Peace Corps Ghana

Volunteers’ Library Network (VLN)

** Prospective/New volunteers : you will get access to the VLN database/system upon arrival. A Google account will make things run more smoothly for you..  **

** Current list of books in country **

** Book Wish List **

What/Why of PC|Ghana VLN

Why Cooperate

Library Network Overview

Search for a Book

Searching / Sorting Database

Checking OUT a Book

Checking IN a Book

Adding New Books to Library Network

Recommended Reads

Permanently Taking Out Books

Direct Book Transfers (via mailboxes or in person)

Book Wish List

What/Why of PC|Ghana VLN

Many PCV like to read, but detest having to rummage around the PC libraries in search of a book they might want to read. Many people are not aware of the vast collection/variety of books that are available in the PC Ghana library. PCGhLN is an online spreadsheet/database that will allow PCVs to perform the following tasks:

The database is constructed in Google’s Spreadsheet application - which is an online collaborative tool that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via an internet connection/browser. Suggested browsers: Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Why Cooperate

Finding books will become easier. Getting ideas/suggestions for what to read will be readily available. The system is easy to use - you can take a book and update the online database at your convenience.

Library Network Overview

Peace Corps Ghana has several volunteer libraries:

  1. Accra HQ
  2. KSO in Kumasi
  3. TSO in Tamale
  4. … and other places...

Volunteers are free to take books from any of these libraries and return any book to any of the libraries.

Search for a Book

There are two ways to find a book:

  1. Physically search for a book in one of the three libraries. The libraries should have some sort of ordering mechanism (whether alphabetized or otherwise). If a library does not have an ordering mechanism for its books, it may be helpful to jot down the VLN serial number of the book that you are trying to find while you peruse through the shelves of the library in question.
  2. Log-on to the PC Ghana VLN database (Google Spreadsheet) and look through the list of books (this database has a search feature).

Searching / Sorting Database

You can sort the database based on any of the columns (ascending or descending), see visual below.

You can also use the Find feature to search for anything pertaining to the book you’re trying to find. The Find feature can be accessed by the following means:

Checking OUT a Book

When checking out a book (from any library), please follow these procedures:

  1. If the book does NOT have a VLN serial number (S/N) sticker on the spine of the book, this means that the book (as of yet) is not registered in the database. PLEASE register it into the database by adding it as a new book to the library network.
  2. If the book DOES have a VLN, then you will be able to use the VLN S/N to search for the book in the Google VLN Spreadsheet. Once you find the book in the spreadsheet, please fill in the following columns with the relevant information:

Checking IN a Book

When checking in a book (to any library), please follow these procedures:

  1. If you have been given a book by someone, please update the information in the Google VLN Spreadsheet as enumerated in the checking out section of this documentation.
  2. If you are returning the book to one of the PC volunteer libraries, please update the following fields of information for the book (make sure that the VLN serial numbers match):

Adding New Books to Library Network

When added a new book to any of the libraries, please follow these procedures:

  1. Go to one of the three volunteer libraries and get a VLN serial number (S/N) sticker from the SN sheet that is mounted near the book shelves.
  2. If the book has a separate (removable) book cover, REMOVE (and discard) the cover before placing the VLN S/N sticker on the spine of the book.
  3. Go to the online VLN Google Spreadsheet and insert a new row to the spreadsheet, fill in all fields/columns:
  1. If you plan on checking out the book afterwards, please follow the checking out procedures; otherwise, insert the book into its proper place based on the library’s ordering method. (order methodology depends on the specific library, ask the relevant caretaker/person or a veteran volunteer)

Recommended Reads

There is a sheet in the VLN database where volunteers can recommend books. The following information can be provided for people to view:

Example entry of the recommended books list:

Permanently Taking Out Books

The books in the VLN are completely free to take and keep or to permanently give away (to genuinely interested parties). If you want to take a book out of the VLN permanently, please follow these procedures:

Direct Book Transfers (via mailboxes or in person)

If you want to transfer a book directly to another person (without putting it back into VLN circulation), you may do so.

Book Wish List

If you cannot find a book in the VLN, you may add it to the Book Wish List sheet in the database. This wish list will periodically be published so that new/incoming volunteers can be directed towards books of interest. Or if a current PCV is coming back from the states - they can bring some books along. See example requests that can be put into the wish list: