A Malawian school library: culture, literacy and reader development : Anderson and Matthews

So, I am finally a published author. You can read my article here. It was tough to fit my dissertation and several years worth of work into one paper but I hope I managed to bring out all of the significant findings and discussion. As it was my first attempt to write a journal article I chose to co-author it with my research supervisor Paul Matthews. Paul also has a background in international development and so was able to provide further context and expertise,  underpinning in more detail how my research related to current international development agenda.  I enjoyed working collaboratively and I think Paul really helped to round out the piece. The experience increased my confidence enough to go solo in the future.  I had intended to write another article for an international development journal as literacy and libraries have such an important role to play in the alleviation of poverty I hoped I might be able to play a small role in raising the profile of libraries and reader development to a wider audience, but my life has rather been taken over by campaigning activities for Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries and my PGCHE course so I have been unable to do this. I wonder if it is too late.  I will post my full dissertation on my blog shortly. The NGO I based the research on chose not to follow the recommendations, which is of course their prerogative, but I hope it may be of use to other library aid providers.

When I wrote my dissertation the world was very different. I had no idea that a year later I would be fighting so hard to save our public libraries in the UK from a government that fails to see the value they bring to communities and the vital role they have to play in getting us out of the financial mess we are in. I often wonder how  I would explain this to the people of Chembe village, people who look to us and the resources we have with envy. They could teach us a thing or to. Sometimes you don’t know what you have got until it is gone…..but I digress.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Johanna,

    I know I’m a bit late in commenting, but I just stumbled across your blog through to Voices for the Library site. Congratulations on publication!

    I am a (former, but hopefully not for long) school librarian and about to start on an LLM in International Law and Sustainable Development, and it sounds as though we have some similar research interests. Good luck with your current work, and I am looking forward to reading more from you in the future!


  2. Hello, Thanks for the comment. It is never too late! It is still a major area of interest for me, but I seem to be among the few, so it is always nice to find another interested person 🙂
    LLM sounds fascinating. I would love to do an International Development Masters but alas do not have the funds. I think it would tie in really well with my research. OR I would love to do a PHD and extend my research further. It is not really the right time to do it now but maybe one day….

    I’d love to hear how your studies go. My full dissertation is available here


    if you are interested in having a look. If nothing else there are lots of pretty pictures of Malawi in it!



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