BGC Library Development, Juba

Core Training continues to assist the BGC library

Core Training has been working to assist the BGC library since 2014 and has brought several hundred, important theological resource books there since that time. Core also ran a computer literacy course at the library in 2014, following a donation from World Vision to Bishop Gwynne College that consisted of 10 desktop computers. Core also provided 24 solar panels for the library in 2015 which has made a significant difference to the capacity of the library and the college in general.

In March 2017, Core ran a library development project in conjunction with Overseas Council of Australia. library management software was installed on 2 laptop computers that were donated to the college, and a veteran, Australian librarian trained 4 local library staff how to use the software, how to catalogue books, label books and also place them on the shelves.

Darien Khlentzos from Core Training returned to BGC in September 2017 and was excited to see how committed to the library the recently trained local librarians were.

Library development project in association with Overseas Council of Australia, March 2017

In 2016, Darien Khlentzos from Core Training met up with Stuart Brooking from Overseas Council of Australia and they travelled to Bishop Gwynne College in Juba, South Sudan. Darien was able to show Stuart the great work that is going on at the college under the mature guidance of Rev. Samuel Marial and his team. Both Darien and Stuart saw the value of strengthening the library through installing a computerised library software management system. Rev. Marial was delighted to hear that they were keen to do this as it had been on his own mind for some time.

Training by a veteran, expert Librarian, Lynn Pryor

After some planning, Stuart managed to secure Lynn Pryor, an expert and a veteran in the field, from Melbourne, Australia. Although Lynn had never been to South Sudan, she had a vast experience of setting up libraries and training librarians throughout the world, and had even done this quite recently in Tanzania.

Rev. Marial put forward 3 very capable current students from BGC who would be trained by Lynn, and one other very capable local who was to be the head librarian – James Malak Mayom.

Lynn’s visa

Darien met Lynn in Nairobi and assisted her to get her South Sudanese visa from there as there is as yet no South Sudan embassy located in Australia (even though there are thousands of South Sudanese in Australia!). They then travelled together to Core’s guesthouse that is located in the capital, Juba – a short drive from the college. Lynn had already installed the library management software on 2 laptops that were to be donated to BGC.

The Training

She then trained the four librarians how to catalogue books, how to conduct loans, how to print the labels, how to fasten them to the books, where to place the books on the shelves and how the Library of Congress Classification system works in terms of categories etc.

The librarians learnt very quickly under Lynn’s experienced hand and in no time were cataloguing, printing labels, adhering labels and placing books on the shelves throughout the library.

Rev. Marial needed to depart to Uganda before the training was completed, however expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Lynn, to Core training and Development and to Overseas Council of Australia before he departed.

After the training was complete, the librarians received certificates from Core Training and Development and are now capable of managing the library effectively through the new system.

The great value of this training

Darien said after the training:

I believe that the installation of this software and the subsequent training will be of immense benefit to the college. Prior to this, lecturers have had problems formulating reading lists to give the students as it was hard to know what titles and how many copies of each were in the library. This training should increase the college’s capacity greatly – something that is much needed in order to accommodate the annual growth in student enrolments. We praise God that we were able to contribute towards the great work that our Lord is doing in South Sudan through Rev. Samuel Marial and our brothers and sisters on the ground there.

God is truly strengthening Bishop Gwynne College…to Him alone be the Glory!

Solar Panels for Bishop Gwynne College

After staying at Bishop Gwynne College on several occasions, it was clear that the college needed a more reliable and affordable source of electrical power. Government power in South Sudan is next to non-existent. Although Bishop Gwynne College had a generator, it was faulty, and the college could not afford to run it for more than four hours each evening. This meant that during the day, computers could not be used, fans could not be used in the excessive heat, and electrical lights could not be turned on in darker rooms such as the library. These are all things we take for granted in colleges in the West and in most other parts of Africa. Improving these facilities was the goal behind a fundraising push for 24 solar panels on the roof of the Bishop Gwynne College library.

After running a crowd-funding campaign on Chuffed, we are happy to announce that the funds were successfully raised, thanks to the generosity of supporters and the motivating force of God’s Spirit! The panels were installed in August this year and have been providing much-needed power to the college library and the lecture halls. Students, lecturers and visitors can now study at any time of the day and use the library computers. This gives the college a far greater capacity to progress successfully, unhindered by the lack of infrastructure in the nation.

We would like to thank all our donors who gave so generously to this project and want to praise our faithful God for this great provision!