Date of Graduation

Winter 12-14-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies

First Advisor

Michael Kevane


Academics have noted the lack of culturally relevant reading materials in African libraries. Book collections are primarily composed of donated materials from western countries intended for a western, rather than African audience. This research project aimed to gain insight onto children’s reading preferences in the rural Burkina Faso and to learn about the popularity of local photo books that were added in 2009. Quantitative methods examined library book checkout records in three categories of African, French, and local photo books. Additionally the library subscription records were used in order to gain information about the children including age, gender, and ethnicity. Qualitative methods consisted of focus groups with the parents of library users to learn more about reading preferences, and what books and other library resources are considered most useful. Data gathered demonstrated that children’s books with African authors received the most checkouts and that local photo books are becoming increasingly popular. Parents also noted the popularity of African literature and considered them to be useful reading material.