|Maseno University monument.|
Maseno University is set to acquire an ultra modern library in next academic year at a cost of over Ksh. 300 Million. The project situated next to the millennium complex started serious construction on the 15th July this year and will be due on August next year before the varsity re-opens.
Currently the four libraries; Graduate Studies, College, Resource Center and Science only hold about 500 students at one sitting causing scarcity for reading space forcing students to study on the fields especially during the exams.
“The current libraries can’t hold the increasing number of students together with the future introduction of courses like the school of medicine making the new library to be ideal” said Mr. Peter Otieno a senior librarian.
The new library complex will cover 6,000 square meters and be double storied complete with a parking lot with a capacity to hold 200 cars. Mr. Stephen Okanda, the overall site agent told The Informant that the new library will reach international standards.
The ground floor will cater for long distance and open studies as announced by the Ministry of Higher Education while the two upper floors will be open spaces for learning with a capacity to cater for over 3,500 students in one sitting.
With stairs and rumps built for handicaps the ultra modern library will offer a comfortable and conducive learning environment by building carrels for privacy unlike the open tables which distract learning.
Additionally students and scholars will benefit in research and academy by free internet connection points, fire walls and electronic systems of offering library services.
“Not only will books and journals be issued electronically but students will do their research and studies directly online and connect to the world” said Mr. Otieno the librarian.
Her added that the current eight computers in the Resource Center and several in Graduate library don’t cater to students need although the library department has copyright from over 30 publishers in their portals complete with user’s ID and passwords.
The brochure from the college library has the world renowned online publishers like Emerald Access, JSTOR, Oxford University Press, Project Muse and Cambridge University Press amongst others which most students can’t use right now.
A visit to the site found that the library will contain electronic checking of books and full CCTV coverage with the ground floor specifically used for open learning with digitized lecturer rooms for video conferencing between lecturers and students across the network.
The director of E-Learning in the university Ms Betty Ogange said the current the current e-learning portal on the varsity website has been used to train lecturers and selected students from the faculty of science.
Ms Ogange said that the ground floor will be used to lecturer 25 courses yet to be offered once passed by the senate.
The electronic system will involve library volumes given bar codes where students will check in and out using bar code readers and have their details electronically saving time and reducing the number of personnel’s involved in issuing books.
“The Varsity students will enjoy advanced electronic system which will not only have unique standards in Kenya but beyond” Mr. Otieno sheds light.
The varsity has over 20,000 volumes in the four varsity libraries which in the electronic system will make it easier to search for books.
The university will train the current 16 staff on running the new library with more personnel and technician expected to be hired.
The library will not only benefit students but also scholars from the West Kenya region doing their research and studies.