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Frequently Asked Questions About the Segenat Children and Youth Library

Updated November 22, 2010

What are the illustrations in the foyer of the library?

These are the original drawings for the book Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda:  An Ethiopian Girl’s Festival.  The artist is Rahel Bluts, a native of Mekelle.  Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda was written by Yohannes Gebregeorgis and depicts a young girl’s experience preparing for the Ashenda Festival.

What are the hours of operations? 

Segenat is open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  (2:30 seat to 6:30 seat and 8:00 seat to 12:00 seat)

Who is Dr. Solomon?

Dr. Solomon Inquai is a prominent Tigryan statesman, educator, author, and distinguished citizen of Ethiopia.  He has been named Patron of the Segenat Children and Youth Library.

When was the library dedicated? 

After months of preparation, the Segenat was dedicated on August 22, 2010 to an audience of nearly 400 children, guests, dignitaries including the presence of His Excellency, Professor Joseph Nsengimana, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to Ethiopia.

Who is Ato Yohannes?

Throughout his career, Yohannes Gebregeorgis directed the opening of over 45 school library partnerships across Ethiopia, three public children’s libraries, seven Donkey Mobile Libraries and a number of portable libraries.  His recent expansion into Tigray has included the development of the Debri, Fre Sew-at, and Myliham school libraries; a Donkey Mobile Library at Sefra Jeganu; and the flagship Segenat Children and Youth Library in the city of Mekelle.

   Yohannes has achieved international fame for these endeavors including the 2008 Top 10 CNN Hero award, Presidential Citation for International Innovation by the American Library Association in 2008, delivered the President’s Keynote Address at the American Library Association Mid-Winter conference in Boston in January 2010, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his achievements by Regis University in Denver, Colorado in May 2010. 

Who is Dr. Thomas Hooyman?

Dr. Thomas Hooyman was a professor of medical ethics at Regis University in Denver, CO.  He was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident and family, friends and colleagues rallied in their support to dedicate a library at Fre Se-wat Elementary School in Mekelle.  His sister Barbara Hooyman Baker attended the dedication and pledged generous support for the Segenat Children and Youth Library.

How many books are in the library?

There are over 20,000 titles including books, DVDs and videos, and supplementary materials.

What are E-books?

The collection of the Segenat library includes two Kindle E-book readers, each containing approximately 100 book titles.  A list of these titles, many of which are classics, can be found at the registration desk.  Use of the Kindles is reserved for serious students who are regular library users.

What services does the library provide?

The library provides a full range of services including ample study spaces, story hours, video presentations, an online catalog, reference assistance, and a variety of clubs and other programs.

How many staff members are there? 

There are three library assistants, a receptionist, a library manager, an IT manager, three student assistants, two cleaners, two guards and a gardener.

What is the Book Club?  Who are in the photos? 

The book club is an opportunity for serious students to come together to read books of an important nature, participate in group discussion, and to write of their interests.  Ethiopian- American Dinaw Mengestu (The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, How to Read the Air), and Maaza Mengiste (Beneath the Lion’s Gaze) have generously donated copies of their books to the Segenat Children and Youth Library Book Club.  Their photos are hung in the Book Club room.

Who can use the Segenat Library?

All children and youth from 1 to 18 or first through twelfth grade can use the Segenat Library.  Older students attending High School may use the service as well.

What is the online public access catalog?

The online public access catalog contains the bibliographic data for the titles of books and media in the collection.  It utilizes KOHA software, an open source library product.  Information about the titles in the collection can be found through keyword, author, or title searches. 

How does the library obtain funding?

Initial funding for Segenat Children and Youth Library has been generously donated by a number of friends and colleagues, most notably Mrs. Barbara Hooyman Baker in the U.S.  Ongoing operational funding will need to be raised through donations and through grant requests.  

What is Janet’s Reading Nook?

Janet’s Reading Nook is designated for children from one year to six years of age.  Children under four must be supervised by a guardian over the age of twelve.  Janet’s Reading Nook was fully funded by Janet Lee.  The Reading Nook is perfect for storytelling, puppet shows, crafts and other activities as well as quiet reading.

Who is Janet Lee?

Janet Lee is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Endeber, 1974-76) and a librarian at Regis University in Denver, CO.  She was granted a sabbatical leave from Regis and spent five months working with the staff in setting up the library, assist with training, and the installation of the KOHA online catalog.

Who can use the computer lab? 

The computer lab is restricted to students who have taken an Introduction to Computers course and who are regular Segenat Library users. Basic training is provided in the computer lab for boys and girls on an ongoing basis.  The hours of operation are the same as regular library hours.

Are there computer courses?

There is one course, Introduction to Computers, which is currently being taught.  Plans are in preparation for more advanced courses including the use of the Internet.

When are video programs shown? 

A video presentation is shown every Saturday at 9:00 (3:00 seat).  Because of high demand, other times are being considered.

When are story times?

Story hours are conducted throughout the day on Saturday.  Check with a library assistant for the schedule for the upcoming Saturday.

When does the puppet theater have performances?

The Segenat Library is preparing a schedule for upcoming performances. 

Can students check out books? 

At this time, students must use all resources in the library.

Who owns the building? 

The building is owned by the City of Mekelle and is provided lease free to the Tigray Library and Literacy Project managed by Ato Yohannes Gebregeorgis.

What other libraries are sponsored by this organization?

There are school library partnerships with Fre Sew-at, Myliham, and Debri Elementary Schools as well as a Donkey Mobile Library that is permanently stationed at Sefra Jeganu.

Is there a newsletter? 

The “Segenat Messenger” will be issued in the near future.  Please leave your email address if you would like to be included in electronic distribution of this newsletter.

What types of books are available at the Segenat?

The Segenat has a collection of picture books, fiction, non-fiction, reference titles in Tigrigna and Amharic. 

Does the Segenat accept book donations?  Does the Segenat purchase books from individuals? 

Yes, the Segenat does accept educational books and specifically books in local languages.  Books by African writers are also welcome.  The Segenat actively looks for books by local authors and would appreciate suggestions of titles.


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