The United States (US) Embassy is running a social media competition which aims at encouraging people to read as well as draw their attention to its libraries in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
In the competition, participants are required to take a selfie with the cover of their favourite book and state why they like the book in 50 words or less. The participants will post the selfies on their social media pages but will tag the US Embassy.
The selfie with the highest number of comments and likes will be announced on April 23 which is the World Book Day and the day the competition is ending.
To start off the competition, which is also part of the Library Week commemorated in the US from April 7 to 13, US Ambassador Virginia Palmer posted her selfie holding Leaves of Gold, a poetry anthology.
“I love to read! Most of my favourite books, including Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country and Barbara Kinsolver’s Pigs in Heaven, are on loan to Malawian friends. This poetry anthology, Leaves of Gold, I gave to my late grandparents for their 50th anniversary,” reads Palmer’s caption.
In an interview, US Embassy public affairs officer Douglas Johnston said National Library Week is commemorated in the US with the purpose of highlighting the important contributions that libraries make to communities.
“The whole reason we are conducting the social media campaign is to bring more attention to resources available in libraries, not only public, but also others in Malawi like the one we have at the JF American Centre in Lilongwe and also the library we operate at Mzuzu University at the American Corner,” he said.
Johnston said the embassy also runs several initiatives to encourage children to take reading as a hobby.
“We try to bring children to our libraries for certain events. We like to host movie screening at our library here in Lilongwe. Recently, we did two screenings of the recent film, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. We are planning of doing the same in secondary schools in May after the students are back from holiday,” he said. n