Discussion on proposal for library and reference materials.
AM noted that this proposal is in line with the schools current priority of improving academic performance. A library will provide reference materials, a conducive study environment and will help develop a reading culture amongst the students. It will improve the overall environment of the school and in this way contribute to improving academic standards. The library will also act as a resource for other schools in the vicinity.
At present, the school has no library. Some books and magazines are kept in a small room off the science lab so are not easily accessible to the students.
Mr Kyengo noted that no government school in Mwingi has a library at the moment. Kyuso boys school is in the process of constructing a library. The library will be constructed near to the new bandas and will have a similar style. The façade will be decorated with local stones (like the bandas) to give it an attractive look, and make it different from the classrooms. The provisional budget of 1.5 million shillings is based on the budget for the Kyuso project. The plan is to have a space for books, computers and a separate ‘board room’ where meetings can be held. The library can earn some revenue from hire of the room for meetings, and by allowing community members to use the facility for a small charge.
In terms of budget, AM suggested that community members would provide sand and labour to the value of 54,000/-. The request to TAS would be for the remaining 1,345,000. We also discussed asking for contributions from local bookshops and from Safaricom or Zain for the computers and modems. Mr Kyengo told us we might get some support in stocking books from KESS (Kenya Education Support Service) once the library is finished.
HM noted that we need to budget for a librarian and for suitable furnishings for the library. Anne Moore of ‘Kids Libs’ has also stressed the importance of working closely with teaching staff to generate a list of topics for the book acquisitions (need to look at subjects to be covered in the curriculum in the next few years). AM will work with the teachers to develop a list.
HM suggested that, as there are no school libraries in Mwingi, a group from Mivukoni come to Nairobi to visit some of the libraries Anne Moore has been working with so that we have a shared vision of what a good library looks like. HM will check with Braeside school to see when this is possible. We agreed, that if the budget allows we would bring 4 people from Mivukoni (2 teachers, parent and board member), 3 from Usueni, 1 from the primary schools and Mr Kyengo (to represent DEO). HM and SK will put together a budget and send this to TAS.
Suggested itinerary: Braeside school, Kids Libs library, Kawangare – Starehe school (?) and ISK.
AM requested that visit can be carried out as soon as possible so we can use the information to develop a full proposal.
HM will make enquiries from library suppliers to get a provisional budget for the books.