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Local Donors Fill the Shelves of a Nigerian Library, The Tennessean (6/5/09)

tennessean.com

June 5, 2009

Local donors fill shelves of Nigerian library

Princess leads drive to expand services in her native region

By Harriet Vaughan
THE TENNESSEAN

SPRING HILL — Three thousand books collected and more coming is the score so far in a Williamson County book drive to help build a library in Nigeria.

The book drive started early this year. Since then, county residents have gathered books from their homes and local libraries have stockpiled books to hand over to the cause.

That means a lot to Nigerian princess and Spring Hill resident Fumi Ogunleye Hancock. She spearheaded the drive along with volunteers, whom she invited to tour the Emure Ekiti region of Nigeria. During the tour they discovered that despite having 42 schools in the area, there is not one library in the region.

"You literally have schools with no books. Nothing. This will be a place they can read, tell stories and use that as a place to enhance themselves," Ogunleye Hancock said.

The library will be housed in a building previously used to conduct court cases. The now-vacant building is nearly 1,000 square feet. Ogunleye Hancock says 7,000 more books are needed to fill the shelves of the library. Subject books, inspirational books and those that focus on a particular skill or trade are being requested. She expects close to 4,200 school children to use the library in addition to thousands from the area and neighboring region.

Ogunleye Hancock says she plans to begin building libraries in other regions after receiving wide support from the local government and the king of the Emure Ekiti region.

"This is going to be the first one, so it's kind of overwhelming, but I can see the smile on the children right now," Ogunleye Hancock said. "I can see their smile when they walk in, and that keeps me going."

To donate books or volunteer, visit www.adassafoundation.org.

princessfumipicwithbooks.jpg

Princess Fumi Ogunleye Hancock of Spring Hill sits among boxes of books collected for a library in the Emure Ekiti region of Nigeria.
JEANNE REASONOVER / THE TENNESSEAN


More information about Our Book Drive