Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Installation of Mkwiro Library

Shelby Foote once said, ‘A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library’, and it is generally true that a library is at the heart of any educational institution. Not just a place to borrow books, it provides a hugely motivational positive learning environment. It is very easy to underestimate the idea of ‘place’ in educational experience, and the library will provide that important psychological concept of a place for learning, which will improve student’s concentration and drive.

The library is particularly significant considering the Islamic culture of the school, and the importance that is placed on the power of the written word.

-- The power of books - a valuable resource and learning experience --

The books that the library contains will support the students in their academic studies – by improving literacy, developing imaginative and creative faculties, and providing information for other curriculum subjects. Having a source of fiction books available for borrowing will also provide them with an entertainment resource.

When we entered the library a couple of weeks ago it didn’t look wholly deserving of the name; it was still a lot more inspiring than this time 6 months ago, but the brightly coloured shelves GVI had put up only offered a few piles of dusty books buried by a stack of old newspapers. After cleaning up the room and dusting down the shelves, we made an inventory of all the books – both those the school already owned, and those which GVI was donating – just over 300 books in total. These were then organized into categories: three fiction sections according to difficulty level, and nine non-fiction sections by subject matter. Each was then identified with colour-coded stickers on the book spines, and signs for the shelf sections. We made a start on writing up each of the items into a reference catalogue; once this is completed the students can be signed up to the system and books can start being officially issued!

-- The donation through GVI of over 300 books keeps the children smiling --

Hopefully this library is something which will grow and develop along with the students. As one of the few local locations with reliable electricity, it is already used by GVI to hold computer classes for students and local community members. It also holds a section of teacher resource books, which will be extremely beneficial, and the walls are already sporting some educational posters which add to the positive atmosphere.

We would like to thank everyone involved in donations for the library and wish Mkwiro best of luck with implementing the system; we look forward to hearing how the library continues to develop.