Library and Computer Centre
The beautifully renovated and expanded Harambee Centre Library–made possible by Suzie and Bruce Kovner through a grant by The Kovner Foundation–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 the 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.
The Computer Centre
Harambee’s Computer Centre, a beehive-busy annex to the Centre’s library, is designed to provide Mukuru’s residents with digital learning resources and internet connections for job search and on-line study.
The computer centre, built with the support of Suzie and Bruce Kovner through 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 six computers with internet access and basic software packages. An on-site computer technician conducts computer training and troubleshooting, coordinates computer access (which includes 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.