Helen Fallon - Deputy Librarian Maynooth University @helenfallon

About Helen: Helen Fallon is Deputy Librarian at Maynooth University.  She previously worked in Dublin City University and taught librarianship at the University of Sierra Leone.  She has carried out a number of library consultancies in Africa and was pleased to have the opportunity to work (with university colleagues) on editing the letters of Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.  This resulted in the book  “Silence Would be Treason: Last Writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa”  and was the inspiration for the Ken Saro-Wiwa Audio Archive, both of which were launched in November 2013.  She is the founder of Academic Writing Librarian a blog that promotes publishing.  In 2012 she was awarded fellowship of the Library Association of Ireland.




In 2011, Sister Majella McCarron donated 28 letters written by Ken Saro-Wiwa to the Library at Maynooth University.  The letters were written in the period leading up to his execution, for protesting against the environmental destruction of his homeland in the Niger Delta, and were smuggled out of military detention in food baskets.

 This case study will address a number of collaborations including:

Collaboration between the Library, the English and Sociology departments, Trócaire and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) to produce, launch (in Ireland and Nigeria) and distribute the book Silence Would be Treason: Last Writings of Ken  Saro-Wiwa. Collaboration between the Library, Kairos Communications, the Saro-Wiwa family and others to produce the Ken Saro-Wiwa Audio Archive.
Collaboration between the Library and university departments to bring Dr Owens Wiwa  to Maynooth to launch the book and audio archive. 
Collaboration between the Library and the Communications Office to publicise the visit of Dr Owens Wiwa and the book launch nationally and internationally, including on RTE’s Drivetime,  Global Village on Newstalk 106, coverage in the Irish Times and coverage in over 20 additional publications in Ireland, .Nigeria and elsewhere.
Collaboration between the Library and Adult Education to include the letters on an undergraduate module
Collaboration with the University to fund a bursary in Ken Saro-Wiwa’s name.

It is hoped this case study will generate practical ideas and enthusiasm around the topic of promoting unique collections.