What we DO!
Work with community groups to create a relevant community library... Advise on library building design, including wiring, space, lighting, shelving...Provide all initial stock (2,500- 3,500 books of all types, for all ages)...Train local youth as library staff...Help communities find donors to construct a new building, or modify an existing one...Encourage community involvement in all stages of planning and running a library...Empower local youth by giving them a leading role in setting up clubs and activities and in encouraging their peers to join in...Fully support KLT projects in every centre...Provide continued staff development – for example, all KLT staff have ongoing training in sign language...Encourage informal learning over a lifetime...Nurture and celebrate creativity and imagination through fiction, drama, art and music.
(What we don't do: charge for our services or allow our centres to charge for use of library or program participation, stock school curriculum books, lend books (we'd like to but can't afford to lose any!), discriminate on any basis.)
KidsLibs Trust was created by Anne Moore MBE in 2002, and was formally registered in Kenya as a Trust in July 2007. KidsLibs creates community libraries in partnership with community-based organizations and in consultation with area residents.
Our centres are to be found in some of the poorest areas of Nairobi, and in the rural areas of Kenya. They are places where all people - regardless of age, wealth, ethnic origin, cultural background or ability, can meet, and have access to information and materials to encourage the growth of imagination, knowledge, and aspirations. In a village where many girls traditionally herd goats and care for young siblings, some now dream of becoming lawyers and doctors!
For schoolchildren without a chair, table, or electric light in their home, imagine what it means to have a safe, well-lit place where they can come to read for pleasure, study, meet friends, ask a trusted adult for help and advice. Other community members come to use a computer, discuss ideas, complement their academic studies, or simply to relax with a good book!
Other agencies also use KidsLibs libraries to disseminate their information. IOM (International Organization for Migration) provide us with talks and posters on human trafficking; Kenya Breast Health Programme staff have given talks at our centres, and provided information on breast health and cancer awareness; Red Cross have given our staff basic first aid training; CLAN (Children's Legal Action Network) attend our monthly meetings, and have provided the staff with information on rape and what to do when a child has been raped; AMREF let select members of our community use their hi-tech medical library; ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) are looking for ways to be involved with our rural library in Sipili, Laikipia West, informing communities about care of livestock. Several women's organisations based in Nairobi want to give information to our centre in Laikipia on FGM (female genital mutilation), and other girl child/womens issues. KidsLibs Trust aims to expand its partnership model for creating and maintaining vibrant community libraries, so that many more Kenyans -- children, youth and adults -- can benefit from free access to information, to the information technologies of the 21st century, and to programs that meet their needs and desires.