Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Occasional courses for 2016 (Digital Curation, Teaching & Learning for LIS Professionals and Research Data Management)

The Library and Information Studies Centre at the University of Cape Town will shortly be offering master’s level courses in Digital Curation, Teaching & Learning for LIS Professionals and Research Data Management that are ideal for persons and/or organisations seeking continuing professional development in these new skills areas.

Kindly see the advertisement for more details.

Library and Information Studies Centre
University of Cape Town
email: or tel.: +27 21 650 4546

Monday, May 23, 2016

Experience at the ICT4D Conference 2016, Nairobi Kenya

Dear colleagues, it’s impossible to describe the feeling of being a part of an incredible event in a few words but this is what I am just about to share with the SCECSAL fraternity and probably beyond. I had a chance to attend this year’s 8th edition of ICT4D2016 (Information and Communications Technology for Development,   hosted by Kenya .I had a fantastic time attending the ICT4D2016 conference. Amazing event incubating a multidimensional mass of sciences, art, technologies and culture. Inspiring talks, creative vibes, excellent organization, awesome exhibition design, innovation and technologies characterized this global event in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi addressing delegates at
the opening ceremony

A very good concept, very good opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas, bringing over 1200 delegates from 300 organizations from over 80 countries together in the world, helping each other to cooperate and build bridges in the global development agenda using ICTs. The conference also brought together thought leaders and experienced professionals from around the world to share and explore ways of using ICT to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With a comprehensive and interactive programme, the conference explored the innovative approaches to Cloud Computing, VOIP, VLE and Network Provision as well as looking into what tools and applications are available to support the attainment of SDGs. Other key issues that were raised during the conference included;
The role of public-private sector partnerships in the attainment of SDGs.It was also made very clear that SDGs have to be people-centric if we are to achieve them. It was further noted that actors should be very careful when telling clients that technology is the solution. It was noted that Technology is not the ultimate solution but part of the solution a notion that all experts agreed with.
A panel of experts responding to questions during a plenary session.  
Different people need data in different ways and data is good but not important. What matters is information. There was a big suggestion that academic institutions have to be brought on board to transform this data into meaningful information. At this point, I realized the role of Library and Information professionals. The role of an Information society was also highlighted.

In summary, the event featured a moderated panel of leaders and experts from private sector, governmental and non-governmental organizations. It focused the question of whether or not the use of information and communications technology can enable regions, countries, and communities to overcome complex development challenges and actually achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Members of the press were present and were able to interact and debate fully in conference and deeply engaged the panelists. Such opportunities have to be leveraged by librarians and I urge everyone to try to seize such opportunities in future for our own benefit. Finally as SCECSAL forum, we could benchmark from such events and drive our forum to greater levels. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Follow @SCECSAL for news and updates from the SCECSAL region

If your want to be up to date with the happenings in the library and information services (LIS) field in the  Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) region, then follow us on our twitter account at @SCECSAL (

@SCECSAL will one of the major outlets for announcements and news items about the the XXIIIrd SCECSAL to be held in 2018 in Uganda.  So join the community and be up to date with the event. Use the #SCECSAL to associate your LIS event with SCECSAL.

The SCECSAL region covers Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Join IAALD Africa Chapter

If you your work involves generating or managing or disseminating food, agriculture and rural development information; or your have a strong interest in agricultural information and knowledge management in Africa, then consider joining the Africa Chapter of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD).

For a limited time IAALD Africa is offering FREE membership to AFRICAN Agricultural Information Specialists who want to join the Chapter.

Please confirm your interest by 20th of May 2016 to and

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Workshop on managing and publishing your scholarly journal online using Open Journal Systems (OJS)

The scholarly publishing arena has been influenced by the Internet and specifically the World Wide Web (WWW) in many ways. Online journal management offers many benefits, including higher dissemination, increased access, reach, and visibility, leading to higher impact of individual research articles published. Journals all over the world are more and more joining hands with IT, Research and Library Divisions on campus to start hosting their own, instead of making use of sometimes very expensive publishers.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in collaboration with higher education and research institutions in the Eastern Cape (LIASA Eastern Cape Branch/SEALS), would like to invite all editors, journal managers, librarians and other role players in the scholarly publishing process to a one day workshop on managing and publishing a scholarly journal in the online environment, using Open Journal Systems. The following will also be addressed: workflow, unique identifiers, metadata, roles & responsibilities and criteria for a high quality open access journal, in line with the Department of Higher Education and Training policy for research output and criteria for accreditation. 

Workshop Details

Date: Friday 27 May 2016, 09:00 - 16:00
Venue: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (details to follow once registered)
Costs: R 150.00 (you will receive an invoice following registration, with banking details for payment) 
Facilitator: Ina Smith, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
Please register: Click here to register online. Please register by 20 May 2016.

Looking very much forward meeting you at the workshop! Please share with journal editors and journal managers*

Linda Ntaka
PRO: LIASA Eastern Cape Branch (2014 – 2016)
Tel.: +27(0) 46 603 7338 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bravo SWALA for organizing such a wonderful showpiece – SCECSAL 2016!

By Erick Nelson Haumba
Kampala, Uganda

If anything has to be discussed about SCECSAL 2016, it has to be my personal experience and feel of the just concluded conference in eZulwini, Swaziland, held from 25 to 29 April. Under the theme “Digital transformation and the changing role of libraries and information centre’s in the sustainable development of Africa”, the Sub-Saharan region and the African continent as a whole experienced one of the best library and information service (LIS) fraternity showpieces of all times.

Eric Nelson Haumba presenting a paper at SCECSAL 2016
The approach and focus during the conference days was broad, enriching and focused on the changing role of libraries in the sustainable development of our continent which was spot-on with our expectations. In the academic setting, it’s extremely hard to disagree that the quality of the papers and conference proceedings was tremendously high. You could not hear of any corridor talk expressing any sort of dissatisfaction. Thanks to the efforts of the editorial team and international review committee.

As an upcoming professional, my goal is to always attend a conference where I simply have to learn from. I always want to be a sponge and soak up as much information as I possibly can. And SCECSAL 2016 Conference offered me more than that. From the keynote speakers to the invited guests who opened the conference, a lot was leant from them.  After attending a few sessions, it was rock clear to me that I wasn’t going to disappoint myself. I could sometimes pick the sessions to attend either based on the topic or based on who was actually presenting. This gave me an opportunity to hang back after the session was over and have a conversation with the presenters and fellow attendees who were really smart people.

It was an interesting moment to meet with the continent’s best, the stalwarts and peers from the profession. That was my time to take advantage of their knowledge.  I took notes and soaked it all in. About the culture of the people, it’s another matter that needs to be mentioned. From the hosts to all the countries represented, it was amazing to witness the cultural diversities at the cultural dinner. The warmth and hospitality of the people of Swaziland was beyond imagination. The performances were superlative, from the delegates as well as the invited performers. I could hardly see any member of the SWALA team wearing out. Even after the tiresome seven days, John Paul Anbu and his team were looking fresh, robust and full of smiles. I commend you for that.

The best part of attending conferences is establishing friendships and connections with other
Traditional dancers at the Cultural Evening
conference attendees – many of them our fellow peers from across the world. Not only did I have the opportunity to learn from experts at the conference, I also made connections with them and synergized with other conference delegates. The conference presented numerous opportunities to mingle with conference speakers, panelists, delegates and corporate sponsors. I could feel it as many of them were more than happy to stay connected with us during and after the conference.

As you may have noted, there are many advantages to attending conferences but my experience at SCECSAL 2016 only solidifies for me that attending conferences can make you a better person from either the knowledge you learn, the connections you make, or all of the above! To all the delegates, just take a minute to commend SWALA and LOC for the immaculate work by commenting on this blog.

From me, Bravo SWALA for organizing such a wonderful showpiece! Long Live SCECSAL. We welcome you to Uganda in 2018.

For God and My Country

Saturday, April 30, 2016

SCECSAL unveils new logo

The new SCECSAL logo
The Director of the Swaziland National Library Service (SNLS), Mrs Joy Dlamini, on Friday, 29 April, unveiled the new logo for the Standing Conference of Eastern Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) during the XXIInd session of SCECAL at the Royal Swazi Sun in eZulwini

The new logo consists of a map of Africa with the three SCECSAL regions – Eastern, Central and Southern Africa shaded in Green, Yellow (Gold) and Blue respectively, and the remaining part of the map (non-SCECSAL region) shaded in Grayscale; the acronym, made up of the letters SCECSAL, in Blue; and the full-name of the organization - Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations - in Green.

The decision to re-brand SCECSAL was initiated in July 2012 through discussions
Mrs Dlamini handing flash drives containing files
of the new SCECSAL logo to the representatives of
SCECSAL member Associations
with the Presidents and/or Chairpersons of the SCECSAL member associations. The final design was created from a consolidation of ideas from the representatives of the SCECSAL member Library and Information Associations following a survey and discussions held in 2013, and inputs from the SCECSAL General Assembly meeting in Malawi in 2014.

Member Associations were each handed a flash drive containing digital files (.eps, .jpg and .gif) of the new logo, and henceforth are expected to ensure that events related to SCECSAL carry the new logo.

Friday, April 29, 2016

SCECSAL 2018 heads to Uganda

The SCECSAL General Assembly on Friday, 29 April, in eZulwini, Swaziland, endorsed the Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA)'s bid to host the XXIIIrd Standing Conference of Eastern Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations in April 2018.

The Nambian Library and Information Workers Association (NIWA) will be on standby to ULIA and thus the favourite to host SCECSAL in 2020.

ULIA will be hosting the conference for the third time, having done so in 1990 and 2004.

Sights from the SCECSAL 2016 Cultural Evening

Each SCECSAL Cultural Evening event is unique and the one held on 27 April 2016 at the University of Swaziland’s Ligcabho Lemaswati Sports Emporium was no different. The event was beautiful, colourful and entertaining. Below is a selection of some photos from the event.

Some participants from South Africa

Prof. Rocky Relebipi-Simela (L) and
Jennefer Nicholson (R)
Team from Namibia

Team from Zambia

Part of the team from Botswana
Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya from Uganda
Uganda on the dance floor
Participants from Botswana dancing in style

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lone participant from Lesotho scoops top award at SCECSAL 2016 Cultural Evening

Ms Masechele Qoola (R) receiving the trophy from
Ms Joy Dlamini, Director, Swaziland National
Library Services
A lone participant from Lesotho, Ms Masechele Qoola, defied all odds when she scooped the top award at the colourful SCECSAL Cultural Evening dance competition held at the University of Swaziland’s Ligcabho Lemaswati Sports Emporium on Wednesday evening.

Donned in a Sesotho traditional dress and a Sesotho blanket covering her shoulders, Ms Qoola captivated the audience with her graceful dance movements and danced her way to victory with 75 points.

The hosts, Swaziland, put up a colourful display of their traditional attire and well-choreographed moves and came in second position with 70 points.

The final standings were as follows:

1st Position – Lesotho (75pts)
2nd Position – Swaziland (70pts)
3rd Position – Botswana (68pts)
4th Position – Malawi (66pts)
5th Position – Uganda (65.5pts)
6th Position – Tanzania (65pts)
7th Position – Namibia and South Africa (64pts each))
8th Position – Zambia and Zimbabwe (62pts each)

Kenya failed to show up for the dance competition.

The two judges for the evening, Ms Sibongile Mamba and Mr. Mathokoza Sibiya, took into account the songs used, choreography, expression, and costume worn by the dancers to arrive at the rankings of the participants.

Dancers from from Malawi
Library and information professionals from Botswana improved on their past performances, and their combination of dance, poetry and ululations received loud applause from the participants.

Malawi were original in their choice of song and dance, and the seriousness they showed in their performance earned them many supporters among the participants.

The SCECSAL Cultural Evening, a major feature of each SCECSAL conference, provides conference participants with an opportunity to showcase their traditional dancing skills in a relaxed environment.

Sights from Day 2 of SCECSAL 2016

Day 2 at SCECSAL 2016 was full of activities and life. Below are some of the sights from the day.

SCECSAL volunteers (L-R): Nkosingiphile Sithole,
Nozipho Mabuza, Bongekile Simelane & Lindiwe Cebe

John Tsebe addressing the participants

Participants attentively listening to the presentations

Participants troop out of the meeting
room at the end of the session

Casual walk to the restaurant for lunch

Preparing the presentations

EBSCOhost Stand

SirsiDynix Stand

AfLIA Stand

How do you increase accessibility to research with a “closed access” institutional repository?

Mr. Amoni Gray Kapasule
presenting the paper
The second day of SCECSAL 2016 included a presentation of the paper - Revolutionizing Scholarly Communications Through Institutional Repositories: Empirical Findings from a University (college) in Malawi by Amoni Gray Kapasule & Winner Chawinga - which highlighted two key challenges facing most librarians in Africa when the embark on developing institutional repositories (IRs) as modes of providing access to their institutions’ knowledge resources. Challenges related to lack of support from or the unwillingness of the the researchers/lecturers to contribute content to the IRs, and the absence of an enabling institutional environment to facilitate opening access to research.

The paper, based on a study focusing on Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) Library’s institutional repository, indicated that among the reasons for establishing the IR by KCN were to increase accessibility to research outputs and to promote image of College through online visibility.

The findings of the study tell a different story and shows that it will be difficult, if not impossible, for KCN to achieve the above two objectives.

While 81% of the lecturers that took part in the study indicated that one major benefit of IRs is that they help to communicate research results, only 7% were contributing to the IR. Furthermore, the IR is only accessible on the local intranet.

How do you increase accessibility to research output when researchers/lecturers who generate the content are not contributing to the IR? How can you also enhance the image of the institution through online visibility when IR is not available to the wider community beyond the confines of the institution?

KCN Library is not the only library facing these challenges. There are many other libraries in Africa that are in the same boat.

Setting up institutional repositories to provide access to research outputs in most libraries in Africa is more of a fad than initiatives aimed at achieving objectives of opening access to the continent’s research. It is a question of our neighbours are have setup an IR and so we should also have one otherwise we will be seen as being lagging behind the trend. Genuine conviction to provide access to research outputs of the institutions, worse still to open access, is missing in most institutions.

Reluctance by the learned researchers/lecturers to contribute content to IR
Some of the challenges faced by KCN Library
initiatives is just one of the major challenge besieging librarians who embark on developing IRs. Absence of an enabling environment (national and institutional policies favourable to sharing research outputs with the outside world, institutional guidelines, and incentives to promote sharing of research), and the never ending technical challenges (lack of access to computers, poor internet connectivity in institutions even when better connectivity is available in the countries) impact on initiatives to open access to research.

If IR initiatives are to succeed in Africa, universities or institutions “should launch OA institutional repositories (IRs) and adopt effective policies to fill them with their research output. That is, they should actually provide OA to their research output, not just wish for it, request it, encourage it, settle for ineffective policies to provide it, or sign statements calling for it elsewhere

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sights from Day 1 of SCECSAL 2016

SCECSAL 2016 opened on Monday, 25 April 2016 at the Royal Swazi Sun, in eZulwini, Swaziland. The first day saw the arrival of participants from the SCECSAL member countries and beyond. The whole morning was dedicated to registration and the opening session. Here are some of the sights of the first day of the event.

Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Executive Director of Library Services at
the University of South Africa arriving at the conference venue

Ms Segametsi Molawa, LIASA President
Mr. Geoffrey Salanje, University Librarian, Lilongwe University
of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR),

Professor Kingo Mchombu arriving at the conference venue

Swazi officials arriving at the conference venue
to prepare for the arrival of the Guests of Honour

Prof. Bosire Onyancha, University of South Africa

Delegates completing registration forms
Mr Eric Nelson Haumba from Uganda presenting a paper

Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso opens SCECSAL 2016 conference

Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso delivering her remarks
Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso, who is also the patron of the Swaziland Library Association, has officially opened the XXIInd biennial Standing Conference for Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL), which this year is taking place at the Royal Swazi Sun, in the fast developing town of eZulwini, Swaziland.

In her opening speech, Princess Sikhanyiso urged libraries and librarians in the SCECSAL region to adopt modern information and communication technologies to facilitate digital transformation.

“A massive library with no computers or Internet in this modern age is likely to be as quiet as a graveyard”, Princess Sikhanyiso told participants at the opening session. “How do we keep libraries useful and relevant in the 21st Century?”, asked the Princess.

Under the theme - "Digital Transformation and the Changing Role of Libraries and Information Centres in the Sustainable Development of Africa", speakers and participants at the conference will deliberate on various sub-themes including emerging technologies and their role (Big data, cloud computing, mobile applications, semantic web, text mining, next generation web services etc.); e-governance, e-agriculture, e-health – their roles and impact in development; and the role of social media, social networks and networked information on development.

The papers to be presented at SCECSAL 2016 include:

  • Prof. Ondari-Okemwa Ezra - Developing Digital Information Literacy at institutions of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and Challenges.
  • Dr. Sarah Kaddu & Eric Nelson Haumba - Promoting ICT based agricultural knowledge management for increased production by smallholder rural farmers in Uganda: A case of Communication and Information Technology for Agriculture and Rural Development (CITARD), Butaleja.
  • Clement Anubi Fulano - An assessment of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Radio in the dissemination of agricultural information: a case study of Balaka District.
  • Khosie Ndlangamandla & Justin Chisenga - Social media in university libraries in the SADC Region.
  • Dr. Connie Bitso - Using WhatsApp to sustain functional school libraries in Khayelitsha.
  • Imbamba Esther Nderitu & Nancy M Kimile - Assessing the status of e-Government development in Kenya.
  • Lantern Rangarirai Fusire & Similo Ngwenya - Promoting innovations from indigenous knowledge in selected communities in Zimbabwe.
  • Hamis Lack Abdullah, Lusayo Mwabumba & Winner Chawinga - Diffusion of information/knowledge for growing forest herbs amongst traditional healers: a case of traditional healers at Ekwendeni, Malawi.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso with participants at the conference
Although the SCECSAL region covers 26 countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, most participants are expected to come from 11 countries in the region – Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The biennial conference is hosted by SCECSAL member Library and Information Associations, and the Swaziland Library Association (SWALA) is hosting the SCECSAL for the second time, 28 years after hosting the conference in 1988.

On Friday, 29 April, the SCECSAL General Assembly will announce the member Association to host the conference in April 2018 and unveil a new logo for SCECSAL.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SCECSAL 2016 - Highly discounted registration fee for students announced

Due to a constant demand from students for a discounted registration fee, SCECSAL Local Organising Committee has introduced a new registration category for Non-Salaried Students. Any student who is currently not employed and would like to attend the conference can use this highly discounted registration of US$200. For more details go to or write to