina Children's Library is very important to the local community. The children love the Library and the books we have.”
“In my time working here I have seen the improvement in the children”. Many visit regularly and Samia says, "their level of expression is better now." Also, the parents here trust us. When they send their child to the Library, they feel they are in a safe world. I love the children and I love the Library. It is my passion to work here and help the children and the Library.”
Mohammed ‘Simo’ Bennani, 22, started as a volunteer intern and was soon hired as a librarian. Simo works at the Library part-time and attends university full-time, working towards his BA in Physics. Simo is also an active long-time member of the ‘Organisation Marocaine des Scouts et Guides - Fes’ (similar to youth Scouting organizations in the US, France and throughout Europe).
“From my very first day at the Library" Simo explains, "I began to learn a lot of new things, meet new people, and learn about different cultures. But for me, the most important thing about working at the Library is that it allows me to get to know the children really well. I’m able to develop good communication with them, and to understand them and their personalities a lot more.”
“I love science and enjoy sharing stories about scientific things with them. Also I feel great when we create short plays and act them out in the Library. When I see their smiles and happy faces it makes my day.”
While books are the focus of our activities, we also encourage children to be creative in other related ways. Local and visiting artists occasionally offer workshops, in which the children participate.
Reader of the Month
"When I come to the library, I feel like I am entering a palace of beautiful stories. The library has made things better because we learn more how to read and write. When I am reading a book, I am happy because I feel like I am part of the story." ~ Lamiae