Aug 8, 2008, 7:26 AM
The presentation of the books in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Medicine and Nursing took place at UTG’s main library in Brikama.
Ms. Joy Buchanan presented the books on behalf of her association, Better Community Association.
The meeting was chaired by Yankuba Mamburay, a senior university relations officer.
Mr. Mamburay opined that “books are to academics what meat is to a hungry lion – when they see books they ‘devour’ them”
Momodou Lamin Tarro, the registrar, spoke on behalf of the UTG vice chancellor.
Mr. Tarro commended the donors for their “wonderful gesture”.
On behalf of the vice chancellor, he said words cannot express how delighted the entire university community feels about gestures of this kind.
He promised that the books will be put to good use.
Isatou Njie, the chief librarian, said the books came to the right place, where they can assure the donors that the books will be put to best use.
She thanked the donors, and said the books came at the right time.
Dr. Pierre Gomez, acting dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, expressed his delight, and said he was the happiest man on campus today because most of the books received are core natural and physical science books, which happen to be areas under his school.
He said students talk about the unavailability of some books, but now they will have no cause to complain.
Dr. Gomez further expressed his hope that the University Relations Department will work hard to nurture their relationship with Ms. Buchanan and her association, to ensure it grows from strength to strength.
“The donor is visibly happy, so we the recipients should be happier,” he added.
Dr. Gomez also thanked Dr. Yves Lamour who did not only link Mr. Mamburay and Ms. Buchanan, but also helped pack and transport the books to the UTG.
Though Dr. Lamour did what is expected of him, he has gone over and above the call of duty by not only executing his duties as a teacher, but he embarked on what people call community service, according to Gomez.
Dr. Lamour said he did what he should do, and believes any UTG lecturer would do the same when faced with the opportunity, “because we at the university are a team”.
He said he wished he could do more, and concluded that “there is happiness in service and we can see that even the donor is happy today”.
Joy Buchanan, the representative from Better Community Association, said all the books have been donated by Books for Africa.
According to her, they got information that they could collect the books from the USA given that they could take care of the shipping of the containers.
“However the freight was some $15, 000 and we did not have the money. Thank God, due to the timely intervention of another philanthropist organisation known as Margaret Rivers Fund (USA), which paid for the entire freight charges, we were able to have the books in The Gambia,” she stated.
She thanked the Gambia armed forces, which helped to unload the container from the ports, Books for Africa, and Margaret Rivers Fund and many other individuals who made the possibility of getting the 22,000 books on the shores of The Gambia.
She said she came from an academic family (father is mathematician and mother an archaeologist and herself an author), and she knows the importance of books.
“Electronics cannot replace books because there is the tendency to lose such in five years, but books endure time,” she pointed out. She promised to be back in The Gambia in January to see if the books are being put to good use.
She donated a journal she wrote (La Pointe), in which she wrote a lot about The Gambia, to the University.
In turn, the UTG gave her and her association a letter of appreciation.