|Kitwe Public Library main entrance|
Library membership is open to the public. However, adults pay five Kwacha (about US$0.90) per month to use the library while junior membership fee is fixed at three Kwacha (about US$0.54) per month. The library has a seating capacity of about 85 in addition to 50 at its Buchi Township branch library. This capacity is not adequate for a city with a population of about 520,000 inhabitants (based on 2010 Population Census).
ICT in the library
|Library card catalogue|
Although efforts are being made to use computers in the library, they seem inadequate. During the Copperbelt Environment Project the World Bank donated four computers to the library. Today, only two standalone computers are operational and are being used for office work. In 2011, the Kitwe City Council purchased a computer server for the library and Koha, an open source library automation system, was installed. After about one year of operation, the library experienced problems with the server and since then the system has been down.
The library is not connected to the Internet. It therefore lacks access to digital information resources including thousands of peer reviewed electronic journals and books available online for free or at reduced cost to public institutions in most developing countries.
Plans are on paper to connect the library to the Internet. However, it is not clear as to when this will happen. A room with computer network cables and extra-power points is being prepared to serve as an Internet access centre. Let us hope that soon, the Kitwe Public Library will be connected to global knowledge through the Internet.