Benedicta ARTHUR is my name and I come from Ghana, an anglophone country bounded by 3 francophone countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Togo & Burkina Faso) in the West of Africa. I hold a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Integrated Community Development and a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Information Studies from the University for Development Studies (Tamale – Ghana) and the University of Ghana, Legon respectively.
Prior to my arrival in France in October 2022, I worked as a librarian with the Ghana Library Authority. My work as a librarian was lovely and interesting; having to deal with books and encouraging young ones to inculcate the habit of reading was fun to me. My country, a developing one as such, is still trying to embrace digitization and technology in various areas.
While working as a librarian, my institution introduced the Ghana Library App, an initiative which has been welcomed by many Ghanaians given the benefits and convenience it provides. I wondered how I would also store the old newspapers that have information on our history, our education, our economy, etc. My initial plan was to pursue a one-year top-up programme to enable me to obtain a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in Information Studies since I already have an MA degree in the same field of study. However, I noticed this would not help me to get the solution to the problem I had observed. I, therefore, discussed with my husband to assist me find a programme which was somehow related to my field of work and which would also help me to resolve the problem.
Since he was already studying in France, he decided to search for a programme in the same university he was, and lo and behold, he found this Master Rare Book and Digital Humanities programme. He sent me the programme’s internet link to go through and inform him if I was interested in it. I glanced through it and liked the digital aspect of the programme. However, I was a bit skeptical about the Rare Book aspect because I was hearing about it for the first time. So, I told him I was not interested but he took some time off his schedule to read through the programme and patiently explained it to me over the phone. I then went back to the link and read the programme description again and found it interesting. I told him, “We should apply for it” and here I am today.
Fortunately, I had the admission. Eventually, I arrived in France and attended my first lecture the following day! I am glad I made that choice and glad too that I had the opportunity to be here to experience people from different backgrounds studying with me, to learn from them as well, and to discover France as a whole.