My Kenyan penpal


I recently took part in the International Librarians Network peer mentoring programme and was teamed up with my wonderful partner Nelly from Kenya, who also works in a college library.

We believe that innovation and inspiration can cross borders, and that spreading our networks beyond our home countries can make us better at what we do (ILN)

Overall, it’s been an amazingly positive experience! Not only did I discover that many of the issues I shared with Nelly were universal and things which he could also relate to, but we also shared very similar motivations for wanting to work in librarianship and education.

We spent a lot of time sharing details about our library spaces and services, and sharing methods of information literacy which we had found to be effective for our learners. Nelly’s details and descriptions of life and libraries in Kenya have been fascinating, and his aspiration to open a private library in the slums in Nairobi is something I would love to continue to learn more about and support.

“yes we have quite a number of public libraries in kenya, but during the holidays when schools have closed, they become sooo packed.i was thinking of starting a private library at some slums here in nairobi so that even those in marginalized areas can get acess to information,that is my still negotiating for space though…”

Even though the programme has come to an end now, we have decided to continue writing to each other,  of which I am very glad indeed! I would really recommend the programme, and the next round starts in January 2017.


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