Kigali public library has programs for teens and children that are designed to inculcate a culture of reading from a tender age.
Every Monday and Wednesday, the library has a story time program for kids aged 0-3 as it believes that children are great fans of stories and love to listen to them.
On Saturday there is another programs for children that teach them new things.
“The Library is the key to the children’s success in learning new things. When you read, talk or play with the child, you’re stimulating the growth of his/her brain and building the connections that will become the building blocks for knowledge development”, read a statement on the library website.
Children can benefit from the library services such as story times, games, learning how to read and helping them in their homework. But most of the parents in Rwanda ignore the importance of storytelling and are unaware of its advantages yet it is advisable to preserve a bit of time for them to tell or read stories to the kids.
Devota Kayitesi in charge of children section at the library said that the facility has more than 2500 books for children.
She says that Rwandan parents are not encouraging their children to grow up with a reading culture.
She noted that specialists say that parents need to spend at least 20 minutes a day to read for their children.
Josephine Mayer from Italy had come with her two children Alessandro Viveen and Van Tillburp who are both five years old.
She noted that the design of the children room is perfect and that she likes to bring her children in story reading programs.
She said that the library has quite a lot of books such as fairytales, books about animals that are enjoyed by children.
“Having a library of an international standard in Kigali is a very good initiative but people need to know about its services so that they can benefit”, said the Italian expatriate.
Mukashyaka M. Claire in charge of teen section provides information to teens who come to the library and does three outreach programs in secondary schools.
She explained that teens have public speaking training whereby they are trained to be future public speakers which is a skill needed in leadership. Teens are also trained in debates and book discussion.
Mukashyaka said that the library has visited schools in Kigali such as FAWE and Lycee de Kigali for the three programs.
“These coming holidays the library is planning to train 200 teens in computer, 50 in public speaking and 50 in debates”, concluded the librarian.
I spoke with Gloria Karimba, 13 years who studies at Ecole Francaise of Kigali and she said that she come to the library two times a week. “I like it here because it is quiet as I can study and read books”, said the teen.
Nsengiyumva Emmanuel, 15 years old is studying at groupe scolaire Gisozi said that he comes to enjoy library services every day after school.
Devota Kayitesi understands that library services are recent in Rwanda when you compare with other countries that have started them long time ago.
She noted that parents that bring their children to attend library services are mostly expatriates.
Devota suggests that parents in Rwanda need to be sensitized to adopt library services that will benefit their children.