New Library in Kangema
The new “Dr. John Michuki Memorial Library – Kangema” is the latest addition to the existing Kenya National Library Branches which brings the total number of branches to sixty one. Located at the Kangema Divisional Headquarters, the magnificent library is adjacent to the Kangema CDF offices, the Sub County headquarters and the Divisional administration offices for the region. The Library has large sections to hold around 300 adults at the adult section and 300 children at the junior section. In addition, the library has an ICT resource centre which is equipped with 15 computers, a meeting room and the administrative offices for the staff. The library has a neat and attractive design and is in a serene environment which makes it conducive for the library patrons. The Library is a product of a community initiative implemented by Kangema Constituency Development Fund (CDF). It is the first library in the country where the construction has been fully funded by CDF, which is a clear demonstration of great leadership in empowering the community with information resources. The library opened its doors to the public on the first week of August 2015.
Kenya National Library Service (knls)entered into a partnership agreement with Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) formerly known as Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) in the establishment of ten e-resource centres in rural libraries with the aim of promoting widespread access to information, knowledge and communication through ICT technology. Other goals of the partnership were to bridge the digital divide between the rural Kenyan communities and those in urban townships through the creation of ICT hubs as well as promote the use of ICT in learning, training, research and educational endeavours.
Through this initiative, one of the libraries that benefited from this exercise was Murang’a Library which is located in central Kenya, 85 kilometres away from Nairobi. The Library is located along Kenyatta Avenue, directly opposite the County Headquarters. Ten computers, furniture, ICT infrastructure and internet connection were received in the library and the mandate of promoting the use of ICT was left to the librarians in that branch. Through the computers provided and the internet connection, the librarians began a program of offering free ICT training to the library users and the community at large. To date, over 167 trainees have gone through the free ICT training program successfully and awarded certificates for their participation, where the 4th Graduation took place on Wednesday 18th June 2014. The program has also increased the library membership registration and attendance as most of them get to walk to the library for the first time and are encouraged to utilize the facility to the maximum.
During this year’s 4th graduation ceremony the Guest of Honour was the Director - knls, Mr Richard Atuti, where 35 students were awarded with Basic ICT skills certificate. Also the CEO praised the graduates for their commitment and urged them to expand the skills through practice and equipping themselves with more knowledge. The training course provided participants with knowledge on topical areas like Introduction to computers, Ms Windows, Ms Word, Ms Excel, Keyboarding, PowerPoint, Publisher and Networking/internet/ Email.
Guests invited and the participants in the training hailed the board and management of knls for providing them with the vital ICT knowledge that will indeed help them utilize computers and computer related infrastructure with ease. One of the key guests invited was the District Education Officer who was highly appreciative of the exercise that saw a total of 35 participants graduate. The participants were people of different age groups; some had just cleared high school, others were in college, others working and others running their own entrepreneurial ventures.
However, minimal challenges were experienced like slow internet connectivity and power outages which have been a problem even to other regions of the country. The knls director informed the guests during his key note address that he had already appointed a fulltime ICT officer to be located at the branch and awarded a tender for internet upgrade for faster speeds. The information was well received and the training participants promised to spread the word so as to encourage more participants to enrol.
Kenya National Library Service registers its appreciation to CAK and knls board for facilitating Murang’a branch with the e-resource facilities. The director Mr Atuti commended the staff of Murang’a branch for their dedication and commitment in promoting literacy in the County of Murang’a. He expounded that the staff had worked tirelessly and even put in extra hours to ensure that the ICT training program was a success and indeed the fruits of their work were encouraging. At the same time, the management of knls also encourages other branches that benefited from the CAK program to promote the learning and use of ICT in their branches.
The Nairobi International Book Fair is an annual event that seeks to bring together all stakeholders in the book industry. The theme for this year’s event was “Catch the Reading Bug”. This year’s event started with the Book Match which was flagged off on 24th September 2014 at knls Nairobi Area Library at Community-Upper Hill. Knls Director, Mr Richard Atuti was given the honour of flagging of the book match from the Library to Sarit Centre. During the flagging off, he encouraged the participants to embrace reading as a mode of spending their leisure time and as a way to get to know our nation better.
knls participated in the 17th Nairobi International Trade Fair which took place from 24th to 28th September to 4th October 2014 by being one of the exhibitors at the Sarit Centre Exhibition Hall. Knls participated by showcasing some of the rare collection available through the National Library Division as well as creating awareness about the services offered through the department. These services include the Legal repository of all Kenyan publications, issuance of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Music Number (ISMN) and National Reference Services.
Kenya National Library Service in Partnership with Certiport, Microsoft and GEMS Cambridge International School, Nairobi announce the 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship.
This will be the first time Kenya will be participating in the Championship that has been on-going for the last thirteen years globally. Last year, the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship attracted more than 400,000 unique candidates from 130 countries who competed to demonstrate their mastery of Microsoft Office products. 123 student finalists participated in the final round of competition.
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