Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The five laws of library science by Ranganathan which are Books are for use, Every reader his or her book, Every book its reader, Save the time of the reader and The library is a growing organism. This this laws form the basis upon which every librarian must strive to operate on in his or her daily work, in terms of information dissemination and its retrieval for users as well.

Kenyan schools and more so the rural ones suffer very much as pertains to the availability of libraries and its custodians the librarians. Books are not only key to the formation of a library but they are the main reference material for knowledge everywhere across the globe and thus the rural schools being from a poor back ground and unfairly placed when it comes to developmental resources and economical balance then for them libraries have become a far cry if not difficult to attain.

The Kenyan rural kid’s need for books and the formation of libraries as well are challenged and torn between the children’s access to basic human needs like food, shelter and clothing. Many of the kids are challenged in terms of getting a daily meal while at school, access to proper clothing in terms of school uniforms and as well as a proper shelter back at home that would allow the kids to have a conducive environment for reading and studying.

In some communities the boy child’s time for reading and study has to be divided between tending to the family animals which form both the economic and cultural base for the survival of the family. The girl child suffers too the constrains of education through the challenges of access to clean water, which has to be fetched far away from home and also the daily family chores entitled to the girl child like looking for fire wood and hampered by other out dated communal practices like female genital mutilation and early marriages.

Thus a rural kid’s education cannot only be transformed by the making available of books alone. These children have to be helped to access various other amenities to make education possible. I have seen rural kids go to school with worn out and torn uniforms, without shoes, on an empty stomach and more so without proper writing materials and books. As a librarian therefore I believe that there are various other things that need to be put in order for the rural kids to attain and gain access to viable education and then finally to the possibility of the formation of libraries so that education will be fairly accessible and make the right of education come true as stated in the UNESCO’s mandate and advocacy to the children of the world.

Schools therefore need to be well built and qualified teachers posted and paid handsomely for their services. The children’s basic needs must be enhanced to ensure that they are properly catered for by economically empowering their communities and also helped gain access to safe energy and clean water made available to all. Some of the long out dated cultural practices like dependence on animals for economical survival also must be changed, and this communities offered alternative means of livelihood. Things and issues that hamper peace and communal harmony like cattle rustling should be alleviated. The suffering of the girl child through long out dated practices like female genital mutilation should be resolved and early marriages discouraged.

It’s only after all this is done that we will be able to propagate and establish lasting libraries in the rural communities and ensure their stocking so that librarians will then have a chance to do well what they know best in terms of informational dissemination and retrieval and also make the five laws of Ranganathan become a reality and in practice among the library fraternity as a whole.

Education is like light that must be allowed to shine through and give change to communities and families. I am happy to say librarians are among those carrying this light and thus as informational professionals we should strive to make this light of education and access to information come true to all and more so to the children in the less privileged areas and their communities as well. 

I wish to share on how i was featured on Sandra's blog, "Words From the Wise", where i answered some few interview questions about my participation in the World Read Aloud and my poetry.

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