Bringing Critical Library Services to Namibia
IREX is implementing a new project in Namibia to support public access to information and increase economic growth. Citizens will gain new skills and community services related to agriculture, economics, finance, health, and more through three modern regional libraries. IREX and its local partners are supporting the professional development of the library staff and the integration of new technologies. The Regional Study and Resource Centers encompass and expand upon the concept of traditional public libraries and serve as regional hubs for community libraries in the area. Over 100,000 citizens in disadvantaged regions in Namibia are expected to directly benefit from the Centers.
Alex Pompe, program manager for the project, previously with IREX’s library project in Ukraine commented, “We are able to draw upon experience in the American library sector, as well as IREX’s work in the Global Libraries and Beyond Access initiatives, to assist in developing library policies, implement national IT systems, and develop training programs.”
“The investment to modernize libraries in Namibia being made by the Millennium Challenge Account and the Namibian government represents an opportunity to overcome a wide range of local development challenges by empowering public access to information,” according to James Wroblewski, Program Director.
This project is a partnership with the Namibia Library and Archives Service and is funded by the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia through its Compact with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation. MCC Deputy Resident Country Director in Namibia Elizabeth Feleke reports that “by investing in these centers, MCC will effectively double the number of regional libraries in Namibia and bring information within relatively easy reach of thousands who were denied that access in the past.”