One of the signature pieces for our library model, we donated a Smart Board to Nairobi Primary to upgrade the standard of the library. We also donated computers and a printer so that the library has comprehensive I.T. capacity, with internet access.
It is just as important to inspire the teachers as it is the students. We are now incorporating a ‘teachers’ section in all of our libraries, complete with inspiring biographies, novels, books on leadership, non-fiction, and other titles they might request. This is a fantastic way to draw teachers to the library and help promote a reading culture.
The ‘Nature’ section, a mixture of academic non-fiction, reference, and even picture books and novels with the natural environment as a leading theme.
The ‘Reference’ section is always one of our most important, and indeed most popular sections with the teachers and students. This is of course a testament to the deep interest and priority students and teachers place on academic learning as it relates to the curriculum being taught. There is very much a strong academic culture in even the village schools in this regard.
The ‘Reference’ section in a mixture of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, and thematic books.
Our ‘Children of the World’ section was the ingenious addition by Rita Field-Marsham. It is a collection of books telling stories from different countries and cultures, to open up the minds and world of students at the schools we support.
Above is a sampling of some of the ‘Children of the World’ books in the collection, showing a range from Afghanistan, to China, to Africa.
The ‘Comics’ section was one that I was originally apprehensive about adding, but has proved to be incredibly popular with the students, who find the animation with simpler text much less intimidating, despite the fact that the narrative can be even more complex than story books. Of course, our view is that whatever gets students reading is a valuable addition.
Art is important in any culture, and it is something we always aim to promote in our library collection.
Naturally, Shakespeare is a core component of any comprehensive library collection. For primary schools, we are very careful to source modified versions that are easier for the students to understand. It is such a wonderful way to introduce them to works that are quoted and celebrated by learners and lovers of reading all over the world.
Of course, our library collection would not be locally relevant without our ‘Kiswahili’ section. This is another of our immensely popular sections amongst teachers and students.