Kigali Public Library opens
The Kigali Public Library finally opened its doors to the public Monday.
In an interview with The New Times, Jennifer Turatsinze, the Executive Director of Kigali Public Library, said: “Today’s event is just for the purpose of engaging our users by opening the doors of this library to the general public so that we get a platform to get our users know what they need in terms of books, services and programmes so that they can fully participate in the development of the library services”.
Initially, the library, which is located in Kacyiru sector, Gasabo District, was supposed to have been opened in September last year, but Turatsinze said this was deferred after various alterations in its construction, procurement of books coupled with various other activities aimed at making the library more accessible to its users.
She said that the books are already on the shelves adding that they are currently working on the library’s website and procuring more books.
According to Turatsinze, 12,000 books are already available at the library. She added that the remaining phase was e-Resources, particularly in setting up a website to make it fully operational.
The library has several sections including children and teenagers and adult sections which all have shelves and reading areas.
The building also has an African section that includes history and literature, an internet café which will enable the readers to have access to the e-Library and a reference section.
The main stakeholders in the construction of the complex include the government, which helped in the completion of the library and the Kigali Rotary Club Virunga that mooted the idea and funded the initial construction of the building.
The Rotary Club also involves the running and development of the library’s resources. Other partners include the American friends of the Kigali public library.
According to Turatsinze, the official launch of the library will be held in June this year after the completion of all the construction works.
“We encourage Rwandans and other nationals living in the country to embrace the culture of reading by visiting this library because reading helps an individual become updated and informed in all aspects of life” Turatsinze advised.
She noted that apart from the provision of library services to the public, the library’s management would also carry out sensitisation campaigns across Kigali city and other parts of the country aimed at encouraging the public especially the youth to embrace the culture of reading.
They will also organise reading and writing competitions among students in schools and also visit schools while encouraging them to put in place school libraries. The management will also train librarians at schools how to help students effectively and efficiently use books in their respective libraries.
“This is the first library in the country which has all the required requirements which are in conformity to international libraries standards” Turatsinze noted.
The building was originally supposed to cost $2 - 3 million dollars but according to Turatsinze, the actual cost would be determined upon completion.
Jackson Mugabo, a resident of Kimironko Sector commented: “I am happy that the Kigali public library is now open to the general public because I am optimistic that this will help in improving the reading culture in the country”.
He noted that the library would also cut down on illiteracy and called for setting up of more libraries.
Contact email: steven.mugisha[at]newtimes.co.rw