eKitabu Sponsors Kenyan Library of the Year Award
October 26, 2016
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The Kenyan library award is an initiative of the Goethe Institute in cooperation with the Kenyan Library Association and the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation. The project is financially supported by the Kenyan Ministry of Culture. Other project partners such as World Reader, Book Aid International and eKitabu give donations (books, computers, eReaders) as prizes for the winners. The purpose of the award is to strengthen libraries in their important role for Kenyan society and to motivate the libraries through competition for quality.Libraries compete in the following categories: large public libraries, small public libraries, special libraries, university libraries and school libraries. The winners of each category and the overall winner - "Library of the Year" - are chosen by an independent jury on the grounds of detailed applications and site visits. The price is to be used for a measure in favour of the acknowledged library.The following criteria are decisive for the award:

  1. Services for the community such as public events or programmes to promote reading;
  2. Current and up-to-date media inventory;
  3. Consideration for the cultural diversity of the Kenyan society;
  4. Dealing with the basic questions of Kenyan society;
  5. Use of modern technologies in information services.

On September 30, the Kenyan Library of the Year Awards (Maktaba Awards) were celebrated for the seventh time. A total of 81 libraries participated in this year’s competition. The library of the Kenya National Library Service in Kisumu was awarded the main prize as "Library of the Year".


All ten jury members concurred that this library deserved the prize for the following reasons:

  • The library has established itself as an important actor in the field of the promotion of reading and mediation of research and information competency in the last five years. The library has founded so-called book clubs in at least ten schools in which students of different grades and age groups meet regularly to engage in activities such as reading, writing, storytelling, researching for information online, etc. These activities are organized and carried out in collaboration with teachers and librarians.
  • The library regularly organizes arts and crafts sessions for parents and their children. They are offering both activities for parents and children as well as activities for parents amongst themselves. This has made the library a popular venue of learning and encounter.
  • The libraries drive to remote places once a week with a book bus to provide the people there with books, magazines and other media, to which they otherwise would not have access.
  • The library has a special program for children with reading and spelling problems. Using mobile reading devices (tablets, e-book readers) and interactive picture books, the librarians help the children to improve their reading and writing skills.
  • The library contributes to the preservation of cultural heritage: it organizes traditional dances, storytelling events and theatrical performances. These are recorded and presented to the customers in the library in DVD format.

The library in Kisumu is one of 60 libraries in the Kenya National Library Service’s network, a government institution responsible for the administration and financing of public libraries in Kenya.


Reposted from: https://www.goethe.de/ins/ke/en/kul/bib/kbi.html

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