Kigali Public Library is on course to become a center for innovation in the areas of education and technology as well as a platform to promote literacy and culture.
This follows the advancement of partnerships between the government and organisations with interests in reading and innovation.
For Kigali Public Library, the government signed a five-year partnership with Innovation Village, a local design and innovation company that has gone on to set up an innovation hub at the rooftop of the Library.
According to the Ministry of Education, the partnerships are in line with government’s vision of creating a knowledge based economy using technology as the driving force.
“We want to leverage the fiber network across the country to help create inspiring and educational spaces that go beyond the traditional library setting and support all levels of learning, ” Sharon Haba, the permanent secretary at Ministry of Education, said.
For the first phase of the partnership, Innovation Village has introduced an art café and a culture hub at Kigali Public Library and is on course to expand their work with public libraries.
The next phase involves Innovation Village taking over the management of Kigali Public Library, supporting community libraries across the country as well as the development of a digital library that will be accessible across the country, via the community libraries, online or through mobile access.
“When information is made accessible to communities, it expands the way people think, and this we believe is the foundation of Innovation.
We are very excited about the possibilities that this partnership will create,” Oriane Ruzibiza, the director of Innovation Village, said.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Education, the government and Innovation Village have committed to increase the use of the public library by all segments; children, teenagers, leisure readers, students and researchers,
To do so, Kigali Public Library and community libraries, along with all partners, will focus on providing accessibility (physical and digital), relevant content and the creation of new programs and activities to add on existing initiatives such as school visits and the One Laptop Per Child corner.
“The aim is for the Kigali Public Library and the community libraries to become pillars of our community through a wide range of activities, events, content and programs all aimed at inspiring and promoting reading and literacy,” reads part of the statement.