Parents and guardians have been advised to encourage their children, to embrace reading culture, which may help in prevention of addiction to mobile phones.
A librarian working with the Kenya National Library Services (KNLS), Murang’a branch Caroline Ngacaku has observed that in the current digital era, many young people spend most of their time with mobile phones saying exposure to the internet may expose the young ones to dissolute materials.
She said with phones, students lack time to read books among other published materials, which gives more information than the one on the internet.
Ngacaku stated that not all materials accessed through the internet are of right quality saying young people may be influenced to access immoral websites which may affect their social lives.
“Parents should encourage their school going children to visit and study at public libraries where they can access a variety of books, magazines among other materials. Published books usually provide standard information and this will lower the rate of phone addiction to learners,” she added.
Speaking to KNA in her office Friday, Ngacaku noted that the internet should not impede reading culture especially among the youth, but should complement what is published in books.
“Not all times parents monitor what their children are accessing in mobile phones and that’s why we want them to let their children visit libraries since there they will only be engaged with books,” she added.
Some books provided on the internet, Ngacaku said may lack part of information saying for academic purposes, learners should mostly rely on published books.
“In all our branches, we have books which are certified and which are recommended for academic purposes. The services are free and members of the community can access them. Embracing the culture of reading will reduce addiction to phones by young people,” she added.
Ngacaku said the library provides a better reading environment not only for young ones but even for the senior citizens.
“Our libraries have a lot and diverse reading materials which can be of importance for research,” she further remarked.
Her sentiments were echoed by another librarian, Grace Wambui who said the government has revamped public libraries and the facilities apart from stocking books, they are also training computer literacy.
“We have the internet in our public libraries, which supports research and those interested can be trained on computer literacy. We feel it’s good for children to use our libraries since at home they may face disturbances during study time,” said Wambui.
By Bernard Munyao