Unfortunately, I have to tell you that the WSF Library of the Kenya Library Association (http://www.wsf.library.org) is not very strong, and it is even weakened right now by the political crisis in Kenya. But we shall try to strengthen it, and you are welcome to participate!

The 21 'actionable themes' of the WSF, which we intend to stick to in our WSF Library, cover very wide areas. Yet the WSF Library site is a website with a special focus. It tries to cover *activities*, which are known as "The World Social Forum", and which should perhaps be seen as *a process* rather than as a recurring event. So http://www.wsflibrary.org is parallell to http://www.wsfprocess.net/, which also is a common space and a set of collaborative tools for the WSF participants. The WSF Library site, however, has a special feature, which the parallell site is lacking: it aims at creating a permanent link between the libraries and the WSF. That is a special task. Obviously, these two WSF-process-related websites are both very much needed and can support each other in various ways.

The people who participate in the WSF and the related regional and national social forums may be counted in tens of thousands. But these are very small numbers! The process needs to spread to many millions of people, in particular, to the universities and through libraries. Universities and libraries tend to be cosmopolitical institutions and, partly for that very reason, to be 'open spaces', like the WSF.

The Wiki-WTO idea (http://www.wsflibrary.org/index.php/Wiki-WTO) relates, as far as I understand, to a different task: to create a knowledge base on the WTO, perhaps with the ITO in mind. An International Trade Organization (ITO) was envisaged after WW II by J.M.Keynes and others. By the way, Susan George recently wrote a nice article on the same, "The world trade organisation we could have had" (http://mondediplo.com/2007/01/03economy).

The WTO is indeed an enormous subject even for a Wiki... but, as I said, I like the idea of the Wiki-WTO very much. Yes, we should compete with the WTO in creating a knowledge-base on the rules of world trade! And this might well succeed through the combined efforts of a global net of social intellectual producers, in the wiki-way, that is.

Library is a key concept. The library is an organization (or the the organization) of our "outboard memory". Organization means order, but the library combines order with freedom. The library is an open space and a growing space. The growth of the library cannot be planned in detail, nor is it more predictable than the future generally is. The library, although being an organized collective memory, and thus a collection of things past, is open like the future is open, and as the human mind can be open. Our past and our future meet in the library, one may say, although this sounds very trivial.

The internet, too, is a library. As we are all becoming connected to the net and through the net, our common, cosmopolitical library becomes inseparable from our lives. The present version of the library shows that our life is common, that we are we.

The library has of course always been a document *of society*, which proves that Mrs Thatcher was wrong in saying that there is no such thing. And our new library, the internet, may prove the existence of World Society. That gives ground for hope. Or for despair, if you see the internet as a Spider's trap, or if you believe that the human brain, extended with "outboard memory", is an evolutionary dead-end.

With these words I just wanted to give you an impression of my way of thinking. To say "you know more", like you did, is really meaningless. How could I know more than you? Knowledge is social. If I would know something, I would tell you. Then we would both know as much.

Daniel from the musical band who has performed their songs at our WSF events in Nairobi, sends these news today:

''"It is agreat day for kenyan childrens today as the government has announced the free secondary education,this is astep forwad of improving many citizens lifes,Robert who is our group member is abeneficiary of this programm though not for Isaiah who study in aprivate school, but we are trying to see on how he can continue with his studies.

 We are still hoping for the best.
 In solidarity,"''

And the other day, I got this:

''" .... actually what happened in our country was unxpected scenerio and it was a shook to us all.we are very grateful though for you and other friends of our who were very much concerned about our safety including Julie from USA.The situation now is calm after people realised that it wont help when fighting things are now back to normal.This will take alot of time for people here to heal because many lost there friends and properties which means many will still have hatred towards others,it is now agreat challenge to us hoperaisers to try and restore rhe Hope to our people.Truly speaking,people were reacting due to frustration and thats the reasons why they were rioting.people are tied of living in poverty and this was an indication of that anger.We promise to do our best in our area of music to restore back hope to others here in our place and hope that you will greatly continue to support us. ...''

But on 2 January, it still sounded like this:

''"Hi, the tension is so high and we have been denied access to basics needs here and the situation is getting worse,people are killing each other like flies it is so bad.

 Please pray for us in,"''

So, today it is getting a little bit better. By the way, have you heard abt this One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project? Great, I am for the idea!

However,

__"We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices. North Korea's recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran's nuclear ambitions, a renewed U.S. emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia are symptomatic of a larger failure to solve the problems posed by the most destructive technology on Earth."__ (Board of Directors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 2007) *

How come we still have all these terror weapons when each child is supposed to have a laptop and connect to the library?

  • ) The statement of the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 2007 is quoted from:

Heikki Patomäki: The Political Economy of Global Security War, Future Crises and Changes in Global Governance. Routledge 2007