World Book Day – Fijian outreach in rural Tailevu

The National Archives of Fiji (NAF) was kindly invited by our sister Department – the Library Services of Fiji (LSF) to join them in celebrating World Book Day (March 1st) in rural Tailevu, with the prospect of putting up archival displays and sharing historical information with schools and communities who do not have ready access to NAF.

The event was a success, with a number of schools performing items adapted from books they were studying, a costume event where children dressed up as a favourite character from a book, and there were several recitals as well.

Once the official items were over the school children were very eager to take in our displays "It is always both satisfying and heartening to see so many people, especially students flocking and asking historical questions at the National Archives booth” said Taito Raione NAF's senior conservator and the NAF team leader for this event.

Raione went on to say that NAF's materials also supported the subject matter those students were covering in class. "A Tailevu North College teacher expressed her appreciation at having to witness for the first time, copies of some historical documents and old photographs of Fiji. It was very beneficial to her as the display was relevant to her class history lesson. Her comment was further supported by a few students interviewed saying that the display provided them the opportunity of knowing our past."

Unfortunately the display was only available for one day, plans are under way to hold another outreach exercise in a neighboring province, which will run for several days allowing more people to have access. This and other outreach opportunities are part of our efforts to boost information literacy, and awareness of archives to support one of Governments key goals of "Making Fiji a knowledge Based Society."

Students arriving at the World Book Day in rural Tailevu
Students arriving at the World Book Day in rural Tailevu

Staff explain historical book to students
Staff explain historical book to students

Students viewing archival displays
Students viewing archival displays

Female students investigating at the archival display walls
Female students investigating at the archival display walls

Student in traditional costume
Student in traditional costume