We don’t have too many libraries in Kenya. In fact at a speech that was given to us by the Storymoja Hay festival boss Muthoni Garland boss over the weekend only 2% of Kenyan schools have a library on site. This is why we need more of them to ensure that more Kenyans have access to the written word and the reason for the Storymoja Start-a-Library initiative.
There is another library initiative that is aimed at ensuring that libraries get their place in Kenyan society; The Maktaba Awards. The awards started in 2010 and are shaped along the lines of the German Library Awards with the best libraries getting a trophy and a cash price. They are driven by the German embassy; Gerd the husband of the former ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette Bwana is a librarian by profession so this doesn’t surprise me. Also in that organising the awards mix is the Kenya Library Association.
The awards have been pretty well received by the folks in the business over the years and supported by organisations like the Radio Africa Group and the National Museums of Kenya.
This year the awards will be at the National Museums tomorrow evening – Thursday 26th September – at 6pm. If you want to know which are the best libraries in Kenya you want to mosey on to that gig.
:: Maktaba Awards at the National Museum – 2011
:: Kenya Methodist University wins the 2012 Maktaba Awards – 2012