eIFL.net partners with libraries and library consortia in over 45 developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, extending a range of programmes and initiatives that increase access to knowledge. eIFL’s core initiatives include:
- Access to Knowledge for Education, Learning and Research – ensuring resources for libraries, modern IT infrastructure and skilled staff, supporting learning and scholarship. eIFL.net programmes in this area include: consortium management, e-resource licensing, open access, copyright for libraries, and free and open software for libraries.
- Access to Knowledge for Sustainable Livelihoods – creating transformational services in public libraries. eIFL.net’s Public Library Innovation Program provides support for non-academic learning.
The Public Library Innovation Program (PLIP) caught and held my attention. PLIP uses technology as the driver of innovative services, ultimately improving professional library practice and community lives through the use of technology to provide critical access to information resources, as well as empower library services with communication technologies. This three-year, two-step grant program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will help public libraries in developing and transitioning countries become centers of community life.
Among the twelve award-winning proposals in the first round of the grant competition, one selected project looked at health and community life.
The library takes on the new role of heath information provider
Organization: Kenya National Library System (KNLS)
KNLS Health Project Brief Description: eHealth is an emerging service sector which has great potential to improve health care delivery to rural and remote communities and to promote health education and research. High cost of healthcare coupled with high levels of poverty and inadequate healthcare infrastructure has led many people to seek information from libraries. However, the libraries have not been equipped to handle these requests. Kenya National Library System (KNLS) will address this urgent need in Kisumu and Eldoret by partnering with existing healthcare NGOs to train librarians, to set up ehealth services in the library, and to use mobile phones and other relevant technology to expand the outreach of library services.