Contributing to literacy: Innovation Award

Kenya National Library Service brings e-books to children who do not have access to books

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Home page of a free online library, showing the kinds of story books children are reading with their librarians and teachers.
Through the internet, children gain access to a magical world of online story books and improve their reading skills.

Community need

Buruburu Public Library’s mobile digital librarian brings the magic of e-books to hospitals, young offenders’ institutions, child care centres and schools, reaching hundreds of children who do not have access to books and would otherwise not hear the stories.

The innovative service

The mobile digital librarian travels with a laptop, a modem, an LCD projector and speakers. The librarian downloads the stories from a variety of digital libraries, which provide free e-books and educational resources for children, for example, Curious GeorgeStarfall-Learn to Read, the International Children’s Digital Library; Storyplace, and Oxford Owl

Creative use of ICT

Using the modem, the librarian connects to the internet and downloads the free e-books to a laptop. The projector is used to enlarge the text and pictures, which are shown on an LCD screen.

The librarian or a teacher then reads with the children, guiding them through the stories. The speakers amplify the sound for bigger groups, and when there is no librarian or teacher to read with the children, pre-recorded stories are broadcast through the speakers. After each story, children ask questions and discuss content.

more public libraries supporting education

Read about more innovative public library services supporting education of children and adults. PLIP-EDUCATION

It is so good being able to read a book with more than 80 children at the same time. It is as though each of them had their own copy of the book!
Child minder at a care centre