Book Time book giveaway was an event that was organized with an aim of strengthening the reading culture among children and promote learning among children below the age of 9 years. The project involved giving a total of 3,600 children books donated by Pearson Foundation through Book Aid International (BAI) for sharing with their family members and friends. Each child received 2 books, 2 book marks and a book bag. A total of 7200 books were given out to the school pupils.
The second training of children’s librarians from 21 libraries (Mbalambala, Mutyambua, Lagam, Nyilima, Kisumu, Murang’a, Eldoret, Kakamega, Kinyambu, Wundanyi, Malindi, Karatina, Lusumu, Kisii, Kabarnet, Kithasyu, Timau, Awendo, Kericho, Kilifi, Laikipia, Kibera and Nyeri) was conducted between 28th May and 30th May, 2013 at a cost of Kshs. 849,000. The objectives of the training were to equip children librarians with the requisite skills and create exciting spaces and activities for children.
The Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) Library in conjunction with the Kenya National Library Services (knls), Meru Branch held a Children’s Reading Tent (CRT). KeMU sponsored the event as part of their Community Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. The purpose of the CRT was to develop, inculcate, encourage, and sustain a desire, habit and culture for lifelong reading in children. The event was held on 24th May 2013 at KeMU Main campus compound from 9.00am to 4.00pm. Guided by the theme “Reading is knowing” “Kusoma ni Kujua”, the event brought together 198 pupils all drawn from 8 primary schools from Meru Municipality.
The health Information hub was launched in Nakuru on 26th April 2013 by BAI Head of Programmes, Jill Haynes and the knls Director, Mr. Richard Atuti. The event was attended by about 50 health workers from Nakuru (on invitation). Participants appreciated knls and BAI’s gesture of providing them with a rich collection of health information, which they said would help them in improving their professions. Together with Nakuru, other health hubs sponsored by Elsevier Foundation through BAI were established in Thika, Isiolo, Mombasa, Embu, Kabarnet, Garissa, Wundanyi, Kericho, Laikipia, Nyilima, Murang’a, Buruburu, Nakuru, Mwingi, and Dzitsoni.
The launch of the e-Resource public access centres project in ten knls rural libraries took place on 31st May 2013 at Werugha Library. The project was sponsored by CCK to ensure that the rural people and those in remote areas have access to affordable ICTs. The guest of honour was the Chairman of the CCK Board, Mr. Ben N. Gituku. The occasion was also attended by the Director General of CCK Francis Wangusi, some of the Board members and staff of the CCK. Other dignitaries included the District Commissioner Taita District, Njenga Miiri, County Governor’s Strategic Advisor, among others. The other benefiting libraries included: Laikipia, Murang’a, Dzitsoni, Habaswein, Mandera, Kwale, Mwingi, Lusumu and Lagam. The knls Director Mr. Richard Atuti, the Chairman of the knls Board Mr. Silas Kobia and other board members who were Betty Buyu, Prof. Mwanzi and Dr. Makopa hosted the guests.
As a provincial library, Nakuru library was initially set up to cater for the needs of the expansive Rift Valley province. According to the 2009 census, Nakuru County has a population of 1,603,325 and is expected to continue growing as more and more people migrate into the county in search of arable land and to exploit the business opportunities available in the region. Nakuru town is the fourth largest urban centre in Kenya after Nairobi Mombasa and Kisumu with an estimated population of over 500,000 people.
The library catchment area covers Nakuru town, Njoro-Mau Summit, Kuresoi, Subukia-Nyahururu, and Marigat-Eldama Ravine regions. As the main business hub for the region, Nakuru has experienced significant growth in both the business and education sector where almost every public university has established a satellite campus in the town. While this provides a ready market for the library, it also poses capacity challenges as the current library is inadequate to cater for this large population. Within Nakuru Municipality, the library serves 26 primary schools, 18 Secondary schools, over 20 colleges and higher learning institutions, health facilities, banks and Non-governmental organizations.
Library of the Year Award (LOYA) is an annual event where all libraries compete in different categories and excellence, innovation and creativity are recognized and rewarded. The organizers and the library fraternity believe that the development of Kenya will only be realized if access to knowledge for all is given top priority. The message to all librarians and information managers is that they must play a central role in providing information services.
The prerequisite for this is to have modern, well equipped and user-friendly libraries manned by well trained librarians and information professionals. The Library of the Year Award aims to inject more professionalism, creativity and innovation in the library scene in Kenya.
The Nairobi area library has experienced significant growth in terms of the number of users who visit the library on a regular basis. A visit to the library can attest to this as one is likely to witness large crowds of people congregated at the library entrance in the early morning hours as they await official opening time. While the population of Nairobi has continued to grow with more people requiring library services, the library has not been able to keep pace with this growth, thus the existing facilities are inadequate to cater for this growing number of users. The Kenya National Library Service (knls) therefore faces the challenge of adequately catering for this increasing number of library users as well as responding to their diverse needs (see above picture where library users queue to gain access to the limited spaces at the Nairobi Area library)
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