Library acquisition trip to Lagos and Ibadan

African Update – 18/07/16

"You like reading eh?" the Nigerian security officer asked me, with a mixture of irritation, amusement, and with a whiff of real interest. For the better part of an hour, I had thrown sand in the cogs of her security machinery, blocking the check-in and luggage-sealing queues in front of the KLM counter at the Murtala Muhammad Airport.

I had been a witness for most of the afternoon to the searching of carefully folded Nigerian men’s underwear (blue and white striped boxer shorts are currently in vogue), packed in suitcases of all shapes and sizes. I had been warned about this way of manually searching hold luggage so I was happy that I had left all of my seven boxes filled with 150 kilos of books unsealed. I was less happy with the ban on trolleys after the first passport check. I had spent my last 500 Naira renting this trolley (first time ever in my 25 years of experience of air travelling that I had to rent a trolley in an airport), just to discover that I had to abandon it after 13 metres. I was even more unhappy when the security officer started to scan the titles of all the books, in a manner more reminiscent of people browsing in a bookshop than of civil servants looking for contraband or terrorist devices.

"No, not really, I just hate reading" I joked, a bit ruder than I had intended to. The last day of my three weeks  in Nigeria had taken its toll. Just that morning, I had had to cop a 3000 euro loss just because the credit card payment machine at the DHL headquarters had been sent away for service. My three hours of negotiating for a 40% discount on a huge shipment of 160 kilos to the Netherlands had been for nothing. The only option left was the use of the African Studies Centre DHL account, which is a service of DHL Netherlands, and that comes with Dutch prices.

Apart from this rather disappointing (and expensive) end to the trip, my work had been exciting  for most of my three weeks in Africa's most populous country. The daily papers I read constantly amazed me. The visits to more than fifty different book selling joints in Yorubaland (Lagos and Ibadan), to the 15th edition of the Nigeria international Book Fair on the University of Lagos premises, going to the conference on “Book, the Untapped Entertainment Treasure in Africa”, listening to the conversations of people discussing the daily news in front of newspaper stands, and even the 5-hour Pentecostal service “Power Must Change Hands,” together with 250.000 other churchgoers, were both interesting and exhilarating experiences.

With over a thousand books and journals (none of them available in any Dutch library, and approximately 300 titles not yet catalogued by any of the 10.000 Worldcat libraries), the ASCL library took another step in  achieving one of its objectives to “promote the dissemination of knowledge and an understanding of African societies to the wider public sphere.”

Because the supply was so overwhelming, in the course of the journey I had to narrow the selection down to recent titles (2013-2016), in the core fields of politics, history, social sciences, and literature. Even so, it had become clear that the Nigerian publishing industry has also been hit hard as a result of the economic ‘melt down’ caused by the drop in oil prices. With barely 150 ‘new’ titles (2015-2016), production has slowed down significantly ...

... read the rest of the story on ASCL Library Website

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Book of the month

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya Kwasekhaya

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya KwasekhayaTastes from Nelson Mandela’s kitchen

A collection of recipes by Nelson Mandela's personal chef, this book contains the food served to visiting heads of state, celebrities, politicians for more than 20 years. Featuring some of the favourite former South African president's favourite meals including samp and beans, farm chicken, tripe, this book also features paella, peri-peri chicken, prawn curry, and myriad of other delights. With simple, delicious and nourishing recipes, it will interest those who wish to prepare meals that are both elegant and healthy.More

New arrivals

New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton

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