CPD: Developing strong librarians and transforming library services in Kenya

KAZUNGU, Koi Michael (2019) CPD: Developing strong librarians and transforming library services in Kenya. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 182 - Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL).

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2565
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


CPD: Developing strong librarians and transforming library services in Kenya

This paper aims at showing how continuous professional development has enabled vibrant librarians to advocate for change in libraries and to transform library services in Kenyan Coast and all over the country. The Kenya National Library Service (knls), which runs a network of 62 public libraries in Kenya, strongly believes that continuous development of skills is essential for good performance of public librarians. Currently most librarian graduates are unprepared for the challenges of working in libraries, especially in remote, under-sourced rural and urban communities. At the same time library staff, who has been working in libraries for long time, desperately need to keep up with modern approaches to librarianship and library service development. To fill these gaps, knls partnered with an international NGO called EIFL (http://www.eifl.net) to implement a comprehensive continuous professional development programme in Kenya. The initiative has started two years ago and has focused on development of local trainers, who could then equip their peers all over the country with new skills. The knowledge received in this partnership programme has totally changed the way librarians are approaching needs affecting local community, making their work easier and achieving better results. One of outcomes of this training, has been an advocacy program to improve availability of library services to citizens of Kenya Coastal region. A needs assessment, performed through questionnaires and one on one interviews, has showed that the existing library is not robust enough to serve a population of 649,931 (2009 census). Most libraries across Kenyan coast region are not visible in service delivery resulting to poor understanding on impact of libraries to the region. Equipped with new skills, librarians were able to act upon this need for additional services.

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