The WiderNet Project, a US non-profit making organisation affiliated to the University of North Carolina (UNC), has urged local universities and schools to embrace change by moving away from physical libraries to digital ones.
The project’s director associate professor Cliff Missen was speaking on Friday at Kwithu Community Based Organisation (CBO) in Mzuzu where the organisation has installed an e-Granary digital library.
He said this is a plug-and-play server that provides instant access to 35 million digital documents and 3 000 websites without the need of a connection to the internet.
Missen said: “In this digital world, young people need digital skills—how to browse through large amounts of information and find resources they are looking for.”
“But we understand that the biggest constraint for most schools to have a digital library is the cost of the Internet. The e-Granary digital library is the answer to such concerns.”
Kwithu has benefited from the project through a $13 000 US government grant initiated by UNC assistant professor Mary Grace Flaherty. The funds have also been used to buy computers and 500 hard copy books for the CBO.
The CBO chairperson Joyce Mazunda said the donation will help children at the centre acquire technological skills while young.
Kwithu CBO supports 350 orphaned and vulnerable children. n