Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Few Photos From IAALD Africa Web 2.0 Workshop and SCECSAL 2010

Dear Friends

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

Alice Sebunjo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Highlights from the SCECSAL 2010 Official Opening Session

Source of image: "Libraries must change strategy", Daily News (Botswana), 10 December 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

SCECSAL 2010 Official Opening and Report on the Afternoon session

Monday the 6th of December 2010, marked the first day of the much awaited SCECSAL XIX Conference 2010, hosted by the Botswana Library Association at the University of Botswana in the country's capital city Gaborone. The theme of the Conference is "Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance through Effective Information and Knowledge Management".The event was graced by delegates Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi and Countries beyond, Southern, East and Central Africa such as Nigeria, the United States of America, Italy and the United Kingdom. The  Official opening ceremony started with a welcome message from the Botswana Library Association President Ms Kgomotso Radijeng followed by the official opening speach by the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture of the Republic of Botswana. The guests were then entertained by some Tswana Traditional songs which was followed by the Keynote Address Presented by TsapeloNdhovu, the Director of MISA.

Morning Session

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.

Afternoon Session
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:
-    Automation to enhance access to a wide range of information
-    Placing of reading materials on different sub-sections to ensure users within those sections have access to the materials
-    Computerization which has eased access to resources from different locations
In trying to achieve its commitment of facilitating access to a wide variety of materials the Makerere Library is facing the following challenges
-          Inadequate funding
-          Low internet bandwidth
-          Growing student numbers; and 
-          Limitation of resources

These problems can be addressed through the following solutions:
-          Increased funding
-          Strengthening network capabilities
-          Lobbying for increase in resources

The second paper for the afternoon session in the parallel group session was presented by Mathew Moyo  of Fort Haire University in South Africa and the paper was titled, "Libraries democratization process and promotion of sustainable good governance in Africa; a case study of Kenya and Zimbabwe'.  Zimbabwe and Kenya are used in the study basing on the fact that they faced similar polical challenges that led to the formation of unity governments in both countries.

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:
      -          Informing people
-          Provision of  access to  wide range of information, freedom to access of information
-          Collecting, storing and disseminating relevant information
The paper state that Libraries can acquit themselves to provide information to the community by
placing themselves in advance to gain the confidence of the elctorate
Problems faced by Libraries in Kenya and Zimbabwe include
-          Insufficient Funding
-          High staff turnover caused to the economic hardship
 The third paper of the session was presented by Ms Margaret Boffor Awuah of Botswana and it was titled, "School Libraries in Africa" The paper speaks about the initiative of the African Network for School Libraries, an organisation aimed at the provision of Libraries in every Primary School Library in Africa. The vision for the Network is ALIS:
      A     -              A
L      -              Library
I       -              In every
S      -              School
The Methodology which the Network is adapting to ensure that its vision is met is the lobying of a change in the curriculum of teachers so it include aspects of running a library, thus equiping them to be Teacher/librarians so the concept of library is introduced to Children at grassroots levels.
 The Network's main objective is to build expertise in school libraries
The network has built a facebook page inorder to reach out to the different stakeholders and is currently looking for funding.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Report on Strengthening Information Literacy Interventions; Using Creative Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Sunday 5th December, 2010 saw a gathering of eminent librarians, information specialists, development experts, etc to participate in the above workshop. The day-long workshop which was held in one of the meeting rooms at the Students Centre of the University of Botswana was organized by Information Training Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) and Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of UK. The workshop had four parts; these were:

  • Paper presentations
  • Panel discussions
  • Group discussions
  • Plenary

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Building capacity: lessons learnt from an intensive training health information training programme in Vietnam by Peter Burnett, Head of Library Development, INASP, UK.
  4. 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

SCECSAL Comes to Botswana for the Second Time

For the second time since the establishment of the then Standing Conference of Eastern and Southern Africa Librarians (SCECSAL) in 1974, the Botswana Library Association will be hosting the SCECSAL Conference from 1 – 3 December 2010. Librarians in Botswana last hosted SCECSAL in 1988 under the theme Libraries and Literacy. The theme for SCECSAL XIX Conference to be held at the University of Botswana in Gaborone is Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance Through Effective Information and Knowledge Services.

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.

Poloko Ntokwane from Botswana

I am Poloko Ntokwane at the Botswana Collge of Agriculture Library. working as an Assistant Librarian Special Collections/Institutional Repository. I am also memmber of the excecutive committee for Botswana Library Association (BLA)  and Publicity Chair for BLA. I will be reporting on Library and Information Matter in Botswana.

SCECSAL Forum Social Reporter from Tanzania

Dear readers, my name is Richard Kasuga, a Communication Officer working at the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives in Tanzania.

I will be reporting in the SCECSAL Forum, on issues related to information and knowledge management  in Tanzania.  I thank you all!!

UCC at SCESCAL- Botswana

We are concluding the Pre-conference Session on Web 2.0 and Social Media which started from 1-3rd December 2010. We will be closing today with a Cocktail party, cant wait to eat that delicious Botswana Meat!   On Sunday I will be joining yet another meeting on Information Literacy.  Hey Guys there is much to learn, I wish you were here with me.  Then on Monday 6th Dec, the main SCECSALconference will start for 4 days.

Mwelaba for now. Alice Sebunjo

SCECSAL Forum Reporter - Zimbabwe

Hello! This is Thomas Matingwina from Zimbabwe reporting for SCESCAL. Currently, the pre-conference workshop is going on well. Its qiute an exciting experience and I have learnt a lot on web 2.0 and social networking. Infact, this blog is a by product of the workshop. I have also met exciting personalities!!!

Newsreel from Botswana by Khumo

Hi, my name is Khumo Dibeela form Botswana. I work at Botswana College of Agriculture as a Periodicals Librarian. I will be reporting on Library and Information activities from Botswana. I will also keep you informed on other events ie,conferences, workshops etc that i attend across the world.

SCESAL Reporter from Zimbabwe

Hello! This is Florence Masocha , an Assitant Librarian at the National University of Science an Technology in Zimbabwe. I will be updating you on the new deveolpments, news and updates in the field of Library and Information Science in Zimbabwe.

Stay tuned for more!!!!!

Introduction - Mercy Moyo

My name is Mercy Moyo, I work as an Assitant Program Officr at  (ITOCA) Information Training Outreach Centre for Africa in South Africa . I  have been working in the Library and Information Science field for the past 4 years. I will be reporting on the happenings of SCECSAL during the confernce in Botswana and will continue with the updates when I go back to my country of residence South Africa.

Social Reporter from Namibia: Magdalena Tjituka

Hello! I am Magdalena Tjituka, Senior Librarian at the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Namibia and would be reporting from |Namibia on library and information matters.

Zanele Hadebe-social reporter from the Okavango

Hi, My name is Zanele Hadebe, Senior Librarian at the Okavango Research Institute ( former Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre). I have just attended the Web2.0 and social development organised by Africa Chapter IAALD at the UB from 1-3rd December 2010.

Doris Matovelo from Tanzania

My name is Doris Matovelo, a Librarian at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro Tanzania.
I will be reporting on issues related to library and information matters in Tanzania.

Social Reporter from Centurion, South Africa


My name is 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!

The latest from Uganda

My name is Alyce Nakagwa from Uganda. I work with NAADS a government agricultural extension programme. I will be reporting on the progress of the SCECSAl conference currently in Botswana. Wish you good reading.

SCECSAL Forum Chief Reporter


I am Justin Chisenga, "Chief Reporter" for the SCECSAL Forum. I coordinate contributions and publishing stories on the SCECSAL Forum.
Justin Chisenga,

The SCECSAL Forum tries to keep its readers updated with  with news and information on library and information activities happening in the SCECSAL region.

If you are a resident in any of the countries in Africa and you are interested in contributing news and stories happening in the library and information field in your country, get in touch with me

Stay tuned!

Joseph Tombale from Botswana

My name is Joseph Tombale. I am working as a Library Officer at Botswana College of Agriculture. I will be reporting on Agricultural related news on the Scecssal forum starting from today. I hope that you will enjoy my contributions. Good Luck.

Social Reporter from Botswana

Hello! this is Bagai Bagai an Assistant Librarian Reader Services Section Botswana College of Agriculture Library reporting on information shared at SCECSAL 2010. I am from Botswana

Gray Nyali-Social reporter from Malawi National Library service

Hie, Welcome to SCECSAL Botswana 2010. My name is Gray Nyali- National Librarian from Malawi National Library Service. I am here in Botswana to attend the SCECSAL events 2010. Keep your eyes on this site to update yourself with daily events happening at this great meeting of Librarians.

On this forum We will be presenting all library activities happening in Malawi throughout the year. I am currently working as the National Librarian in Malawi so be assured that the great events will be available to you on this site as they happen.

Introducing a Social Stringer from Malawi - Geoff Salanje

I am a social paprazzi who from now will be contributing to this forum. My contributions will start from the current SCECSAL which taking place in Gaborone, Botswana. Thereafter I will be reporting on professional events as they happen in Malawi.

I urge you all to always keep an eye on this blog!

Introducing Rodwell Chireshe - Social Reporter, Botswana

Hi all. My name is Rodwell Chireshe, a Geographical Information Specialist, based in Botswana. My keen interest in the management of information and information systems, especially library data and information led me to associate myself with the SCECSAL Forum. I will be part of a contingent of social reporters providing you with news, events, updates, technological innovations, challenges in the field of library information. I hope the contributions will go a long way in improving professional collaboration efforts and challenge all of us to make a difference in our institutions and communities.

Do good business,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Introducing SCECSAL Forum

From 1 - 3 December 2010, the IAALD Africa Chapter organized a training workshop on Web 2.0 and Social Media in the Agricultural Environment as a pre-SCECSAL 2010 conference event. The workshop was held at the Centre for Academic Development of the University of Botswana in Gaborone. Seventeen participants from the following SCECSAL member countries took part in the workshop: Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

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