The Pilot Project of Kenya Library Association

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Kenya Library Association (KLA) is an organisation of professional Kenyan librarians and information specialists.



A first conference of library and information professionals (LIS), held at WSF IV in Mumbai 2004, resulted in the idea that LIS and their associations should take an active part in the social forum process(es). This conference was arranged by Network Institute for Global Democratization (NIGD), which is a member of the WSF-IC, and Indian LIS. The then chair of International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), Ms Kay Raseroka participated in the conference. She urged all librarians to start collecting, preserving and diseminating the information, which is generated by the WSF, in the public libraries of the various countries.

Our goal is to create a permanent link between the Social Forum and the Library, thus building the continuity of the social forum's process by extending it to one of society's basic and universal institutions.

Initiating KLA's pilot project on 'Documenting the WSF in Libraries (2006-2007)

At the polycentric WSF in Bamako, a number of LIS, including the secretary of Kenya Library Association (KLA), Ms Esther Obachi, and Ms Mary Wanjohi, who work at the Nairobi university, attended a workshop, which decided to take the idea further with, in particular, the Nairobi WSF in view. Esther Obachi, on behalf of the KLA, wrote a proposal to the Finnish Embassy in Nairobi, and acquired funding for a 3-day "Training the trainers" workshop. The Finnish Embassy later also agreed to support the emerging pilot project on the documenting of the Nairobi WSF from its fund for local co-operation.

The "training of trainers" workshop took place in Nairobi 3-5 July 2006. The workshop was a crash-course on the globalisation of information and the Social Forum process, including lectures by e.g. Shiraz Durrani (Metropolitan University, London), Mikael Böök (NIGD, Finland) and Oloo Onyango from the WSF 2007 organizing committee. The workshop participants also had some basic training in journalism, blogs and wikis, and they started to compile a "manual" on howto carry out the documenting of the WSF information in libraries.

Follow-up workshops were then arranged by the KLA and the "trainers" in Kampala (December) and Daressalaam (3-5 January 2007). A last training event before the Nairobi WSF will be held on Friday 19 January near the Moi Sports centre in Kasarani. All in all, 60 of the Kenyan, Ugandan and Tanzanian LIS who will have attended the training workshops will attend, and to participate in the Nairobi WSF. The pilot project and its background is covered in Information for Social Change 24 which is a special issue on Libraries and Information in the World Social Forum Context. The issue can be downloaded from


Participants in 19 January 2007 workshop of the KLA pilot project at Olives Gardens, Kasarani.

The follow-up workshop in Nairobi, December 2007

Improving, preserving WSF documents
and founding a proactive public Library</h3>

Date: 3 - 5 December, 2007
Venue: The Kenya School of Monetary Studies(KSMS), Thika Rd, Nairobi

MONDAY 3 DECEMBER - Improving Our Website

08.30 - 10.30 Getting started - Wiki Editing

(Or how to memorize the wiki commands without forgetting the names of your children and grandchildren)

Basic Wiki editing
Participants finish their personal User Pages
File:WSF Documentation Manual Creating a Knowledge Base from the WSF. Presentation of the Manual, by Esther Obachi

10.30 - 11.00 Coffee Break

11.00 - 12.00 A deeper look at the MediaWiki

Exploring the MediaWiki, by KENET
Why our site is not exactly like Wikipedia, by Mikael Böök

12.00 - 13.00 Tagging the WSF's Activities

(The tags are the 21 'actionable themes')

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch

14.00 - 17.00 Tagging the WSF's Activities, contd.

After work

17.00 - 19.00 Leisure time

19.00 Dinner

TUESDAY 4 DECEMBER - Building a WSF collection

08.30 - 10.30 The Physical documents

The Jo Labadie Collection on Radical History, by Julie Herrada, the curator
The physical documents from the Nairobi WSF, presentation by Rosemary Gitachu

Examination of the material collected during the Nairobi WSF

Brainstorming about the collection (discussion)

10.30 - 11.00 Coffee

11.00 - 13.00 "The Physical documents", contd. How to link the physical documents to our website? (discussion)
Improving the listing of the documents on (work on site)
Summary and Proposals for the future
Documenting our discussion (work)

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch

14.00 - 15.00 Tax Justice

The Tax Justice Network and TJN Africa, by Alvin Mosioma

16.15- 17 Coffee and Summary/Evaluation of the day

After work

17.00 - 19.00 Leisure time

19.00 Dinner

WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER - A proactive public library

08.30 - 10.30 Website makeover

Work on site
Summary and proposals for the future

10.30 - 11.00 Coffee

11.00 - 13.00 Founding a proactive public library

Round table discussion

Participants from the city administration, the Hoperaisers of Korogocho, from KNLS, the workshop participants

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch 

14.00 The Way Forward

15.00 The launching of the website

By her excellency, the Ambassador of Finland


Personal tools
21 Actionable themes
WSF Editions
Recent changes
Project activities and user support