Rwanda can now boast an international library after the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame officially launched the Rwanda Library Services, a project initiated by Rotary Club Kigali Virunga.
Kagame commended all individuals and organizations, both local and international that contributed to the construction of public library.
“Ignorance and poverty are among the enemies of sustainable development and it’s in this regard that in encourage Rwandans and well-wishers here present to always strive for the promotion of the reading culture in this country,” she said.
She asked researchers, academia and the general public to utilize the services offered at the library adding that it is of great importance in the development of any society.
The Kigali Public Library, the first ever public library was also supported by the government and is now under the management of the Ministry of Sports and Culture.
In his remarks, the Minister of Sports and Culture, Protais Mitali, said that the library will play a positive role in the promoting of the Rwandan values and to help the country achieve its vision 2020.
He noted that the launching of the library is a major milestone in the promotion of the reading culture, adding that it also boosts the government efforts in reducing the rate of illiteracy in the country.
“We encourage Rwandans and other nationals living in the country to embrace the culture of reading by visiting this library because reading helps an individual become informed in all aspects of life,”Mitali said
The Library which has been built at a tune of over Rwf4.1 billion has a collection of about 35,000 print books, and around 15,000 e-resources. The library also has anInternet café, conference rooms, discussion rooms and a coffee shop.
The opening of the library coincided with the Reading Day Campaign in Kigali which was organized by Imbuto Foundation, an organization which was found by the First Lady. The Reading Day campaignaims at encouraging children to explore the pleasure of reading and writing and to encourage learning to become an active process where children take the lead in engaging with learning materials.
Imbuto Foundation has also implemented a social mobilization campaign to raise awareness among teachers and parents on the importance of reading as well as equipping them with knowledge on how to cultivate a love of reading and writing among the youth.
The First Lady donated over 20,000 textbooks to the Kigali Public Library.
The Executive of the Library, Jennifer Turatsinze said that they will organize reading and writing competitions among students in schools and visit schools while encouraging them to put in place school libraries. The library’s management will also train librarians at schools how to help students effectively and efficiently use books in their respective libraries.