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The four sections of library at Hope Africa University (HAU) are centers of knowledge. At HAU the Vivian A. Dake Library has got three shelving areas:

  1. the digital,
  2. the print resources (books representing all of the disciplines taught), as well as
  3. the computers which are capable of accessing Internet documents for faculty and student learning.


A growing library at Hope Africa University is one of the essential resources necessary for producing knowledgeable leaders who will change the world. The Principal of HAU played a big role in developing the Vivian Drake Memorial Library, with on-going strategic planning to serve additional HAU campuses and innovative courses for new degrees.


The library has grown, necessitating the fourth move from a small, general resource center into the expanded collections located on two floors of the new teaching building.  Locations enable students of different departments, closer access to documents that are specific to their fields.



The VD library began in Nairobi  in the year 2000 having only 300 books andat the moment it has over 47,000 items including electronic books


The library has three divisions:

  1. Part one:

The ground floor is composed of the General Collections, divided into two areas known as  wing one and wing two.


Wing one is arranged by the standard Dewey system of cataloging from generalities, religion, mathematics and social sciences.


Wing two has books from languages, communication, history and geography.

Between wing one and wing two, there is the circulation/reception desk where all library questions are posed.  This section also contains textbooks or required course readings for reserve. We keep rare items at this place for everybody to have an access to them.  The card-holding client is given a two hour checkout times before the item is brought back for another user.  We also shelve the students’ thesis projects at the reception. These projects or memoires are written as a diploma requirement for the final studies in each faculty. This section also has a computerized catalog and a traditional card catalog.


  1. Part two:

Floor two above the entrance holds reference collections for in-room study. This reference section contains the encyclopedias, print journals, magazines, dictionaries and knowledge compendia. This section hosts a quiet study area near the rear windows where students or library users find time to concentrate on their reading when writing their theses. We have a bank of stand-alone computers containing full-text electronic documents and downloaded digital items.  Other computers in the reference area have Internet access for direct access to web-based, searchable document databases such as HINARI, JSTOR, Pubmed, Cinahl, and web use of international agencies for recent, on-line publications.


A nearby storeroom contains textbooks and not yet cataloged print donations.


  1. Part three: 

Still on the second floor, there is the medical library where medical and nursing faculty students have direct access to the materials in their fields of study. Eight stand-alone laptops, to be used in this library room contain many programs in health fields installed in order to ease the work of students. Each of these laptops contains a folder entitled “Academia” with digital documents, books and journals that are updated every three months.  The Academia library has more than forty volumes including the required course textbooks.



In cataloging the collections, the Dewey Decimal Classification System is used. There is a computerized catalog and a local or traditional print catalog as mentioned above.  They both work at the same time, to allow print author, title, subject searches during power outages and to facilitate searching on the computers when computer connections to the library server are sustained.



The library gets its books and other materials from many different sources. Mostly there have been donations from America, particularly from affiliated universities and visiting foreign faculty.  HAU has joined the digital age with registration for on-line, full text digital documents available for free downloads or reading on-line via Internet for advanced students and faculty research on their thesis topics, updated study statistics, and case studies for teaching. This is in addition to over 5000 digital, full-text books and journals, articles and manuals downloaded for reading.

Toward the end of 2011, HAU registered for the free access codes to HINARI (Health Internetwork Access to Research Initiative) programme under the World Health Organization (WHO).


HINARI enables developing countries to gain access to one of the largest collections of biomedical and health literature, of over 8000 titles.  Within January 2012, HAU got access and is ready to use JSTOR.  All library staff and IT communications colleagues have been involved in the initial training for use of these Internet databases.  These full-text journals databases will help serve many disciplines in arts and sciences.  Computers with Internet access may use Google Scholar for broad searches of scholarly literature mounted on the web.


Other materials or books come from donations from the local WHO, UNICEF, World Vision, Friends of Hope Africa offices as well as from generous individual donors.  To serve French-speaking students, books are occasionally bought from France and other African countries.

90% of the HAU Vivian Drake Library materials are in English and 10 % are in French.  A few Kirundi language materials have been received as well for use in rural field sites.


Per year the library hosts many library users:  In 2011, HAU library registered 40, 253 daily users. The Vivian A. Dake library also allows outside users to visit and benefit from the materials but under the closely observed regulations provided for registration as a guest of HAU.



With the help of the Leadership of HAU, the Managerial Team of HAU Library collaborates with several library associations and attends occasional meetings like CALA (Christian Associations of Librarians in Africa) conferences that are held each year. July 2014 Linnet Kasaya attended the CALA conference that was held in Nairobi – in Ruiru. These meetings provide vital professional development and contacts which benefit the on-going growth of the University library system.



  • In the next year, HAU library hopes to have ten (10) upgraded computers and three (3) printers available for students’ practicum and typing their thesis work.
  • Much prayers and efforts are deployed to get the increase capacity for Internet linkages and bandwidth connectivity. This improved web performance will assist students and faculty, especially those doing documentation / research on the free databases as mentioned above.
  • It is our commitment and trust to have at least 25,000 books in general collections and between 500-1000 books in “mini libraries” for newly introduced diploma studies, as per faculty or department.
  • An on-line catalog available on a HAU server Intranet to be available on campus in addition to the computerized catalog in the library which will allow users to search for library resources from their dorm rooms or classrooms more easily and more effectively.
  • An automated circulation system module added to the Mandarin computerized catalog for better retrieval of heavily used items, checking overdue items and documentation of circulation statistics.