Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries to be held in Ghana

Are you interested in deepening your understanding of digital libraries, and learn about new trends in scientific publishing, and principles related to open access, both for data and publications, crucial to promoting open science?

The 2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries is scheduled for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, from 28th November to 2nd December 2016.

The School is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

For detailed information and on how to apply, see: http://school-digilibr.web.cern.ch/content/school-2016-kumasi-ghana

2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries

Are you interested in deepening your understanding of digital libraries, and learn about new trends in scientific publishing, and principles related to open access, both for data and publications, crucial to promoting open science?

The 2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries is scheduled for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, from 28th November to 2nd December 2016.

The School is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

For detailed information and on how to apply, see: http://school-digilibr.web.cern.ch/content/school-2016-kumasi-ghana

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ULIA goes to the polls: Elects first female president.

The Uganda Library and Information Association today Wednesday 3rd August went to the polls to elect her new leadership. Dr Sarah Kaddu was elected the new president of the National LIS body taking over from Professor Contant Okello Obura of Makerere Univerity. In what seemed to be a tight race between Mr Mukiibi Edward, a Librarian at Kyambogo Univerity,  
Dr. Sarah Kaddu second left with her new team.
and Dr. Sarah Kaddu who is a renowned LIS trainer  from Makerere University, the latter trounced her opponent with an overwhelming majority of 97 to 38 votes, making history as ULIA's first elected female head of library fraternity and pledging a "fundamental breakthrough  " within the country, regional, continental and global library associations and stages. “We know that your vote was a vote for transformation, a vote for a better and rebranded ULIA ... and we have heard you loudly," Sarah told the cheerful librarians in her inaugural speech. 
Known for her compassion and resolve, Sarah brings a wealth of experience to the association as many have a lot of hopes in her leadership, having served as the association secretary general from 2008-2012 and currently engaged in a number of continental and global LIS responsibilities. 

President elect Dr. Sarah Kaddu makes her acceptance Speech
Dr Kaddu will be deputized by Mr Nabongo Godfrey for the next three years. Mr Nabongo has been the ULIA vice President since 2012 to date. Other members of the executive include Mr. Charles Batambuze, to serve as Secretary General. Charles is the Executive Director of National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) and he springs back to the ULIA administration since serving in the same capacity in 2004.   The association Treasury will be controlled by Mr. Timu Godfrey from Parliament of Uganda while the hardworking, determined and robust Winny-Akullo Nekesa benefited from her devotion by retaining her seat as publicity secretary un-opposed. Worth noting is, all the members of the new executive are highly respected figures in the country, region and some internationally.  Dr Kaddu, Mr. Nabongo, Mr. Timu Gedfrry and Ms Winny-Akullo were all stand-out and instrumental figures during SCECSAL 2016 in Swaziland in a bid to bring the event to Kampala in 2018.   In attendance were SCECSAL stalwarts Professor I.M.N Kigongo Bukenya and Professor Maria Musoke. 
Professor Kigongo Bukenya (standing) making a speech after elections
The huge task awaiting the new executive is to unite the seemingly divided library fraternity in Uganda, increase on member subscriptions, making ULIA more visible and most importantly staging a successful and memorable SCECSAL event come 2018. On behalf of the SCECSAL region, join me in thanking the outgoing executive led by Professor Constant Okello-Obura for the good work and congratulate Dr Sarah Kaddu and her new team. 

We wish you the best during the next three years in office. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Request for Nominations: Integrated environmental understanding of food security in Africa

The ACEIE (African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics: www.up.ac.za/aceie) is busy planning a conference on "ICTs and Food Security in Africa" together with Fort Hare University. However, their network does not include specialists in this field of sustainable food security. This event is scheduled to take place 2-4 November 2016, in East London, South Africa. In your interaction with researchers in your country and beyond, can you please be so kind as to advise on whom the Organizers may contact?  The organizers would like to have Africa especially the SCECSAL region well represented during this global event. The event organizers can only invite and sponsor 30 participants, hence it is fundamental to find the most appropriate representatives in this field.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact
Mrs Rachel Fischer
Research Officer: African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics
Administrative Coordinator: MIT Stream B
Department of Information Science
rachel.fischer@up.ac.za
University of Pretoria
012 420 5218
www.up.ac.za/aceie.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Applications are now open for the Carnegie CPD8 Programme

Applications are now open for the last in-take of the Carnegie CPD Programme at University of Pretoria (UP). This four week intensive programme is geared towards enhancing librarians' ICT skills for research enablement in African universities.
The programme is proudly sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York and hosted by UP.
Librarians from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda between the age of 25-45 with 5 – 7 years’ working experience are eligible.
Carnegie CPD 2 Class of  2014 at University of Pretoria
Take time to apply for this programme because it’s a key project that is changing the professional lives of many young librarians around the continent through Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
The programme empowers the next generation of library and information professionals within Sub-Saharan African countries with hands-on skills to apply current and emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs) and well as building capacity amongst library and information services (LIS) professionals to support and enable researchers in their institutions.
Applications close on 1st of August 2016 eligible applicants are advised to apply early enough.
The following documents should be emailed to Joan de la Haye at Carnegie-cpd@up.ac.za:
A detailed CV,  a recommendation letter from your current employer / line manager, a commitment from your current employer that they will make time available for you to attend the four week programme and academic documents and transcripts.
Prospective students are also required to write an essay of approximately 1000 words explaining why they would like to participate in the programme, what they hope to learn from the programme, should be selected for the programme and what they hope to contribute to the programme.
For Details


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

African Forum for ICT in Libraries and Information Centres (AFILIC)

There are many libraries in Africa that are still using the card
catalogue in steady of online systems (Photo: Justin Chisenga)
Library and information professionals with a strong interest in the use of ICT in libraries and information centres in Africa, who in April 2016 attended the XXII SCECSAL conference in Ezulwini, Swaziland, have established the African Forum for ICT in Libraries and Information Centres (AFILIC).

The goal of AFILIC will be to provide a platform for expertise and dialogue on how to effectively and efficiently integrate ICT into libraries and information centres in Africa to facilitate the delivery of dynamic library and information services that contribute to national, regional and global development agendas.

AFILIC will:
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing, lessons learned and good practices on the use of ICT in libraries and information centres; 
  • Promote innovative use of ICT in libraries and information centres;
  • Advocate for increased investments in ICT facilities for libraries and information centres and equitable access to ICT; 
  • Facilitate capacity development for ICT staff in libraries and information centres; 
  • Conduct research, document and disseminate information on the use of ICT in libraries and information centres.
AFILIC will carry out its activities through virtual and face-to-face forums including online platforms such as Dgroups, Webinars, etc.; and conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. AFILIC also plans to organize a biennial Africa ICT in Libraries Conference.

AFILIC membership is open to decision makers and practitioners involved in ICT initiatives in libraries and information centres. Specifically these include:
  • Individuals (i.e. directors, head of ICT departments/units, etc.) with overall responsibility for ICT initiatives in libraries and information centres;
  • Individuals (i.e. systems librarians, information technology librarians, IT specialists, etc.) managing ICT in in libraries and information centres; 
  • Individuals with a strong interest in the application of ICT in libraries and information services;
  • Students of IT/ICT and library and information studies interested in the in the application of ICT in libraries and information services.
To join AFILIC, complete the Forum’s Dgroups membership form (all the fields should be completed) at:

 https://dgroups.org/fao/afilic/join

Justin Chisenga (Italy) is leading the Forum as Executive Coordinator, with Ms Winny Nekesa (Uganda) serving as Secretary, and Ms Khosie Ndlangamandla (Swaziland) as Professional Networking Officer.

The Forum’s Secretariat is hosted by ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) based in Centurion, South Africa.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Apply Now: Young African Entrepreneurs Competition

The Young African entrepreneurs deserve every opportunity to be supported to succeed in their business ventures; they also deserve the opportunity to be heard, exposed and supported to increase their social capital and network horizon. RUFORUM invites young (<40 years) African entrepreneurs and incubatees, to compete for 10 conference awards to show case their innovations, enterprises and business concepts and propositions. The focus is for the young entrepreneurs to share their story at an International stage with close to 700 participants drawn from academia, business and industry, development organisations, practitioners and philanthropists.  It is hoped that through this competition, young entrepreneurs’ business concepts, impact, innovation and business opportunities can be expanded.While the focus of this competition is on innovation in agribusiness, other innovations, incubations, business enterprises and business concepts along ICTs, health, engineering, natural resources, meteorology,  urbanization, green economy, and transport and communication, among other areas, will be considered.
The ten (10) competitively selected business enterprises will receive all expenses paid trip (air ticket, conference registration, and hotel costs) for participation at the RUFORUM Biennial Conference (17th -21st October, 2016) in Cape Town, South Africa. The selected young innovators will also receive a competition cash price award.
Eligibility
Applications are invited from enterprises and individuals that meet the following eligibility criteria.
Persons with an established business enterprise and/or those with innovations that can potentially be commercialized and/or those with business concepts
The business enterprise/potential enterprise should have a defined business model that show case the innovativeness of the proposed enterprise/business/innovation.

Application submission process: All applications should be sent to biennial@ruforum.org with copy to Dr. Egeru Anthony (a.egeru@ruforum.org) and Dr. Uwituze Solange (s.uwituze@ruforum.org).

Submissions should be in English or French using the template provided.


Deadline for submissions is 30th July, 2016. Results will be announced by 30th August, 2016.

For details click: www.ruforum.org)

Good luck!!!!!


Thursday, June 9, 2016

SCECSAL 2016 proceedings available at US$25


Copies of the publication on display during the SCECSAL
conference in Swaziland
A limited number of copies of the book containing the papers presented at the XXIInd Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL), 25-29 June 2016, Ezulwini, Swaziland, are available for purchase from the the Swaziland Library and Information Association (SWALA) at US$25 + postage.

Send requests to:

John Paul Anbu K.
Vice-Chairperson – SCECSAL 2016 LOC
Email: anbuj@uniswa.sz

A selection of the papers in the book include the following:
  • Prof. Kingo Mchombu & Dr. Chiku Mchombu, University of Namibia - “Achievement Of Digital Literacy In A Country: The Role Of African Public Libraries”
  • Neesha Ramsumar, Universal Knowledge Software (UKS), South Africa - “A Sustainable Information Environment in Africa, With Specific Reference to Cloud and Mobile Technologies”
  • Dr. Connie Bitso, University of Cape Town, South Africa - “Using Whatsapp to Sustain Functional School Libraries in Khayelitsha”
  • Esther Nderitu Imbamba and Nancy M Kimile, Maasai Mara University, Narok, Kenya. - “Assessing the Status of E-Government Development in Kenya”
  • Prof. Maria G. N. Musoke, Makerere University - “Electronic Health Initiatives Support Information Access and Use for Sustainable Development in Uganda”
  • Khosie Ndlangamandla,  Mananga Centre, Ezulwini, Swaziland &  Justin Chisenga, FAO. Rome, Italy - “Social Media in University Libraries in the SADC Region”
  • Siviwe Bangani, Sabelo Chizwina, and Mathew Moyo, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa - “Beyond The Ivory Towers: The Experiences Of North-West University (NWU) Library Services In Community Engagement Projects”
  • Prof. Ondari-Okemwa Ezra, University of Fort Hare, South Africa - “Developing Digital Information Literacy at institutions of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and Challenges”

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Information Studies Conference at the University of Zululand

The Department of Information Studies at the University of Zululand will be hosting the 17th Information Studies Conference on the 7th – 9th September 2016. The purpose of the conference is to explore and share current research results and experiences in information and knowledge in the changing environment of the 21st century. The conference theme is "Information and Knowledge in a Changing Environment". Some of the topics of interest to be addressed include, but are not limited to the following: 

• Archival Management
• Bibliometrics, Webmetrics and Scientometrics
• Digital Divide
• Digital Libraries and Open Source Software Technology
• E-government/E-governance
• E-learning Innovations
• Freedom of Access to Information and Privacy
• ICT for Development
• ILS Education and Training in Information/Knowledge Management
• Indigenous Knowledge Management
• Information and Knowledge Economy
• Information and Knowledge in the Cloud
• Information Security
• Information Storage and Retrieval
• Information/Knowledge Ethics
• Integration of Social Networking Tools
• Knowledge Discovery Tools – Web and Linked data
• Open Data and Open Government
• Records Management
• Research and Data Management
• Virtual Community Information/Knowledge Services

The conference will be held at Richards Bay. A lot of accommodation is available at surrounding lodges and hotels.

For more information about the conference, click here

Also contact:

 Dr. Neil Evans at EnvansN@unizulu.ac.za
 Dr. Trywell Kalusopa at KalusopaT@unizulu.ac.za

See you there!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SCECSAL adopts a resolution to establish a Permanent Secretariat

Representatives of SCECSAL member Associations
who took the bold decision to establish a permanent
secretariat for SCECSAL [Photo: Justin Chisenga]
The General Assembly, the highest authority of the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL), resolved on 29 April 2016 at its XXIInd meeting in Ezulwini, Swaziland, to establish a Permanent Secretariat for SCECSAL.

The 11-member General Assembly also resolved to amend the SCECSAL constitution to pave the way for the establishment of the Permanent Secretariat and to put in place mechanisms to ensure proper coordination of the Forum’s activities, and monitoring implementation of its resolutions and decisions.

The members also resolved that the Swaziland Library and Information Association (SWALA) would henceforth temporarily host the SCECSAL Secretariat until such time as a permanent secretariat is established and becomes operational.

SCECSAL, established in 1974, has had its secretariat held and managed by member Associations on a rotational basis for a term of two years each.

Efforts to establish a permanent secretariat, as part of the need to reform SCECSAL, have been going on since the SCECSAL conference in 2000, in Windhoek, when Charles Lungu, the then Deputy University Librarian at the Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia, proposed changes to “SCECSAL without altering its character” and recommend the formation of a federation of library associations in the region, which would have committees to carry out functions including those that SCECSAL has been accused of failing.

Participants at XXIInd SCECSAL in
 Ezulwini, Swaziland [Photo: Justin Chisenga]
In 2002, at the SCECSAL conference in Johannesburg, a proposal was made again to establish a permanent secretariat and was later discussed at the 2004 conference in Kampala, and in both cases the General Assembly failed to make a decision.

The 2002 and 2004 efforts were followed, in 2007, by a proposal from the Tanzania Library Association, under the guidance of Dr. Alli Mcharazo, which outlined three options for SCECSAL reforms:

  • transforming SCECSAL into a regional body with registered chapters in the member countries, with Governing Council comprising of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Board Members [directly elected]; 
  • forming a Regional Federation of Library, Information Associations and Institutions (RFLIAI) to resemble IFLA; and 
  • establishing a Congress of Library and Information Associations and Institutions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa headed by an Executive Board made up of board members from each member library Association and Institutions. 
The proposal was discussed at the SCECSAL General Assembly meetings in Lusaka (2008) and Gaborone (2010) and there was no consensus on which of the three options to be adopted, and the issue disappeared from the SCECSAL agenda until April 2016 when it re-surfaced.

Considering the failure, on several occasions, in the past by the SCECSAL General Assembly to radically reform SCECSAL, the 29 April 2016 resolution to work towards establishing a Permanent Secretariat is a very bold move.

However, unless things move at a relatively faster pace than has been the case in the past, and the Presidents and Chairpersons of the SCECSAL member Associations act in good faith during the process of setting up and choosing the member Association to host the Permanent Secretariat, SWALA might as well start preparing to host temporarily the permanent Secretariat for SCECSAL for a long time.
---
Visit the SCECSAL website to download a copy of the XXII SCECSAL Resolutions.

Monday, May 30, 2016

15th AHILA BIENNIAL CONGRESS: 17-21 OCTOBER 2016- CALL FOR PAPERS

THE BIENNIAL CONGRESS: 17-21 OCTOBER 2016
The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) announces the 15th Biennial Conference which will be held in Kampala, Uganda from 17-21 October 2016. AHILA was founded in 1984 with the aim of improving provision of up-to-date and relevant health information; encourage professional development of health librarians; promote information resource sharing in Africa and exchange of experiences as well as promoting the development and standardization and exchange of health databases in Africa.
Congress theme: “Access to and utilization of health information in Africa: New challenges, new solutions!” 

    Potential authors are notified that the deadline for abstract submission has been extended to 30th June, 2016. 
For details click on  http://www.ahila.org/index.php

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: lisc@uct.ac.za 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 (https://twitter.com/SCECSAL).

@SCECSAL will be one of the major outlets for announcements and news items about 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 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 mercy@itoca.org and myrtle@itoca.org.


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 
Email: l.ntaka@ru.ac.za


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



Thursday, April 28, 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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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 http://scecsal.eu.pn/reg.html or write to scecsal2016@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fire destroys Mzuzu University Library

Malawi Library Association (MALA) has learnt with great shock and disbelief about the fire incident
The Library on fire. [Photo credit: Maravi Post]
which occurred at Mzuzu University Library on Friday 18th December, 2015 in which over 45 000 books, journals, and related resources as well as equipment, furniture and fittings got burnt down to ashes and some got badly damaged by the blaze. This is a very big loss, not only to Mzuzu University but also Malawi as a nation. Mzuzu University Library was a model library in the provision of modern library and information services in the country. All the books, journals, equipment, furniture and related fittings were carefully selected in line with modern standards. It was one of the richest reservoirs of knowledge in Malawi and beyond.

Malawi Library Association is therefore very saddened that such a model library and a hard-earned reservoir of knowledge has been lost in a fire incident. The situation is now very worrisome considering that the expensive books, equipment and other resources lost in the blaze as well as the damage caused to the library building cannot be replaced any time soon. This will adversely affect the delivery of academic programmes at the University. It is also important to note that the situation will not only affect Mzuzu University community, but also the membership of the Malawi Library Association as most of our members were benefitting from Mzuzu University Library in different ways.

In view of the fore-going, MALA would therefore like to extend its heart-felt sympathy to management, staff, students, and surrounding communities of Mzuzu University about the sad loss of our model and precious Mzuzu University Library. It is our sincere hope that all parties concerned about this situation will be able to respond positively to any calls to support Mzuzu University to re-build its library.

Richard Sabawo     
SECRETARY GENERAL, MALA    
          
Fiskani Ngwira
PRESIDENT, MALA