|Participants at SCECSAL 2014 walking to the conference venue|
NIWA’s failure to take part in SCECSAL 2014 conferences was attributed, in some quarters, to the inability by the professionals in the country to organize themselves and plan for such events. However, a participant from Namibia attributed this to the fact that NIWA has very few members, in fact less than 40.
NIWA has also failed to make available, in digital format for posting on SCECSAL websites, its biennial country reports since 2004.NIWA hosted SCECSAL 2002, rated among the best SCECSAL events in terms of organization, entertainment, and papers presented. For example, the SCECSAL Author Award and best paper presenters have so far only been awarded at SCECSAL 2000, organized by NIWA, and SCECSAL 2002 organized by the Library and Information Association of South Africa.
Regarding SCECSAL, the Zimbabwe Library Association has been in the doldrums for a long time. It has officially missed several SCECSAL conferences and has not provided its biennial reports since SCECSAL 2004.It is difficult to understand why ZimLA missed SCECSAL 2014. The Association recently held its 48th Conference and Annual General Assembly, 24 - 27 June 2014, and one would have thought that participation in SCECSAL 2014 was also discussed on the side.
The few participants who came from Zimbabwe had no idea as to why there were no official representatives from ZimLA. It also looked like they had no link with ZimLA. No wonder, they could not organize themselves to take part in the SCECSAL 2014 Cultural Evening.NIWA and ZimLA should note that when they are unable to send a member of their Executive Committees to attend and officially represent the Association at the SCECSAL conference, they can designate any member of their association, already traveling to the conference, to officially represent them. All they will have to do is to write a letter to the host Library Association indicating their designated representative and give him/her a copy of the country report to be presented at the SCECSAL General Assembly.