Categories Education

Kericho To Revamp Library Services

The Kericho County government has allocated Sh10million in the current financial year to help residents and school going children access relevant reading materials at the Kericho Kenya National Library Service (KNLS).

The county Chief Officer for Education, Library, Culture and Social Services Richard Tonui revealed that this is the first step towards revamping the local KNLS facility, whose functions have now been ceded to the county administration.

‘This financial year Sh5 million will be used for renovation and another Sh5 million for purchase of books for the Kericho KNLS facility,’ said Tonui.

Tonui noted that some of the envisaged activities to be done to revamp the library include renovations and making it accessible to persons with disabilities (PWDS) and providing Braille reading materials for the visually impaired.

‘As a department we have had a number of challenges especially in the library section after it was devolved in July this year. The structures in the room were constructed in the 1980
s and that time there was not any compliance from the people who built the library, but we have made a proposal to renovate the facility so that we are able to accommodate people with different disabilities,’ he said.

The Chief Officer encouraged children to embrace reading culture by visiting the Kericho KNLS library where they can access a variety of reading materials to prevent addiction to mobile phones.

‘The library provides a better reading environment and is equipped with diverse reading materials, which can be important for research. We have internet access at the library where both the young and senior citizens can access digital books. Published books provide standard information and this will lower the rate of phone addiction to learners,’ said Tonui.

The commitment by the county government comes after a visually impaired man recounted his frustrations to the media while using the library.

In an interview with KNA, Mzee Andrew Kiprono Chepkwony, 53, a resident of Kipsolu village said he has bee
n using the library for the last 20 years, but added that the facility is not friendly to the visually impaired.

‘I lost my eyesight when I was three years old after a measles attack and my parents enrolled me to Kibos School for the Blind for my primary school education and later proceeded to Thika School for the Blind. I love reading and I am able to keep abreast to both local and international news through reading of Braille books as well as listening to radio.

However, the Kericho library has very old books some dating back to 2008. As a visually impaired person I appeal to the County government to employ one of our own, who will assist us not only in locating our books, but also aiding us around the facility,’ said Chepkwony.

The father of two disclosed that he visits the library twice a week and relished the moments when the Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB) had a program, where they would donate Braille machines to allow visually impaired learners to participate in computer exercises, adding that th
is came to an abrupt end in 2009.

‘I appeal to the county government to enhance access to education through ICT so that individuals, especially those with disabilities and the visually impaired can acquire life changing opportunities in computer skills,’ he added.

The Kericho library, situated along the Kericho-Kisumu highway, opposite the Kericho Green Square Mall was opened to members of the public in 1981.

Source: Kenya News Agency