On the 25th of April 2023, KEY launched a three-day first-of-its-kind librarians workshop aimed primarily at enhancing professional and leadership development for school librarians. The workshop gathered over 46 librarians and education stakeholders from Ghana and across Kenya. The session served as a stepping stone for delivering long-term professional and leadership development to school librarians in Kenya.

The workshop was offered in partnership with the Kenya Library Association, Kenya National Library Service and Goethe Institut Nairobi. The workshop was a watershed event for KEY as it ramps up its efforts to train school librarians for better learning outcomes for children across the country. Speaking during the event, KEY founder and CEO Rita Field-Marsham noted the importance of trained librarians in driving change to educational opportunities throughout Kenya.

Florida State University adjunct Professor Dr. Christie Koontz joined KEY as a facilitator for Kenya’s first workshop for librarians in Kenya, alongside the Executive Officer – Isaac Nyarigoti – of Kenya Library Association, Head Librarian – Lilian Momanyi – at Goethe Institut, Prof. peter Gatiti Chairperson of Kenya Library Associaion and Vice Provost Aga Khan University, and 5 facilitators from other institutions including University of North Texas and Queens College New York.

“Well-resourced school Libraries with trained librarians are necessary for the raised quality and relevance of education to satisfy basic learning needs and enrich the lives of students and their overall experience. At the heart of such libraries lies the critical role played by librarians to ensure library quality management and comfort, and to ensure that teachers and students use the resources effectively to close knowledge gaps and barriers to language and digital competence among children from low-income families.” said Rita Field-Marsham.

KEY Head Librarian Nyakundi James Nyambane believes the librarians workshop initiative set Kenya on the path of bridging gaps in training of school librarians in Kenya.

“There is no denying the country has a colossal task to address the educational needs of over 30,000 schools in Kenya that do not have libraries. It is exciting that we at KEY are making steady progress to promote the educational benefits of school libraries with trained librarians, and gathering support along the way.” said Mr Nyambane.