The beautifully renovated and expanded Harambee Centre Library–made possible by the generosity of Suzie and Bruce Kovner — opened on June 26, 2013. It was a joyous occasion for the people of Mukuru, representing momentous progress for the community.
This dynamic, 13,000-volume library–Mukuru’s first lending library– is enthusiastically visited by thousands of children and adults every month. It offers a full and rich spectrum from picture books to college textbooks, and features the Mandarin library cataloguing system, including barcoding software, as well as security systems providing video surveillance and entry/exit magnetic book detection. The library is outfitted with new shelving, library tables, a check-out desk, window grills, and greatly improved light fixtures, giving it a progressive, cheery, and welcoming appeal.
Of course a friendly library is of special significance for young people, and it’s a matter of potential life-change for Mukuru’s children that for first time ever, they can proudly present a library card, check out a book, and carry it home to read. The trust that goes along with this privilege gives the children a tremendous sense of dignity, and they are remarkably respectful of these treasured books.
Learning Resource Centre
Harambee Centre’s Kovner Learning Resources Centre, a beehive-busy annex to the Centre’s library, is designed to provide AmericaShare School Sponsorship Programme students, as well as the thousands of students enrolled in nearby government schools through Micato’s One for One Programme, with digital learning resources and internet connections for job search and on-line study.
The LRC, also built with a generous grant from the Kovner Foundation, benefits from sharing resources with the Harambee Centre Library, including security staff, administrative support, and a computer network server with integrated book check-out capabilities. It offers students computer work stations, reading tables, and benches, with seven computers with internet access and basic software packages. An on-site computer technician conducts computer training and troubleshooting, coordinates computer access (which includes access to Remote Area Community Hotspots for Education and Learning–RACHEL– a repository of educational material including Khan Academy videos, Wikipedia, CK-12 and many more), and helps students with everything from basic curiosity-quenching to advanced research, college prep, and job searches.