Monday, March 19, 2012

Building libraries for Africa

Africa's population has surpassed one billion, yet only 10% of all Internet users are African. Over the next 10 years, Africa is set to be one of the fastest growing markets for information technology in the world. Libraries Across Africa, LAA for short, (a non-governmental initiative) responds to this opportunity with an innovative approach: to deliver both digital and customizable book-based services.
This is a great idea worthy of commendation and support.  According to Norman Cousins, the great American journalist/professor, “the library is not a shrine for the worship of books.  It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual.  A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life.”
Here is another thought on library by Carl Sagan – a renowned astronomer, astrophysicist and science communicator.  I hope as you read this, you will find a way to support such initiatives as LAA because of the immeasurably great value they add to our very existence -
The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species.  I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh5d9yH7fu8&feature=related
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