Sunday, May 19, 2013

LIBRII: A New Model Library in Africa

"Do your duty and a little more and the future will take care of itself." ~ Andrew Carnegie
Came across an article today in The Guardian about a new kind of library which is being launched in Ghana, and with the hopes of expanding this service throughout Africa. Librii is a type of modular library which includes traditional library services combined with an e-Hub for high-speed internet plus an Agora (meeting space) for the community. It's a low cost effort which can provide a full-service library for about $50K. It's a very attractive idea which promises big returns for people who have a great need for library and internet services, but live in areas where the infrastructure for providing it is lacking. This project is sponsored by Kickstarter, an organization which helps fund creative endeavors of all kinds.
The Librii website describes their mission and organization thus
"Librii is an environment focused on knowledge creation. More than just the Internet, Librii uniquely packages cutting-edge, locally-tailored, open-access content that drives users to learn, create, and disseminate their knowledge.  Set up as a community-based, franchised network, Librii is run by local entrepreneurs and staffed by  librarians. This model ensures that resources are constantly up-to-date, replenished, and relevant.  As a franchise, each library will be part of an integrated network, speaking to and learning from one another. Librii was founded in 2010 as Libraries Across Africa, its parent organization, which is a registered non-profit in the State of Texas."

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