Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dan Ahimbisibwe, the librarian at the Kitengesa Community Library in Uganda, with the library’s new eGranary

With its solar electricity the Kitengesa Community Library is able to support several computers, and it now has three laptops of various ages. It has used them chiefly for maintaining the library’s database and for teaching a few students basic computer skills. Now it has gone a step futher. This January the library received as a gift from Teachers for East Africa Alumni ( an eGranary—that is, a hard disk with some 10 million texts on it, including the whole of Wikipedia. Most of the texts come from the internet, and the eGranary comes with software to enable searching the material by keyword as well as by subject. Thus, although the Kitengesa library can offer no internet access, it can now offer something that looks and feels like it. There is a “history” function too, so Dan is all set to record in systematic way the most frequently visited sites. It will be invaluable information for the Widernet Project, which has developed the eGranary, as well as for anyone interested in African villagers’ responses to IT. For more information about the eGranary and Widernet, visit
Kate Parry
26 January 2008

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