Listen: Interview | Women Inspiring a Love of Books with Dr. Carla Hayden and Edith Fezeka Khuzwayo

From BBC World Service:

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(Photo: Edith Khuzwayo (L) and Carla Hayden (R). Credit: Shawn Miller.

Two librarians running vastly different libraries in South Africa and the United States share their passion for books and their secrets for inspiring children to read.

Carla Hayden runs the biggest library in the world, the Library of Congress. As the first woman and first African American to take on the role she made history when she was nominated by former President Barack Obama. Carla now oversees the library’s extensive collection of books, manuscripts and historical artefacts, which include an original Gutenberg bible and the first ever map of America. One of the library’s main functions is to assist US Congress in the research it needs in order to pass bills. Prior to her appointment she spent most of her career working in public libraries, most recently in Baltimore, Maryland.

Edith Fezeka Khuzwayo is the managing librarian at the Murray Park Library in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s a tiny library, no bigger than a kitchen, and it serves a deprived community, where 90% of women cannot read. That has a huge impact on the local children, so Edith has come up with innovative ideas to encourage both kids and parents to use the library. Edith knows all too well what it means to be illiterate: she herself grew up in a rural area on the Eastern Cape, in a household without books, but her sheer love of reading her school notes meant she was always top of the class.

Listen to the Conversation:

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