Part of our key strategy in championing education is rekindling the interest in reading across all age groups nationwide and beyond. To put this strategy in effect, we launched the YouRead initiative to encourage people to read, build capacity, gain exposure and connect with peers and educators around the world. Since its launch, we have organized insightful and engaging book reading sessions to inspire the next generation of readers and authors; we have renovated public libraries and turned them into centers for learning and social engagements for students and the general public; we have also organized writing competitions to spark and reward the creativity or African writers.

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Renovation of the Herbert Macaulay Library

With the goal of raising the Herbert Macaulay Library to global standards, GTBank carried out a total overhaul of the internal and external structures of the facility. These included a complete refurbishing of the building, equipping the library with state-of-the-art furniture, the installation of computer and internet facilities to create an e-library, and the provision of books to ensure a pleasurable and highly rewarding library experience. We are also calling on members of the general public to donate new and used books in good condition to the library in order to expand the scope of resource materials available at the event.

The Herbert Macaulay Library Yaba is one of the 12 branch libraries in Lagos State providing free education and information for the residents of Lagos State and beyond. Renovated by Guaranty Trust through its You Read CSR Initiative, the Library offers free access to academic and non-academic books, internet-enabled computers, exhibitions, and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars. Originally built in 1966, the Library was later renamed after the renowned nationalist, Olayinka Herbert Macaulay.

Read Aloud Marathon

To put Nigeria on the global map as a nation passionate about books, and also inspire Nigerians to maintain an active reading culture, Guaranty Trust sponsored 40yearold Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi to attempt the Guinness World Record in the Longest Marathon Read Aloud. With the Bank’s support, Bayode read over 15 Nigerian published books in 120 hours over a period of 6 days at the Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba.

Dusty Manuscript

As part of our initiatives aimed at creating a platform for the appreciation of Africa’s literary excellence, we invited Nigerian authors and aspiring writers to submit their unpublished stories and stand a chance to get publishing deals for their works. The contest, which was named Dusty Manuscript, received over 1,000 entries.

The winner of the contest was a decade-old manuscript, titled “Devil’s Pawn” which was written by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson. As part of the prizes in the Dusty Manuscript Contest, the authors of the top 3 manuscripts received N1,000,000, N500,000 and N250,000 respectively, as well as publishing contracts with Kachifo Ltd. The authors of the top 10 manuscripts also received e-publishing contracts with OkadaBooks, while the authors of the top 20 manuscripts were hosted to a two-day intensive writers’ boot-camp to sharpen their literary and business skills.

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