2017 / Inspired by a library

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Latest Activity: Jun 13, 2017


Libraries true value lays in the impact to individual user and community lives. Even tons of library statistics – numbers of visitors, book lending and other quantitative performance indicators – cannot reveal the impact. So we propose during the interactive session ‘Inspired by a library’ to share real-life stories of people, who got inspired by innovative services at their library, that changed their minds and attitudes, and opened new opportunities. We kindly invite start sharing these stories online, and during an interactive session in Aarhus continue learning from each other and brainstorm how certain experiences and services may be applied, and possibly also co-created by different libraries, across continents and cultures.

The interactive workshop is led by an international team of public librarians from Cameroon, Croatia, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and St. Lucia – the winners of the Next Library 2017 scholarships – as well as, staff of EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) Public Library Innovation Programme.

Join and share your stories

Join this workshop and help us to shape it – you can share stories of users and exciting services from around the globe; request and lead a brainstorming session on adaptation or co-creation of services in other settings; volunteer to capture workshop’s activities on video or in other form; name your role and we will consider.

Use this hashtag to share your stories: #InspiredByLIB


Charles Kamdem Poeghela, director of the Centre for Reading and Cultural Activities (CLAC) in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city

Bright Ofori, assistant librarian at Volta Regional Library in Ho, administrative capital of Ghana’s Volta Region

Purity Kavuri-Mutuku, Senior Librarian at Nakuru Public Library in Nakuru, capital of Nakuru County in Kenya

Bonile Jeff Nyoka, manager of eLearning Programmes in public libraries in Johannesburg, South Africa

Petar Lukačić, head of Services for Adult Users at Public Library Fran Galovic in Koprivnica in northern Croatia

Kemberley Constable, library assistant at Ti Rocher Library in Micoud, a village on the Caribbean island of St Lucia

Bijana Kociska, PHD, PI City Library “Braka Miladinovci” Skopje, Macedonia

Ramune Petuchovaite, EIFL-Public Library Innovation Programme manager

Edvaldas Baltrunas, EIFL-Public Library Innovation Programme coordinator

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Comment by Kemberley Constable on May 24, 2017 at 22:37

Hello everyone, I’m inspired by the stories I have read especial the Maths-Whizz at knls Nakuru and would love to share mine from Girls Going Forward St. Lucia.

On February 14 2016, George Brown Enactus in collaboration with the Ti Rocher Library hosted their Girls Going Forward Project for the second time. The purpose of Girls Going Forward is to empower young women age 18 yrs-25 yrs through entrepreneurship so that they could become financially independent and be able to support their families as well as themselves.

 We had a total of twelve participants with seven of them taking the lead and ownership of the business. During the lessons the women’s skills were built upon from the previous programme. The skills taught were as follows: how to create a business plan, marketing and targeting, tourism, budgeting, goal setting & milestones, competitive marketing, professionalism, customer service, sales, production and inventory and team building. The women were also taught how to send professional emails as well as database management. Each woman was given a role within the business (Tropical Bliss – an organic Cocoa Sugar Scrub) that highlighted their individual skills as well as interests.

Currently Tropical Bliss is working at having the scrubs sold at two locations that directly connect with their target market in St. Lucia. The women have also created social media pages to help build buzz for their brand. Below is a link to their Facebook page and website.



Participant interview from Girls Going Forward:

Comment by Purity Kavuri-Mutuku on May 24, 2017 at 17:16

I would also wish to share the success story of Maths-Whizz an e-learning program that targets primary school children. The program was introduced at knls Nakuru in 2016 and was funded by Electronic Information for Libraries - Public Libraries Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP)is going on to-date. The program has helped the children to change their attitude towards the library as well as mathematics. It involves learning mathematics in an interactive way using colored animations and worksheets which is completely different from the classroom approach.  The pupils have recorded improved performances in mathematics to the extent the county government, Director of Education visited the library to get a better understanding of the 'magic' the library was using. One school has ended up identifying one of the pupils as the"Small Maths Teacher"

This is what the small maths teacher had to say

Small Maths teacher

 “I have conquered one of the greatest enemy in my life. I always believed that mathematics was one of the most difficult and complicated subject. However after learning mathematics through the digital learning program at the library, my grades have miraculously improved from 30% to 84%. I have now become the class ‘small maths teacher’ I am now able to help my classmates and siblings at home. I have also learnt how to use a computer. My parents can’t hide their joy and this made them buy me a new dress”

Comment by Purity Kavuri-Mutuku on May 24, 2017 at 16:53

Good day Everyone!

I am inspired by the success stories being shared in this platform. The face of Africa is being shaped by innovative services being offered in the public libraries. Congratulations Bright and Jeff keep soaring higher and higher. As Ramune has put it Jeffs story is similar to the success stories of the students who have successfully completed learning circles at knls Nakuru.

Comment by Petar Lukačić on May 24, 2017 at 16:51

Hi everybody. It is great to read your stories and how you contributed to your local community. After I have read your experiences mine seems irrelevant but here it goes...

In the summer of 2013. my colleague Maja and I organized first TEDxLibrary event in European union under the name TEDxKoprivnicaLibrary. Until now we organized more than 8 conferences with live speakers and had a great imapact on local community. You can read a little bit more here and here or visit our website.

I think that a lot of people heard about TED or stumbled upon a TEDTalk that made an impact on them. TED speakers are people that ignite a spark in our minds and motivate us to take action in our lives on in our local community. We were really happy with feedback that we got from our patrons that attended the conferences and especially from the people that weren't library patrons. This kind of conferences attract people to the library and give them a new perspective of what library is and could be in a local community.

For me a library is a community space funded from the taxes and should be open to everybody. Library is a space filled with ideas and the mission of TED is to spread ideas worth sharing through the globe. Library is a perfect space to organize something like this and I think that every librarian feels that the library is filled with ideas. :)

I'm coming to Denmark with a hope in my heart that more libraries will start organizing these kind of events and spread the ideas.

See you all

Petar :)

Comment by Jeff B Nyoka on May 24, 2017 at 15:04

wow Bright, that is  an inspiring story indeed. Taking elearning services into the communities. Its something we can introduce to our libraries.

Well done!

Comment by BRIGHT OFORI on May 24, 2017 at 14:57

Change is always thoughtful but how bigger the change could be is never known until you ignite it with perseverance. As a young and a novice Librarian in the Volta Regional Library, accepting the responsibility to handle the Mobile Library Computer Classes for basic schools in 2012 changed my perception on how far librarians could go in contributing to changing lives and development as a whole. The Mobile Library computer classes started with an EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) funding in 2012 and have been sustained till date. Notebook computers and a projector were sent to deprived schools in Ho Municipality on a library van to teach computer lessons on school days. The success story of the project didn’t go unnoticed after all the initial challenges; EIFL and Nokia in 2015 rewarded the library by continuing with the support and in addition expanded the project to three new regions in Ghana. Over 1500 Junior High school pupils from 10 public schools in Ho Municipality are beneficiaries of the mobile library computer classes since its inception in 2012. The pupils benefited from hands on computer lessons and some got the opportunity to use computers for the first time. Not only did the classes trained the pupils in ICT to attain better grades but also gave them a reason to be in school and this has been evident in the annual increase in enrollment of some of the schools. Today, the Volta Regional library has become more visible in the region and as a result patronage was increased by 38%. Now, I can say with much pride that the gap between the community and the library is bridged hence partnership through community engagement is much easier today.

See you!!!


Comment by Jeff B Nyoka on May 23, 2017 at 12:44

Hello Ramune, Wow,I have just read the story and yes there are a lot of similarities in terms of their Learning Circles and our Elearning classrooms. I am definitely going to pick a few ideas from their innovations because in addition to the classrooms, we do have free standing workstations for public internet access, and I will admit, we have not yet fully exploited their potential, especially in terms of how the public access internet content to develop their skills. 

great stuff!

Comment by Ramune Petuchovaite on May 23, 2017 at 12:30

Hi Jeff, thanks for sharing an inspiring story of Khwezi. It looks like he has the brother from Nakuru, Kenya -  read story of Dan Momyani's (20), who has taken part in learning circle on how to build websites in local library. 

Comment by Jeff B Nyoka on May 22, 2017 at 14:25

Good day everyone! I cannot wait to meet some of you at the Festival. I would like to share with you, one of the good stories Inspired by The Library- our ELearning Classrooms

One of the biggest eLearning programs that the City of Johannesburg Library Services is proud of, is the establishment of eLearning Classrooms inside libraries, which are state of the art centers using pre-selected “moocs” for library users to learn certain skills. These courses are identified from various moocs sites, like Edx, by an education specialists and the learners are assisted and guided by facilitator’s throughout their coursework.

I would like to share a story of a young man who came to the City of gold and through library’s eLearning classrooms he registered for one of the online courses and learnt a new skill and found like-minded youth.

In October 2016, a 23 year old young man Khwezi Mvuyana left the City of Durban Kwazulu Natal Province, South Africa to visit his sister in Johannesburg City Gauteng Province, South Africa to figure out what he needs to do with his life. He didn’t have a job, and his high school education was not completed because he had learning disabilities. When I met him through his sister, I recommended that he visits one of our libraries. He visited and registered in one of our eLearning classrooms based in Sandton Library and attended the first phase of online courses where he was learning Web design basics using webex. He was so inspired by the course and just the library environment as a place of learning; he actually completed the course within 2 months. The biggest change in this young man’s life was not just about the course, but he started meeting young people who are business minded. He made friends with aspiring graphic designers, and they started planning to open their own web based business. He is also very passionate about Photography and was excited to see that there are other basic online courses in photography.

Some of the projects he ended up doing: He took the initiative of doing short video recording of the eLearning classroom students, interviewing them about their experiences in the eLearning classrooms. (Videos available). This also helped him learn editing skills and just practice using the camera and his communication skills improved a lot from these interactions.

He also registered with an employment accelerator organisation called Harambee which works with libraries eLearning classrooms and the youth in identifying skills and from that registration he managed to score a few interviews. Event though he does not have a job yet, he went back to Durban to get driving practical training to boost his cv.

Currently he is completing his PDP- Public Driving Licence- and is hoping to come back to Johannesburg and continue onto Phase 2 of the online courses using our ELearning classrooms.

I am hoping to learn more ideas at the festival, of how we can make use of the eLearning classrooms to change lives through electronic information.




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