Wednesday, December 6, 2017

NIWA elects Elizabeth Matheus as chairperson

The Namibian Information Workers Association (NIWA), at its Annual General Meeting held at the
 Ms Elizabeth Matheus, NIWA Chairperson
Goethe Institute in Windhoek on 30 November, elected Ms Elizabeth Matheus as its new Chairperson for a two-year term.

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Matheus called all NIWA members to continue supporting the Association, indicating that “it is a role for all and not only looking up to the Executive Members to make sure that NIWA’s 5 years strategic plan is achieved”.

She also urged NIWA members and members institutions to attend the SCECSAL conference in Uganda in 2018 and to make sure "we have an inclusive and successful SCECSAL conference in 2020", Ms Matheus said.

Ms Matheus, an Assistant Librarian at the International University of Management (IUM), will lead the NIWA Executive Committee composed of the following officials:
  • Chairperson: Ms Elizabeth Matheus 
  • Deputy chairperson: Mrs Hertha Iipinge
  • Secretary: Mr Frans Amakali
  • Assistant secretary: Ms Anna Leonard 
  • Treasurer: Mrs Maria Ashilungu
  • Editor: Mr Detlef Pfeifer 
  • Additional member: Mr Ronald Kanguti
Ms Matheus previously served on NIWA Executive Committee as Secretary for 2016 and 2017.

NIWA will host the SCECSAL conference, for the second time, in 2020 and the new Executive Committee is expected to put in place arrangements for the conference.

In April 2000, the NIWA Executive Committee, led by Ms. Ellen Namhila (now Dr. Namhila) hosted the XIV SCECSAL Conference on the theme - Information 2000: a Vision for the SCECSAL region.

Monday, November 20, 2017

SCECSAL General Council reaffirms its decision to establish a permanent secretariat for SCECSAL

The SCECSAL General Council last week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, voted overwhelmingly to implement its
Members of the SCECSAL General Council at the XXII SCECSAL
conference in Ezulwini, Swaziland in April 2016.
29 April 2016 decision to establish a permanent SCECSAL Secretariat.

In a secret ballot held on the Ballotbin.com platform, nine out of 11 SCECSAL member Associations took part and 88% voted to go ahead with the 2016 decision while 12% voted against.

The vote was called following weeks of delays and hesitations to discuss and approve the draft guidelines for selecting the host and the terms of reference for the proposed permanent Secretariat.

The members voted on the motion: Should SCECSAL go ahead and establish a Permanent Secretariat?

The members will now hold further consultations on the draft terms of reference for the permanent Secretariat, guidelines for selecting the permanent host, the memorandum of understanding to govern the arrangements for the Secretariat, and discuss the best way to implement the decision without losing the autonomy they currently enjoy, especially in organizing the biennial SCECSAL conferences on a rotational basis.

In April 2016, at the XXII SCECSAL conference in Ezulwini, Swaziland, the General Council adopted a resolution  to establish a permanent secretariat for SCECSAL and to amend the constitution to include a provision and terms of reference for the secretariat.

The Swaziland Library Association has been hosting the SCECSAL Secretariat on a temporary basis since April 2016.

The General Council is made up of Presidents/Chairpersons of SCECSAL member associations that currently include Botswana Library Association, Kenya Library Association, Lesotho Library Association, Library and Information Association of South Africa, Library and Information Association of Zambia, Malawi Library Association, Namibia Information Workers Associations, Swaziland Library Association, Tanzania Library Association, Uganda Library and Information Association and Zimbabwe Library Association.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

MMU hosts ULIA’s 3rd regional workshop for IFLA International Advocacy Programme

Workshop participants 
Mountains of the Moon University (MMU) hosted the first of its kind International Advocacy Programme for all western Uganda librarians. Sponsored by IFLA, in association with ULIA (Uganda Library and Information Association), the western Uganda regional workshop rode on the theme “Role of Libraries in the Implementation of UN 2030 Agenda and SDGS”.

The third IAP workshop was held from Monday 6th to Wednesday 9th November 2017 at MMUs’ famous Saaka Main Campus, 8 Km off Fortportal town. The western university touches the quiet and tiny Lake Saaka just below the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains, offering a beautiful view of 
mountain sceneries all of which make the campus very unique. The workshop attracted thirty five participants from across the western region. Among those who addressed the participants during the colourful opening ceremony, are: Prof. John Kasenene the Principal, Mountains of the Moon University (MMU). 
Ms. Margaret Kahiika- Chairperson LC5 opening the Workshop
Professor Kasenene spoke on the “importance of advocacy, community outreach, value of librarians and the librarians’ roles in changing the mind-sets and attitudes of people. He highlighted the need to package relevant information to serve all diverse groups with the right information so that they apply it to their daily needs and supporting the realisation of the SDGS. He requested ULIA to continue effectively serving communities as one of the new areas to address if we are to impact on our society positively. Prof. Kasenene appreciated ULIA’s role in advocacy issues. 
He warned ULIA on the igger task she has to set a strong profession, “from hunters to good information citizens”. The participants were challenged by the vocal professor who had set up Kibaale Science Centre which is serving the community by providing the necessary information. 
Ms. Margaret Kahiika- Chairperson LC5 officially opened the workshop. She noted that Kabarole district is prioritizing at  least four SDGS as per needs of each community: poverty eradication, quality education, good health, water and sanitation and climate change so that they could ably account to the communities they serve on order to make reasonable impact by 2030. She further pointed out the importance of retooling librarians so that they improve the information provision to effectively impact the communities they serve. 

ULIA president Dr. Sarah Kaddu gave an overview of the IAP workshop, emphasising the importance of sustainable development as a process which requires steps to follow, facing challenges and reflecting on what went wrong and restart all over again for sustainable development; and importance of having quality leaders for quality library services provision. Kaddu, also the IFLA IAP trainer further talked about advocacy and lobbying, the advocacy planning cycle, developing an advocacy plan to support the un 2030 agenda, identifying programmes to support SDGS, facilitated the role play and writing advocacy plans to support 
                     Some participants carried along their infants
the un 2030 agenda. 

Mr. Eric Nelson Haumba, one of the beneficiaries of the IAP– talked about the UN 2030 agenda, Uganda’s vision 2040, Uganda’s national development plan and the role of libraries in the un 2030 development agenda. 

Participants praised ULIA for having chosen Kabarole district and for having imparted knowledge and skills on a very new area in library science- advocacy and having enlightened them on SDGS and what the roles of librarians could be to support development and in realisation of the un 2030 agenda and SDGS. Many were heard to say: "this is my first time to hear about SDGS. I had heard about the SDGS but i didn’t know what was involved and what roles library and information professionals could play".  Mr Hatega Emmanuel of Kisoro Community Library in Kisoro district was all smiles and praises about ULIA and IFLA. He promised to start awareness campaigns immediately on SDGS so that people in Kisoro district would know about SDGS and also promised to support the policy and political leaders with their development agendas. He added: we, the western region participants thank IFLA- the funders and assure them that their efforts and sacrifice was not in vain because we resolved to go out as very active and pragmatic ambassadors of the UN 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGS gospel. 

Speaking after the three day workshop, the IAP workshop coordinator Ms.Winny Nekesa-Akullo noted that the workshop was very practical, a great success and she’s expecting a better ultimate IAP workshop that will be held in central Uganda between 27th -29th  of November, 2017.  At the end of the three days, participants had drafted their advocacy programmes to share with their institutions. 
Well-done ULIA.



Monday, November 13, 2017

Is there space for a Sub-Saharan Africa association for individual LIS professionals?

In 1976, C. C. Aguolu in his article “Library Associations in West Africa and the Concept of a Profession” in the Int. Lib. Rev., 8, 23-31, wrote that: “One of the main characteristics of any profession is the existence of an active professional association to protect the interests of its members, to determine the standards of education and performance expected of them and to ensure that its members truly live up to their expectations”.

Isaac Kikongo-Bukenya also indicated that the "cardinal responsibilities of library associations should be education and training to create educated and trained corps, among other responsibilities".

Do existing library and information services (LIS) associations/organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa protect the interests of LIS professionals? Do they have a say on the standards of LIS education and the performance expected of LIS professionals on the continent?

Sub-Saharan Africa has several national and regional LIS associations of which very few could be said to carry out the functions highlighted by Aguolu and Kikongo-Bukenya.

Most countries have national LIS associations and examples include the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), Nigerian Library Association (NLA), Ghana Library Association (GLA), Association des Bibliothécaires, Archivistes, Documentalistes et Muséographes du Cameroun (ABADCAM), Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA), Kenya Library Association (KLA), Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ), Association Sénégalaise des Bibliothécaires, Archivistes et Documentalistes, and many others.

Although most national LIS associations on the continent pursue several objectives, many largely carry out only one activity: organize national LIS annual general meetings, and in some cases, annual conferences.

At the sub-regional level, the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCECSAL), established in 1974, and the Standing of Conference of University and National Librarians of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL/ECS) are the two main active LIS organizations.

At the continental level, the main associations are the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) founded in Nairobi, in August 1984; the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists - Africa Chapter (IAALD Africa), also established in Nairobi in May 2006; and the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AFLIA), formally launched in Pretoria, in 5 July 2013.

Membership to AfLIA, SCECSAL and SCACUL-ECS is open only to LIS institutions and organizations while membership to IAALD Africa and AHILA is largely for individual professionals.

AFLIA was established to provide a platform to discuss issues and further the cause of the library and information sector in Africa and in additions to its annual conferences, it also carries out advocacy related activities and capacity development initiatives that have recently largely focused on supporting public libraries, a matter that has received criticisms in some quarters.

While both IAALD Africa and AHILA admit individuals (personal membership) in addition to institutions/organizations, they were established more as platforms for promoting the exchange of ideas and access to information in their respective fields rather than as bodies to represent the professional interests of their members; their activities largely tend to focus on organizing annual/biennial conferences, and carrying out continuing professional development initiatives targeting their members.

SCECSAL and SCEANUL-ECS, as their full names indicate, are forums (or conferences) for enhancing cooperation among their members (institutions/organizations) and the exchange of experiences and knowledge in the library and information field.
Existing LIS professional associations and organizations rarely focus their efforts on protecting the interests of the library and information professionals, establishing or monitoring standards for LIS education and performance of the LIS professionals.

Therefore, is there space for a Sub-Saharan Africa-wide membership subscription association for individual library and information professionals? Or should the focus be on building the capacities of exiting national and regional associations to enable them to carry out the functions highlighted by Aguolu and Kikongo-Bukenya?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

UCU graduates first LIS Master’s students

Uganda Christian University (UCU), Mukono has graduated her first Master of Science in Information Science students. As the University (UCU) marked its 20th anniversary last month, 1,177 students (54% female and 46% male) received diplomas and degrees in 38 specialties at the fourth part of her eighteenth graduation ceremony. The colourful ceremony was held at her main campus in Mukono on  Friday October 27, 2017. 
The total of 10 students from the Library School graduated with Masters Degrees in Library & Information Science at the christian founded University in Mukono. Among the other master’s degrees graduating for the first time was Master of Arts in Child Development. The graduation ceremony was attended by a number of leading LIS trainers in Uganda. Among them was Professor I.M.N Kingongo Bukenya and Dr Sarah Kaddu, the ULIA President. Dr Kaddu who is also a top LIS trainer in Uganda lauded the achievement made by the University. 
Some of the graduates at the graduation ceremony
Speaking after the graduation, the hopeful Kaddu said “LIS Graduate Education is on the increase in Uganda! Kaddu further noted that a number of graduate information professionals with MSC Information Science and PhD Info science is making strong strides in Uganda. She cited an example of about fifty Master students and seven PhDs have graduated from the East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), and recently, ten Masters in Library and Information Studies on the Programme of LIS, Uganda Christian University graduated”. 
This development hugely lessens the burden on Makerere Univeirty which has been the sole provider on LIS graduate Education in Uganda. In a related development, the MSC RAM (Records and Archives Management) of East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), are due to graduate in January 2019.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Malawi Library Association commended for its role in training LIS personnel

By Robert Chalochiwawa

Malawi Library Association (MALA) has been commended for its role in the training of personnel in
The graduating students
Library and Information Science Studies in the country.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony of 68 students from various institutions held at Domasi College of Education in Zomba on Thursday, Principal of Chancellor College, Professor Richard Tambulasi, said MALA is playing a vital role in producing qualified staff in public and private institutions.

“As a person coming from an academic institution and being an academician and researcher, I value the importance of the library and the work of a librarian. An academic institution cannot operate without a library and its staff,” he said.

Tambulasi said libraries, archives and documentation centres play a key role in providing electronic and printed information for different uses including academic purposes.

“Literary, every sector in humanity such as military, the academia, public and private sectors, including media, need the library both electronic and print,” he said.

He, therefore, assured MALA that Chancellor College would continue hosting the course for librarians.

Taking her turn, MALA President, Gift Kadzamira, said the association would continue contributing towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and being an active player in the implementation of the Access to Information Act.

She added the association would ensure that issues in the Marakesh Treaty are incorporated into Malawi’s Copyright Act.

According to the MALA President, her association advocates for professionalism and strives that its members are innovative and passionate leaders who are responsive to the clients’ needs.

She revealed that plans were underway to adopt a strategic management plan which would help develop the sector further.

MALA has been supporting the library course since 1979 and has produced over 1, 000 graduates who are working in various libraries and Information and Documentation Centres in Malawi.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Preparations on track for an exciting XXIII SCECSAL conference 2018

Participants urged to take advantage of early bird registration fee


Preparations for the XXIII SCECSAL Conference to be hosted by the Uganda Library and
L-R: Prof. Kikongo-Bukenya, Ms. Sarah Kagoda-Batuwa,
Mr. Haumba Eric Nelson, Mr. Robert Buwule, Mr. Justin Chisenga
and Ms. Sarah Kagoda-Batuwa [Photo: Charles Batambuze] 
Information Association (ULIA) in Entebbe from 23 to 28 April 2018 are on track.
This was made known to Mr. Justin Chisenga when he held informal consultations with some members of the SCECSAL Local Organizing Committee (LOC) last Friday in Kampala at the Makerere University.

Dr Sarah Kaddu, ULIA President, informed Mr. Chisenga that her Association had confirmed the reservation for conference facilities at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, conference papers were undergoing peer-reviewed process, and library and information professionals in Uganda were ready to welcome their colleagues from the SCECSAL countries and beyond.

Dr Kaddu also urged library and information professionals from around the world planning to attend the SCECSAL conference in 2018 to take advantage of the reduced early registration fee of US$360 and register by 31 January 2018, after which the fees would be US$400 for registrations between(1 February – 30 March 2018 (late registration) and US$430 for  registrations from 1 to 24 April 2018 (onsite registration).

On his part, Mr. Chisenga expressed delight at the progress made so far and urged the members of the LOC to quickly publish the preliminary conference programme to enable potential participants to plan their visit to Uganda.

“For many, decisions as when to arrive and depart from the conference city are based on the activities planned for the event, and therefore timely knowledge of what the programme would be is very important”, Mr. Chisenga told LOC members.

Also present at the meeting were Prof. Kikongo-Bukenya, a SCECSAL veteran; Ms. Sarah Kagoda-Batuwa, ULIA Treasurer; Mr. Charles Batambuze, ULIA Secretary General; Mr. Haumba Eric Nelson, LOC Member; and Mr. Robert Buwule, member of the LOC.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Registration for the 4th edition of ASIRA online course opens

Registration for the 4th edition of the online Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture (ASIRA) course is now OPEN (till October 15th; Sunday 23:00 CEST)!

The course runs for 3 weeks from 30th October to 19th November 2017.

The main goal of the course is to provide a platform to enhance the visibility, accessibility and usability of data and information in the agricultural domain, particularly in low-income countries.

Who can apply?
Academics, researchers, librarians and postgraduate (master and PhD) students who work in the fields of agricultural sciences can apply to the course. Group A and group B Research4Life eligible countries, respectively, have the priority in the selection process.

Online Registration Form: 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GDLYZJS

Further information:
http://aims.fao.org/activity/blog/call-applications-asira-online-course-access-scientific-information-resources

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Nomination for 2018 SCECSAL Author Awards opens

The SCECSAL Secretariat and the Uganda Library and Information Associations (ULIA) are pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the 2018 SCECSAL Author Awards to be presented to winners at the XXIII SCECSAL Conference in April 2018 in Entebbe, Uganda.

SCECSAL Author Awards, in form of cash and a certificate, honours and recognizes individual works by library, information and knowledge professionals in the SCECSAL region in two categories - Best Author (Journal Articles and Chapters in Books) and Best Author (Books).

Only works published from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017 and focusing on any area or theme in the library, information and knowledge field/work in the SCECSAL region are eligible for the 2018 awards.

Library and Information Associations in the SCECSAL region should review the guidelines for the Awards available on the SCECSAL website and submit their nominations by 31 December 2017.

Individual authors are also encouraged to nominate themselves through their national Library and Information Associations.

Send the nominations along with the copies of the works using any reputable courier services to:

John Paul Anbu K.
President
Swaziland Library and Information Association
University of Swaziland Library, Kwaluseni Campus
Kwaluseni, Matsapha M201
SWAZILAND
Tel: +268 2517 0153
Mobile: +268 26239865
Email: anbuj@uniswa.sz

After sending the nominations by courier service please send the tracking number to  anbuj@uniswa.sz with a copy to sarkaddu@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SCECSAL Secretariat issues a call for bids for XXIV SCECSAL Conference in 2022

Mr. John Paul Anbu K (r) and Mr. Justin Chisenga (l)
consulting during the SCECSAL conference in 2016 in
Ezulwini, Swaziland
[Photo: Khosie Ndalangamandla]
The SCECSAL Secretariat, hosted by the Swaziland Library and Information
Association (SWALA), on Tuesday issued a call for bids for hosting the XXIV conference of the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) in 2022.

The call was distributed on the SCECSAL discussion forum for Presidents and Chairpersons of the SCECSAL member Associations on the Dgroups platform.

The host for the XXIV SCECSAL conference will be confirmed in Entebbe, in April 2018, thus consolidating the 2016 decision of the SCECSAL General Council to select future conference hosts four years in advance.

In an interview with the SCECSAL Forum Social Reporter, Mr. John Paul Anbu, SWALA President, welcomed the decision to announce the SCECSAL conference hosts four years in advance.

“Selecting hosts four years in advance gives a chance for the hosting country to plan well in advance. This also provides an opportunity for the associations that are not very active to put their act together to host a successful conference”, Mr. Anbu said.

Eligible member associations

Participants from Lesotho at the SCECSAL 2008
conference in Lusaka, Zambia [Photo: Justin Chisenga]
The SCECSAL General Council recently adopted new guidelines for selecting the hosts of future conferences and under these guidelines only SCECSAL member Associations from Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland are eligible to bid for the 2022 conference.

The Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) is set to organize the XXIII SCECSAL conference next year and the Namibian Information Workers Association in 2020.

The new guidelines divide SCECSAL into three sub-regions -  Eastern: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; Central: Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and Southern: Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa – and forbid a sub-region from hosting consecutive conferences unless circumstances dictate so and the decision is approved at least by two thirds of the members of the SCECSAL General Council.

“Rotation of SCECSAL conferences among sub-regions provides equal opportunity for the associations in the sub-regions in terms of hosting and equal opportunity for participants to visit other sub-regions for conferences”, Mr. Anbu said.

The four countries in the Southern sub-region have all hosted SCECSAL conferences in the past with Lesotho first hosting the conference in 1980 and later in 1996; Botswana in 1986 and in 2010; South Africa in 2002; and Swaziland in 1988 and 2016.

Deadline for bids

The closing date for submitting the bids, which should adhere to the new guidelines, is 31 January 2018.

All bids should be submitted to:

The President
Swaziland Library and Information Association
P.O. Box 2309
Mbabane, H100
SWAZILAND
Tel: +268 2517 0153
Fax: +268 2404 3863
Email: anbuj@uniswa.sz

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SCECSAL adopts revised guidelines for author awards and for selecting future conference hosts

Paper presenters  at SCECSAL conferences now
stand a chance to be nominated for the best paper awards
[Photo: Justin Chisenga] 
Presidents and Chairpersons of the 11 SCECSAL member Library and
Information Associations have approved the revised guidelines for the SCECSAL Author Awards and for selecting future hosts for SCECSAL conferences.

The two sets of guidelines were adopted on Monday, 18 September 2017, following a motion tabled by the Swaziland Library Association, the current Chair of the SCECSAL General Council.

Selecting winners for author awards

The Author Awards guidelines cover the selection of the SCECSAL Author of the Year and the Best SCECSAL Conference Papers.

The guidelines make provisions for two categories for the Author Award – Best Author (Journal Articles and Chapters in Books) and Best Author (Books); address the process for nominating and selecting the winners; and provides for the appointment the Awards Selection Committee made up of five recognized authors in the library, information and knowledge or related field.

The prize for the winners of the Author of the Year Awards will be in form of cash and a certificate while the winners for the SCECSAL Conference Paper Awards will receive certificates.

Conferences hosts to be announced four years in advance

Under the new guidelines for selecting SCECSAL Conference hosts, future hosts for the conference will be announced four years in advance and therefore the host for 2022 will be announced at the SCECSAL XXIII conference in Uganda in April 2018.

The arrangement to announce the conference hosts four years in advance formalises the decision that was made in 2016 at the SCECSAL conference in Swaziland where the hosting of the 2020 SCECSAL conference was awarded the Namibia Information Workers Association (NIWA).

The guidelines also ensure that no SCECSAL sub-region hosts consecutive SCECSAL conferences unless circumstances dictate so and the decision is approved by at least two thirds of the of the SCECSAL members. For this purpose, the current 11 active SCECSAL members have been categorized into the following sub-regions - Eastern: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; Central: Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and Southern: Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.

Since Uganda is hosting the 2018 conference and Namibia in 2020, the 2022 conference will go to any of the four countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa - in the Southern Africa sub-region.

Implementing 2016 SCECSAL resolutions

The adoption of the guidelines follows a resolution in 2016 by the General Council to review and amend the SCECSAL constitution to include terms of reference for the Permanent SCECSAL Secretariat and other appropriate provisions to strengthen SCECSAL operations and monitoring mechanisms, and simplify the biding process for hosting SCECSAL conferences.

In 2018, the representatives of the SCECSAL member Associations, during the XXIII SCECSAL conference to be held from 23 to 28 April in Entebbe, Uganda, are expected to discuss and adopt the amended SCECSAL constitution.

Monday, September 11, 2017

ULIA President sends greetings and advance welcome message to SCECSAL XXIII participants

Sarah Kaddu, PhD
President, ULIA
The President of the Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA), Dr. Sarah Kaddu, has sent warm greetings and extended an advance warm and big welcome to library and information professionals in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa and beyond, to the SCECSAL XXIII conference to be held from the 23rd – 28th April 2018 at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

Dr Kaddu, in her welcome note posted on the SCECSAL website, said: “There will be colourful opening and closing ceremonies, plenary and professional sessions, exhibitions, the memorable Cultural Evening and tours to different places such as the historical Uganda Martyrs shrines in Namugongo, the Source of the Nile, the Equator, Kasubi Tombs, Uganda National Archives and other crowd pulling places of interest. The weather during the conference will be friendly. Security is assured”.

"I extend to all of you a big and warm welcome to SCECSAL XXIII, Entebbe, Uganda, 23rd – 28th April, 2018", Dr. Kaddu said.

ULIA has made significant progress in preparing for the SCECSAL XXIII conference and thus far the National Organizing Committee (NOC), headed by Prof. Okello-Obura Constant, has:

  • Selected sixty abstracts, through a blind review process, from among 131 that were submitted for consideration. 
  • Contacted authors whose abstracts were not accepted for paper presentation and highly advised them to consider presenting posters so that the region does not completely miss out on their good ideas.
  • Worked on arrangements to hold a conference composed of plenary sessions, parallel workshops, special and poster sessions as well as exhibitions of different library materials, products and equipment from different stakeholders in the library and information fields and beyond. 

Approximately 400 participants (librarians, information scientists, documentation officers, archivists, records managers, publishers, books sellers, academics, ICT innovators, literacy experts, policy makers, etc.) are expected to attend the SCECSAL XXIII conference.

Registration for the conference is now open and the registration form (in PDF) is available here.  The following are the applicable registration fees:

  • Early Bird Registration (deadline 31st January 2018) = USD 360.00 
  • Late Registration (by 31st March 2018) = USD 400.00 
  • Onsite Registration (from 24th April 2018) = USD 430.00 

Rental fees for exhibition stalls (2 x 2 square metres) are fixed at USD 200.00.

Delegates and exhibitors are strongly advised to leverage the early bird registration dates to confirm their attendance.

The organizes have identified many hotels along the Entebbe-Kampala highway that are closer to the conference venue. Among others, they include:


For detailed information about the hotels and other suitable accommodation facilities available in Entebbe town, visit Booking.com and search for Entebbe.

The NOC is advising potential delegates to the conference to visit the website of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for entry visa and related information including the list of countries exempt from paying visa fees, visa fees, etc. Application for e-Visas is also available on the same website.

Further information on the conference is available on the ULIA SCECSAL XXIII conference website.

Inquiries should be sent to scecsal2018@ulia.or.ug.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Zambia benefits from AfLIA’s INELI programme

By Raymond Sikanyika


Ms. Kalaba Mweni, Zambia’s INELI Innovator.
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
Zambia is one of the 32 countries benefitting from the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) programme. INELI is an initiative of the Global Libraries (GL) programme, managed by the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), that was established to support the transformation of public libraries into engines of development. It does this by supporting upcoming public librarians to develop innovative services for the benefit of their communities. AfLIA is the professional trusted voice for libraries and librarians in Africa.

Zambia is represented by Luapula Provincial Librarian, Ms. Kalaba Mweni Kolandi, a dedicated and committed public librarian who has been practicing librarianship for 14 years. Since the inception of the INELI programme in April, 2016, Zambia has benefited tremendously through this programme.

Being a network of library leaders around the world, INELI has proved to be a useful network where public librarians are learning from other librarians and working together online to acquire skills and share experiences in developing and implementing innovative services for communities.

Through this programme, the Zambian INELI Innovator, Kalaba, has grown her knowledge in providing better and innovative library services in her library. In Luapula Province, where her public library is located, Kalaba has been working with school librarians to better library service delivery through innovation. With her exposure, the Zambian INELI innovator, is able to facilitate workshops based on other workshops she has attended. In July 2016, during the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) Annual General Conference, She made a presentation to the delegates on the INELI programme, explaining what the programme is about, its objectives and how she intended to impart the knowledge she was learning with other librarians in the country. At this conference, Kalaba attended a session on Customer Care and Customer Service in libraries which she later shared with school librarians in her province through a workshop she facilitated. She has done presentations to senior provincial government officials on the role of libraries in helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). In the Provincial Library, Ms. Kalaba has created a Water Corner, promoting SDG number 6 which looks at ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The Corner has materials promoting water conservation and good sanitation. The library also provides computer lessons to Grade 6 pupils.

The Mansa town community continues to benefit from the partnership which the provincial library has with Chakopo Primary School to teach reading and writing to adults who have dropped out of school. There is also a homework clinic for learners whose parents do not have skills to enable them help the children or are busy and unable to help. The provincial library staff have also developed outreach programmes to Mansa General Hospital and Senama Clinic children’s wards where the library takes books and toys for children among other things. The library staff read stories with the children and play with them.

On a national level, Kalaba joined other experts in facilitating at a public librarians workshop on
Ms. Kalaba Mweni facilitating at the 2017 LIAZ Annual General Conference
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
innovation in libraries in March, 2017. The workshop was organized by LIAZ in partnership with Lubuto Library Partners in the Southern Province of Zambia. A total of 26 public librarians benefitted from this training workshop. In addition, Kalaba also made a presentation to 115 delegates during the 2017 LIAZ Annual General Conference that was held in Siavonga. She presented on Community partnerships and enlightened delegates including association leaders of what makes up good partnerships and how partnerships can help us improve service delivery in libraries.

The INELI innovator has also done various publications on the INELI programme in the LIAZ Newsletters.

The Programme is having a lot of positive impact on librarians as the knowledge being gained is being shared with other librarians in the country. There has been a lot of emphasis on innovation in libraries in Zambia. The country is grateful to this programme and look forward to more of such initiatives by AfLIA.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Zambia revives Open Door Children’s Corners in public libraries

By Raymond Sikanyika

Services to children and youth are at the heart of what it means to be a responsive public librarian in
A newly rehabilitated children’s corner
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
Zambia, where children and youth make up more than half of the national population. Access to information is a fundamental human right. Public libraries, as institutions mandated to provide equal information access to people from all walks of life, have a particularly significant role to play in advancing this right. Public libraries, by nature of their functions, play a key role in national development.

Children and youth are among the important categories of people who need ready access to information as well as other quality library services.

For a long time in Zambia, most public libraries did not have desirable spaces designated for children’s library services. This situation did not motivate children to seek library services as they should.

Zambia was privileged to receive support from Book Aid International (BAI). This was through a partnership between the Ministry of General Education through Zambia Library Service and BAI. This partnership saw six provincial libraries; Mansa, Chipata, Mongu, Solwezi, Kasama and Choma receive support to rehabilitate the children’s corners and also received grants for the purchase of books with particular emphasis on local content. In addition, public librarians in the provincial libraries received training on the management of children’s library services.

Kitwe Public Library, under the Ministry of Local Government received support from Book Bus to improve the services in the children’s corner in the Kitwe City Council Library. The Book Bus is a unique mobile literacy service that promotes reading skills and spreads the joy of storybooks. It was founded by publisher Tom Maschler with the aim of supplying books and making them accessible to children to help get more children reading and therefore be able to make more choices about their own lives. The Book Bus aims to improve child literacy rates in Africa, Asia and South America by providing children with books and the inspiration to read them.

Out of a desire to build the national capacity of the profession in relation to children’s services, Library and Information Association of Zambia collaborated on the development of a national survey for public librarians, including both council libraries and provincial libraries, to identify how public libraries in Zambia are currently serving children and youths. Based on gaps and challenges that emerged from this survey, LIAZ and Lubuto Library Partners (LLP), an NGO that provides an open system of libraries and accessible services, and works with professional colleagues to build capacity to serve young people through public libraries, decided to team up in the development of a training program for public librarians that would address the critical need for support in relation to children’s services and programming, children’s collection development, and other areas of collective interest. This study was conducted as a result of the need to improve the provision of library services in public libraries in Zambia.

A public librarian conducting a children’s session
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
LLP and LIAZ collaboratively planned, scheduled, and funded a week-long training opportunity for provincial and council librarians from 20 – 24th March 2017, that was held in Monze, Southern Province. The training attracted public librarians from across the country. A total of 26 public librarians including representatives from partner organizations participated in the training.

This training was to complement the support from BAI and Book Bus to ensure that the rehabilitated children’s corners were effectively made use of. Public librarians in Zambia acquired various skills that are cardinal for providing quality children’s library services in public libraries.

In Zambia, each public library in now servicing an average of about 250 children per month. The trained librarians provide various quality library services and in addition conduct outreach programmes in their communities.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ULIA holds second IAP workshop in Northern Uganda: Excitement hits Librarians in the Region

Group photo of some of the Participants
The Uganda Library and Information Association has taken IFLA’s International Advocacy Programmee (IAP) by storm. In less than a month, the professional library body in Uganda has twice made media captions through her IAP workshops. On the 24th to 26th July 2017, ULIA held its inaugural IFLA-IAP workshop at the Uganda Christian University, Mable, and Eastern Uganda. On the 7th to 9th August, 2017, ULIA shifted her IAP sensitization guns to Gulu, far north of the country.  

The workshop was officially opened by Hon. Ojara Mapenduzi- Gulu District LC 5 Chairperson. Honorable Mapenduzi was very pleased to learn that the library fraternity was ready to support the realization of the SDGs and the UN 2030 Agenda.  

He said: “The current global development framework focuses on inclusive philosophy whereby, no one, poor or rich, should be left behind. All the SDGs will require the use of information as key to the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. I am happy Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) is making the case for why it is important for all libraries to be central to the UN Agenda and Development. Libraries should empower citizens with choice and control over the decisions that impact their lives, their communities and their nation”. 

The Honorable further promised to work with the librarians in the Northern Uganda to implement his manifesto. He was now aware that libraries had a role to play in the attainment of the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. He was also now aware that the reading culture of his people was still very poor hence the need for an active public library and a vibrant ULIA to manage this challenge.

The local politician was happy to see, the son of the soil – Prof. Constant Okello-Obura, Principal, College of Computing & Information Sciences (CoCIS) and immediate past President of ULIA, talking about development strategies of Gulu district and the role libraries could play in the UN 2030 Agenda.

Dr. Raphael Aregu- University Librarian, Gulu University and Mr. David Tibemenya, Principal Administrator, Gulu Regional Referral Hospital jointly made the welcome remarks. Dr. Sarah Kaddu, the current President of ULIA gave the overview on the IAP workshop.
Principal, Gulu Regional Referral hospital 
addressing participants


Dr. Kaddu, who is also an IAP Trainer, imparted knowledge and skills to the participants on how they could develop library programmes and align them to the National Development Agenda, Vision 2040, the Cape Town Declaration 2015 (Agenda 2063), and the Lyon Declaration 2013. Kaddu put particular emphasis on Goal 16:10 which directly speaks to the libraries and access to information. She further emphasised working with decision and policy makers towards developing library programmes that are aligned with the current development agendas within Uganda.

Currently, Northern Uganda has got a total of 30 districts, making it one of the biggest provinces in Uganda. The region is well known for the infamous civil war led by Joseph Kony. The region suffered from civil unrest since the early 1980s and this lasted for over two decades. 

Hundreds of people were killed in the rebellion against the Ugandan government, and an estimated 1.4 million people were left homeless. The war not only displaced people but also utterly destroyed northern Uganda’s social services sector including agriculture, education, transport, health and the economic base.  Programs such IAP are seen as timely and God sent for the natives. They are geared towards restoring hope and parity in the region.

Speaking after the Workshop, Mr. Steven Okurut commented: “This is God sent. As a result of this workshop, I now know the role of my public library; I can now take the duty I had declined, to brief my Area MP and my Council about the role of Moroto public library. Certainly I shall request for his full support in mobilising resources for its development and my advocacy work begins next week.’

Ms. Shilla Adyero, a Community Librarian was all praises for the workshop because many of the participants heard of ULIA for the first time. Ms Adyero and her colleagues vowed to support the ULIA programs to advocate for the library programmes and the role of her community library in disseminating information for development thereby supporting the UNESCO Agenda, 2030. 

At the end of the workshop, participants had developed the draft Advocacy programmes that they would further share with the decision and policy makers. They were particularly very grateful that ULIA was rolling out the Advocacy workshop to ALL regions of Uganda and East Africa. To them, advocacy is not one of the courses the LIS schools have considered in their curricular yet very important. They promised to initiate change in their libraries and also partner with decision makers, community leaders, policy makers and all the people who may cause change in the library services sector.

During Group Discussions
The Northern and West Nile Region IAP workshop attracted thirty two (32) Participants who came from: Gulu Regional Referral hospital, Lira University, Lutino Adunu Nwoya community library, Gulu university library, Cavendish university Gulu, Arua public library, Nebbi Municipal Council, Paidha public , one public library, NTC Unyama, Gulu SOCO, Gulu public library, Nebbi public library, Moroto public library, Arua Public library and Gulu District Local Government. The workshop was closed by Dr. Pasca Apio. Dr. Apio said she was hearing about ULIA and SDGs for the first time.
The IAP guns will now shift to Western Uganda in October 2017.

Well-done IFLA and ULIA for informing the world.