Thursday, July 20, 2017

Librarians and records managers in Zambia take part in IFLA Global Vision discussions

Group discussion on IFLA Global Vision
[Photo: Justin Chisenga]
Participants at the 2017 Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) Annual Conference in Siavonga, today took part in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Global Vision discussions.

The participants, mainly librarians and records managers from academic libraries, public libraries, special libraries and archives, worked in groups and discussed  how a united library field can meet the challenges of the future.

The discussions, based on the guidelines provided by IFLA, focused on library values and strengths, challenges facing society, libraries and the profession, and potential solutions as part of the process to develop a global vision for a united library field.

A report of the discussions will be prepared and submitted to IFLA as a contribution from the library community in Zambia.

IFLA’s Global Vision discussions were launched on 4 April 2017 in Athens, Greece, under the theme: “Together We Create the Future”. The library community worldwide is being encouraged to participate in the discussions through self-organized workshops and online voting to be launched in August 2017.

Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President; Dr. Vitalicy Chifwepa and Dr. Justin Chisenga, co-facilitated the discussions.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Library and information professionals in Zambia reminded of the importance of libraries in sustainable development

Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President (L)
and Dr. Auxilia Ponga, Permanent Secretary (R)
The Minister of National Development and Planning in Zambia, Honourable Lucky Mulusa, has reminder library and information professionals in Zambia on the importance of libraries and information in sustainable development.
In a statement at the opening session of the 2017 Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) Annual Conference in Siavonga, read on his behalf by Dr. Auxilia Ponga, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Hon. Mulusa urged participants to seriously review the way libraries and other related institutions in the country are managing the information to effectively contribute sustainable development.

“The Government recognises that to deliver inclusive and equitable development to its citizens who are at the core of sustainable development, it requires concerted efforts and commitment of all stakeholders, including libraries. In order to attain its aspirations for sustainable development, Zambia needs services of up-to-date and well-coordinated libraries to make sound and informed decisions. This implies that there is need for ready access to well-packaged information for individuals, institutions and communities. This would lead to empowered and resilient citizens and consequently attainment of sustainable development”, said Hon. Mulusa.

Hon. Mulusa also urged library and information professionals to take advantage of technological advancement to modernise the libraries and the provision of information services.

“As a country that pursues smart technologies, it is imperative that libraries should no longer only be accessed physically, but they should allow for a readership that access libraries online through computers and other devices such as phones”, added Hon. Mulusa.

In her statement, Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President, assured the Minister’s representative of LIAZ’s support to the government’s development aganda.

Group  photo of participants at the 2017 LIAZ
Annual Conference
“We are looking at what our institutions and us, the information professionals, can do to help the government attain the SDGs. We are the right profession to help you achieve the development goals of Zambia”, said Ms. Munsanje.

In a vote of thanks, Mr. Hephias Hamakanda, a former librarian with the Zambia Library Service and now a farmer, expressed regret at the absence of a library policy and relevant legislation in the country. He asked the government, through Dr. Ponga, to address the issue of a library policy that was initiated in the late 1970’s by the library and information professionals in the country.

The 2017 LIAZ Annual Conference, on the theme: “The Role of Information Institutions and Professionals in the Attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals”, runs from 18 July to 21 July 2017.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

LIAZ members get acquainted with advocating for the SDGs

Part of the workshop participants during group work
More than 100 members of the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) on 18 July 2017 attended a one-day workshop on advocating for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Siavonga, in the Southern Province of the country.

 “As information professionals, we need to fully understand what the SDGs are if we are to meaningfully contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, said Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President, in her welcome statement.

The practical workshop held at the Lake Safari Lodge, on the shores of the Lake Kariba, covered the following topics: introduction to the SDGs, library advocacy and the SDGs, identification of targets for advocacy initiatives, selecting an advocacy issue, developing messages, developing an advocacy strategy matrix, and monitoring and evaluation of advocacy initiatives, among others.

The participants worked in groups and developed sample advocacy plans based on the SDGs of their choice and shared their work in the plenary session.

Mr. Mark Maseko, National Information Officer from the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Zambia, and Mr. Charles Nonde, Librarian at UNIC, co-facilitated the workshop.

The workshop was held part of LIAZ’s 2017 Annual General Conference taking place from 18 July to 21 July 2017, on the theme: “The Role of Information Institutions and Professionals in the Attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals”.

ZimLA poised for growth

By Kenneth Mangemba

The Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) is poised for growth following increased strategies for stakeholder engagement. This was narrated by ZimLA president, Mr. Lantern Fusire at the 51th ZimLA Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Fairmile Regency Hotel in Gweru from July 4 – 7, 2017.

ZimLA president, Mr. Lantern Fusire (standing) at the Conference.
The conference held under the theme Libraries in the National Development Agenda: Repositioning libraries for sustainable development was attended by many information professionals from Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.

Presenting his annual report, the ZimLA president outlined the various stakeholder engagements that the association accomplished. He attributed the success of the engagement to teamwork, regional and international libraries bodies support. Last year the association representatives and AfLIA president, Mr. John Tsebe managed to engage with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to discuss various issues surrounding library development in Zimbabwe.

Several other initiatives were undertaken including the recent call to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary, Dr. Utete-Masango to discuss the role of library association in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. Fusire highlighted on the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) International Advocacy Programme (IAP) Africa workshop held in Pretoria, South Africa which he attended with Ms. Tinashe Kuzuwazuwa and Ms. Kathy Matsika that discussed advocacy plans on national development plans, African Union plans and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the IFLA website, the IFLA-IAP is a new capacity-building programme designed to promote and support the role libraries can play in the planning and implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The president however bemoaned the low membership that is a cause for concern for the library association. “We have so many opportunities from AfLIA and IFLA that require members to participant in the programmes, we failed to nominate enough participants for the AfLIA INELI initiatives as we do not have a sound public library interest group that can assist Branch Chairs to identify active members to take part in such programmes”, said the ZimLA president. “Our thrust for the coming year which is an elective year is to increase membership by a wide margin so that we can run a successful election supported by ZimLA members”, he said.

ZimLA president stated that, “A strong membership is the backbone of any library association and the vitality of the membership is a stepping stone for growth.” He urged information professionals in Zimbabwe to understand the library association’s membership dynamics instead of openly criticizing the leadership without openly contributing to the growth of the association.


He concluded that there is need to amend the current constitution and the exercise should start soon so that it’s completed by March 2018. The new constitution should be launched at the 52nd ZimLA Conference. The ZimLA president indicated that further work need to be done on the strategic plan and a new plan should be ready by 2018. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Zimbabwe finest LIS professionals elected to AfLIA Sections positions

By Kenneth Mangemba

Zimbabwe’s celebrated library and Information science educationist, Mr. Collence Takainganhamo Chisita was elected to the position of Secretary of the Library and Information Science (LIS) Education and Training Institutions Section (LIT) of African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) for the 2017 – 2019 term at the second AfLIA Conference held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in May.
Mr. Chisita with other LIS professional at the AfLIA Conference.
Mr. Chisita joins Mr. Jasper Maenzanise who was elected to Chair the Library Consortia Section for the 2017 – 2019 term. Mr. Maenzanise is the University Librarian at the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and is also the deputy board member for the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Association (ZIBFA).
Chisita is a Principal Lecturer and Researcher at the Harare Polytechnic School of Library and Information Science. 
According to the AfLIA website, “AfLIA is an independent international not-for-profit organization which pursues the interests of library and information associations, library and information services, librarians and information workers and the communities they serve in Africa. It was established in 2013 and registered as an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) under the laws of Ghana in October 2014.” It is committed to connecting Africa’s library and information communities.
Chisita will be working directly with the Chair of the LIS Education and Training Institutions Section, Dr. Bernard Dione of Senegal.
The election of Mr. Chisita and Mr. Maenzanise into AfLIA sections is a great opportunity for Zimbabwe to contribute towards supporting Africa to achieve quality education in LIS sector.
The second AfLIA Conference was held under the theme “Libraries in the Development Agenda: Repositioning African Libraries to deliver on the Future We Want” and was attended by many information professionals from Zimbabwe.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Library Associations should embrace IFLA/AfLIA programmes

By Kenneth Mangemba

Library associations should embrace and adopt International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and African Library and Information Association and Institution (AfLIA) initiated programmes to enable them to increase visibility, stakeholder engagement, and to lobby and advocate for the recognition of libraries in advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was said by Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) president and AfLIA vice president, Mr. Mandla Ntombela at the just ended Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) conference held in Gweru.

LIASA president and AfLIA vice president, Mr. Mandla Ntombela at the just ended ZimLA conference held in Gweru
Addressing delegates at the conference, Mr. Ntombela spoke extensively of the IFLA Global Vision as a credible and rare opportunity that facilitates capacity building for the development and sustainability of the library communities.

The role of library associations is vital towards achieving the IFLA Global Vision and concerted efforts by associations’ leadership should prioritize embracing and implementing the initiatives that has long lasting benefit.  The LIASA president said that such initiatives are essential to advance advocacy and lobbying efforts for the library communities for recognition and improving influence in solving community challenges.

AfLIA partnered with the Global Libraries (GL) Programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to roll out the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) programme established to support the transformation of public libraries into engines of development and does this by supporting upcoming public librarians to develop innovative services for the benefit of their communities. Participants in the INELI initiative are expected to share the learning experience with other local librarians with the view of promoting learning and equip others with life changing skills to transform the public library network to step-up to the changing operating environment. Mrs. A. Madziwa from the Bulawayo Municipality Library system is a participant to the INELI initiative from Zimbabwe.

Participants who attended the 51th ZimLA Conference in Gweru.
The Library and Information Association of Zambia president, Mrs. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje also spoke greatly of the INELI programme as an enabler that facilitate growth for the public library system through strengthening skills of local public librarians to better serve their communities under strenuous conditions characterized by limited funding and sound infrastructure.

Mr. Ntombela said that partnership with IFLA and AfLIA reposition the library association to achieve the “Africa we want”. The major thrust emphasized by Mr. Ntombela is that IFLA’s professional programmes provide sustainable platforms for initating advocacy for libraries in society, improve services for library users, provide equitable access to information and develop the library and information profession.

In light of attaining SDGs, Mr. Ntombela said that libraries are vital institutions that should actively promote the National development plans through dynamic services that transform livelihood. He therefore gave an interesting story of Jaka Joe Informal Settlement in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa that is involved in the recycling project and challenged other library communities to formulate strategies with SDGs attainment in mind.

“Library associations have a significant role to play in strengthening partnerships with IFLA and AfLIA through developing an effective action plan for strategic positioning on government agenda”, said the AfLIA vice president. He encouraged the library associations to increase lobbying and advocacy initiatives for the development of library and information services infrastructure to achieve a positive influence from government policy regarding LIS. “Library associations should represent libraries and librarianship to the larger society and continual stakeholder engagement should be a top priority that leads to the identifying of sources of local funding for projects”, he said.

The LIASA president implored with library association leaders to be proactive in increasing influence. He said, “Library associations and institutions should enlarge their territory or mission by protecting the future of LIS workers and library users of Africa and throughout the world by developing strategies that will make the sector looks smart and cool.”

The conference keynote address by AfLIA vice president and LIASA president clearly pronounced the role of library associations in developing strong and strategic partnerships that promote influence of the library communities. Several library associations were represented at the conference with representation from Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.

The conference ended on a high note with a report from ZimLA president, Mr. Lantern Fusire highlighting on key achievements accomplished and laying out the various initiatives that the association has planned for the coming year before an elective conference in 2018.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

LIAZ President challenges Zimbabwean library community to contribute to SDGs

By KENNETH MANGEMBA

The president of the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ), Mrs. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje has challenged Zimbabwean library community to devise strategies that would enable librarians to contribute towards achieving the United Nations developed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

LIAZ Preisdent, Mrs. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje
delivering her keynote address (standing),
Session Chair, Mr. Sauel Chabikwa (middle) and
 ZimLA Vice Rresident, Mr. Shadreck Ndinde (left).
[Photo: Kenneth Mangemba]
Delivering her keynote address at the 51th Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) Conference in Gweru, she said that Libraries are considered as third place, coming after homes and the workplace. “Libraries are seen as third places as people see homes as first place with the workplace coming second and if we do not devise activities that change lives libraries will lose customer base, therefore we should provide services that change lives”, she said.

“IFLA has developed advocacy toolkits to assist library associations to spearhead and engage with stakeholders on the role of libraries towards achieving SDGs”, said Mrs. Munsanje.

She said that libraries make an important contribution towards achieving SDGs, emphasizing that the local library community should devise strategies to sensitize communities on SDGs. The involvement of libraries in SDGs is an opportunity for the information institutions to remain relevant.

The keynote presentation encouraged librarians to leverage on the discourse surrounding SDGs to influence stakeholders on the value of libraries. Mrs. Munsanje noted that coordinated efforts to inform stakeholders with proper statistics that reveal the impact of libraries on citizens with regard to SDGs are necessary for the world to note the significance of library institution.

LIAZ president emphasized that the library community should move beyond building collections to formulate services that significantly impact communities they serve, for instance through advancing digital inclusion through access to ICTs and dedicate staff to help people develop new digital skills.

The 51th ZimLA conference has provided an opportunity for the information professionals to reflect on the role of libraries in advancing SGDs. The role of IFLA as an international body in providing strategic direction towards engaging stakeholders in realizing the impact of libraries is fundamental to realize the role of libraries in achieving SGDs.