Public libraries to become centres of technology in Kenya

The need to share and transfer information in Kenya is not new. Kenya’s network of 61 public libraries is set to assume an additional role as centres of technology innovation, a concept adopted from Silicon Valley in California.

To enable libraries in Kenya to change public perceptions, and to advocate for provision of technology, Libraries and information centers in Kenya have evolved to a level where they are now sharing and transfering information on-line. Serious efforts are being made to get libraries and information centers around the country to sit together and strategize on a cooperative program to accomplish this goal.

Kenyan Culture Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario said there has been a massive growth of the world wide web, and mobile telephony greatly eroded Kenya National Library’s traditional profile as a book lender. He said there is a need to adopt initiatives to make the state corporation relevant in the Information Age.

The government sponsored Kenya National Libraries Service (KNLS) has the largest network of libraries spread in most major towns in Kenya

Additionally, Several factors have contributed to the need for electronic networks for on-line information sharing in Kenya. One of these is the advent of information and communications technologies (ICT s), which has brought a complete revolution to the library’s traditional roles of preservation, retrieval and dissemination of information. The increase in the value and demand of information continues to exert pressure on libraries to offer more effective service to their users.

In view of the liberalization of information through ICT s, libraries are beginning to shift their focus from accumulation and ownership of information resources to providing access.

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