The Digital Connections Children’s Corners project took place in Tanzania and Zanzibar from 2017 to 2018 in partnership with the Tanzania Library Services Board (TLSB) and the Zanzibar Library Service (ZLS).
The project aimed to enhance children’s library services in selected libraries in Tanzania and Zanzibar. A total of nine TLSB libraries and two ZLS libraries took part. Of these, five TLBS and two ZLS libraries created new Children’s Corners – child-friendly library spaces. The remaining five TLSB libraries which already had Children’s Corners implemented a digital component, introducing Kio Kit tablets to use alongside printed books.
Two evaluations were undertaken to look at the findings and recommendations from the project. One evaluation focused on the Children’s Corners sites which you can read here and the other looked at the Kio Kit sites which you can read here.
- Increased library use by children
Both the libraries with new Children’s Corners and those which have introduced Kio Kit tablets have seen an increase in children using the libraries and borrowing of printed books to read at home.
- Librarians’s skills have increased
Librarians in libraries with new Children’s Corners report that as a result of the progamme training, their skills now extend far beyond issuing and shelving books. They now lead reading and other activities with the children.
Librarians working in those libraries which received Kio Kits now have the skills to introduce children to tablets and lead a range of individual and group activities using the devices.
- Schools are also benefitting from the new reading materials
Local schools are bringing their classes to use the new Children’s Corners during the daytime to take part in reading activities. The Children’s Corners are proving so popular that libraries are having to ask schools to bring pupils at a scheduled time each week to avoid overcrowding.
Some of those libraries with Kio Kits are taking them out to local schools for pupils to use in class while others are running activities for classes to attend in the library during the school day.
Digital Connections Children’s Corners is generously funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. We would like to thank them for their ongoing support.