SIDAREC community Library, the only library in the slums of Nairobi, serving approximately five secondary and 14 primary schools. The concept of a Community library was a response to the lack of a conducive-studying environment, which is miserably lacking in many areas within the country especially slums. The inadequate or lack of these facilities in the slums denies the community members especially school going children and young people reference and other reading materials, which enhances their knowledge levels.
1. To improve standards of living in the community through accessing vital information and resources.
2. To promote library services in the slum areas. Mission Creating various channels of communication that will disseminate relevant information for community development.
Some of the objectives include:
1. To promote and sustain a reading culture amongst community members
2. To enrich the library collection
3. To publicize and improve the accessibility of the library Why the Community Library Image Oslo University College Students biding farewell to their hosts.
The Community library concept was conceived so as:
1. To create a conducive environment where youth and children would access reading materials and also study: This is because in the slums, people live in congested single rooms, which is not conducive for studying. The house is used like a kitchen, bedroom, living room and at times bathroom, making it difficult for one to concentrate with his/her studies.
2. To stock reference materials that can benefit the community members: Most of the children from the slums lack funds to purchase textbooks, which are essential for their studies. The library will serve as a reference point for many people in terms of accessing reference material in their respective field of study. A random survey revealed that, of all the people who wish to use the library, 60% are children in primary school, 28% are in secondary schools, 11% are taking skills development trainings in colleges and technical institutes while a paltry 1% are in the universities. Development of the Library The physical structure is already complete. The second phase was to stock the structure with books, which SIDAREC is continuously undertaking. The first donation of books was made possible through an organization in the USA (Books For Africa, which donated 25,000 copies of assorted books, mainly for tertiary institutions and fiction/story books). At the moment, the library lacks local contents that can pool the locals to read. We need pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary books. We also need Kiswahili, African Languages and Oral Literature books. This will also create another opening for reaching out to the community with materials relevant to their education and development.