Schools Library Outreach Program (SLOP), the case of knls Murang’a Branch

Knls Murang’a Branch has benefited immensely from the support of Book Aid International (BAI) through various means like book donations, programs and activities aimed at provision of access to information as well as making libraries exciting reading spaces for both children and teenagers. Book donations received at knls Murang’a branch are estimated at 60% due to the Health Hub project where the branch benefited with several health related books. This was indeed a great blessing to the students studying at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) Murang’a where the institution went further to establish a partnership with the library in order to make good utility of the books and also safeguard the library from loosing such critical resources. As such, students leaving the college after clearing their studies have to be cleared from the library before they are finally cleared by the learning institution. The high usage of the books donated by BAI is evidenced by the borrower statistics that are recorded at the library.

BAI has also empowered librarians through rendering different types of trainings targeted at different customer segments of the library patrons. Some of the previously conducted trainings include; training on provision of health information to health workers, establishment of children corners and the school library outreach program among others. The training programs have helped in transforming librarians in the way they treat junior patrons, teenagers and adults drawn from different professions. Today, there is more life at the children section where they are able to have fun with the toys at the library while reading as opposed to a serious quiet reading space. The library section for children has been decorated with murals and made attractive with colour painted walls. Inviting and educative posters have also been placed strategically on the walls for easier learning.

The recently implemented School Library Outreach Program (SLOP) has had significant impact to the schools that are within the regions where the libraries operate. A total of 20 branches benefited from this program, where each of them was to identify 10 schools from their region who were to benefit from a book box containing an estimate of 1,000 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) books. knls Murang’a branch was one of the branches identified to participate in the program where its involvement was a great success. Such resources have been lacking for a long time and the patrons really appreciate their availability. Some of the schools identified were; Bridge Academy, Green Cottage Academy, Vidhu Ranyi Primary School, Technology Primary School, Mjini Primary School among others. Training was also conducted for the librarians as well as appointed teachers from the schools on how to run the school library box program successfully. Through the program, the schools and the librarians shall work together in ensuring that the books are put into good use and are well carefully used to minimize losses and pilferage.

BAI has been instrumental in the provision of access to information resources through libraries and the new model of distribution of books to schools goes an extra mile in ensuring that the love of books is nurtured at an early age among our children