Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I believe you all reached safely and busy on your desks. OR not yet since Christmas is only two days away thus you could be out there shopping for your family. ... What ever the case Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year!
Mr Justine Chisenga wants to send you some photos on the Web.20 Social Medias Workshop that we had from 1-3 December and others from SCECSAL but I think he is still trying to collect them. If any one took some photos please send a few to him, I have tried to send photos to him over 3 times but he is not receiving them. As we wait for his photos please see the attached.
And I am sorry I could not blog the Tuesday Morning SCECSAL Session as I had promised. It was difficult to get to the Internet and even pass by a blocked blog at the University of Botswana on that day.
Regards and Happy New Year
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
By Poloko Ntokwane
Mrs Kgomotso Radijeng: Welcome Remarks
During her welcome remarks the President of Botswana Library Association Mrs Kgomotso Radijeng said that the main focus of the theme “Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance through Effective Information and Knowledge Services” is to interrogate the role that free flow of information can play in contributing to Democracy, Good Governance, social equality and economic growth within our nations. She further highlighted that information and knowledge services are at the epicentre of a world wind of change. According to Radijeng the digital age is revolutionizing the way we live our lives and that access to ICTs is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Technological changes have the potential to revolutionize the delivery of effective Library, Information and Knowledge services. Our challenge as information professionals is to ensure that Governments and businesses are encouraged to invest efficiently, so that the average citizen will have access to the emergent technologies and that these technological and developmental changes enhance democracy and Good Governance. Another important aspect raised by Radijeng is that “Library, Information and Knowledge Services must remain relevant in order to realize their missions. In this regard, SCECSAL member associations must continue to present themselves as willing and capable partners in enhancing Democracy and Good Governance through the provision of effective and efficient Library, Information and Knowledge Services.
Mr Thapelo Ndlovu MISA Botswana –Key Note Address
Giving a key note address at the conference Mr Thapelo Ndlovu of MISA Botswana who is Expression/Media Activist said that it is important that any government must strive to put measures in place that would make it easy for people to access information. He commended Government of Botswana for coming up with such facilities as Kitsong Centres and Nteletsa projects which make communication easier. He said if a person does not have access to information it is impossible to discuss the range of political options that are freely open to them and it will be impossible to vote according to your own beliefs and values. Mr Mpofu stressed the importance of information as central to human development. He said the community at any level, local or broader, use information for their economic, social and political uplifting. In this age a community without a library faces virtual extinction. The absence of information by some in the society could lead to confrontations and even civil disaffections. The speaker said that the internet has effectively become a virtual library and it is important that the library society view it as a positive development that would complement the traditional library.
Mr Shaw Kgati- Minister of Sport Youth and Culture- Opening Speech
Mr Shaw Kgati said there is a need for libraries to shift from being book oriented to information communication technology to cater for all sectors of the society. He said libraries were becoming irrelevant due to social networks making it imperative to re-align their strategies by becoming more innovative and creative. He emphasised the importance of information to the life of any society so it should be shared and made available. The minister said so far in Botswana 17 out of 29 villages enjoy free access to information through connectivity at public libraries and this has been realise through the partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Sesigo project.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
After the official opening the event moved to the main hall where all the presentation of papers took place. The Morning session was chaired by Professor Patrick Ngulube of the University of South Africa, Department of Information Sciences. The theme for the day was "Freedom of access to information, censorship to information, Internet monitoring and good governance and Information privacy and confidentiality". The session saw presentations of four papers titled:
- Public Libraries in their communities: a catalyst for change by Monika Segbert from Italy;
- The Role of Internet in the Provision of Information for National Devlopment and Political Education: a Hypelink Analysis of SADC E-government Websites by DR Akakandelwa of the University of Zambia;
- Access to knowledge and Information in Botswana: A Development and Gender issue within the Adult Education Context by Bobana Badisang from Botswana; and
- The Level of Utilization of Government Publications in Some School Libraries in Gaborone, Botswana.
The afternoon session was chaired by Professor Stephen Mutula on the University of Botswana and it saw the breaking away of groups into two parallel sessions. The theme for the first group was, "Libraries, democratization process and promotion of sustainable good governance in Africa" and that of the second group was, "Libraries, Human Rights, socio-economic, good governace and Democracy".
The first paper in parallel session for Group A with the theme Libraries, democratization process and promotion of sustainable good governance in Africa" was presented by Ms. G T Kabatangare of Uganda and the paper was titled, " Contributions of Makerere University Library towards Democracy and Good Governance in Uganda since 1996".
Ms Kabatangure first highlighted on the general perspective of IFLA that libraries play an essential role in the functioning of a Democratic Society. She then went to give a general background Makerere University and highlighted the main role of Makerere University is ensuring that the library remain effective to the University curricular through initiating innovative ways, planing and implementation of activities that enable the Library to achieve its objectives . The paper went on to mention the various resources that are found in the Makerere University Library which include databases, vitual resources, hard copy books etc.
The main commitment of the University towards democracy is seen through facilitating access to variety of materials on democracy and good governance and the key achievements towards this goal is seen through some of the actions listed below:
The paper first highlights the Librarian's role of provision of information to the users, and then went forward to give a background of libraries in both countries. In Kenya Libraries where started in the 18th Centurion and the Library Services Act was enacted in Parliament in 1965 and in Zimbabwe Libraries where initiated before independence and the Library and documentation services Act was enacted in Parliament in 1985. The paper lists the following as roles of Libraries in democracy:
Sunday, December 5, 2010
A Report on Strengthening Information Literacy Interventions; Using Creative Approaches to Teaching and Learning
- Paper presentations
- Panel discussions
- Group discussions
The workshop was ably facilitated/chaired by Dr Mark Hepworth, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Science, Loughborough University in UK. Among the participants were six persons who participated in the Web 2.0 and Social Media in the Agricultural Environment workshop from 1st - 3rd December, 2010; these were Dr Doris Matovelo, Gray Nyali, Alice Sebunjo, Mercy Moyo, Blessings Chataira, and Geoffrey Salanje.
During the paper presentations, participants listened to four papers on:
- Availability, access and use: re-understanding the e-journal problem by Jonathan Harle, Programme Officer (Research and Libraries) ACU, UK and Kondwani Wella, College Librarian, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi.
- Building searching skills using learner-centered approaches in an African context by Siobhan Dugigneau, Information Literacy Manager, British Library for Development, IDS, UK and Gracian Chimwaza, Director, ITOCA, South Africa
- Building capacity: lessons learnt from an intensive training health information training programme in Vietnam by Peter Burnett, Head of Library Development, INASP, UK.
- An institutional approach to embedding IL programmes across the curriculum: University of Botswana case study by Babakisi Fidzani, Deputy Director of Library Services, University of Botswana.
These papers stimulated alot of discussions, comments and questions among the participants.
These were followed by a panel discussion whose panelists were Dr Silas Oluka (DeLPHE project/ University of Botswana and Copperbelt), Dr Akakandelwa Akakandelwa (University of Zambia), Elizabeth Mlambo (Univeristy of Zimbabwe), Siobhan Duvigneau (Institute of Development Studies, UK) and Bettie de Kock (Univeristy of Pretoria, South Africa). The panel was chaired by Julie Brittain. Panelists briefly participants what there institutions are during in the promotion of information literacy.
Partcipants were then split into three groups based on their lnterest of the topics under discussion. The topics were: Pedagogical innovation and assessment of training (pre and post assessment); Use of new technologies in information literacy; and Embedding information literacy programmes into institutions.
Finally, the workshop had a lively plenary after group reports. Then, the workshop facilitator summarized the findings from the three groups.
It was clear from the worshop that information literacy was beyond library orientation or library user education; and that all types of libraries should embark on information literacy.
Friday, December 3, 2010
About 40 papers will be presented at the Conference (now called Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations) by library and information specialists coming from as far as the United States and Italy. Papers to be presented include:
- Towards a democratic society: the role of Libraries in facilitating Social Equality andEconomic growth in Uganda - Caroline Kobusingye and Monica Naluwooza (Uganda).
- Making of a Botswana Information Society Through Access to Information Communication Technologies - Sebusang E.M. Sebusang, Tshepo Maswabi, Tiroyamodimo Sethate Resego Taolo (Botswana).
- Public libraries in a world society – what’s happening - Sarah Webb (USA).
- The Role of Internet in the Provision of Information for National Development and Political Education: a Hyperlink Analysis of SADC E-government Websites - A. Akakandelwa (Zambia).
- Supporting Human Rights in Africa: The Library of the African Union Court on Human and Peoples Rights - Fidelis K.Mutisya (Tanzania).
- Open Source Software deployment at the National Library of South Africa with reference to Suse Linux migration - Lesiba S Ledwaba & John K Tsebe (South Africa).
- Open access to information as a means of creating an enabling environment to democracy and good governance: the case of Chancellor College Institutional Repository - Dickson Vuwa-Phiri &Francis Kachala (Malawi).
- Public Libraries in their communities: a catalyst for change - Monika Segbert (Italy).
Over the years, SCECSAL Conferences attract a lot of interest from several professionals in the field in the SCECSAL region, the rest of Africa and outside Africa. The SCECSAL XIX Conference will be no exception.
I will be reporting in the SCECSAL Forum, on issues related to information and knowledge management in Tanzania. I thank you all!!
Mwelaba for now. Alice Sebunjo
Stay tuned for more!!!!!
Blessing Chataira. I work as a Programme Officer at ITOCA - Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa. I am a young vibrant lady with a passion for Information and Knowledge Management, especially with the use of new ICTs. I will be reporting from Centurion, South Africa, so stay tuned!
I urge you all to always keep an eye on this blog!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
To continue practicing their skills on blogging, the participants decided to setup SCECSAL Forum:
- as tool for collaboration on reporting on the activities and events in the library and information fieldtaking place in the SCECSAL region.
- to promote the use of Web 2.0 tools among library and information professionals in the SCECSAL region.
The Forum is open to individuals in the SCESAL region wishing to report on library and information activities taking place in their countrie. Join the Forum and become a social reporter. Contact: Justin Chisenga