Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SCECSAL adopts revised guidelines for author awards and for selecting future conference hosts

Paper presenters  at SCECSAL conferences now
stand a chance to be nominated for the best paper awards
[Photo: Justin Chisenga] 
Presidents and Chairpersons of the 11 SCECSAL member Library and
Information Associations have approved the revised guidelines for the SCECSAL Author Awards and for selecting future hosts for SCECSAL conferences.

The two sets of guidelines were adopted on Monday, 18 September 2017, following a motion tabled by the Swaziland Library Association, the current Chair of the SCECSAL General Council.

Selecting winners for author awards

The Author Awards guidelines cover the selection of the SCECSAL Author of the Year and the Best SCECSAL Conference Papers.

The guidelines make provisions for two categories for the Author Award – Best Author (Journal Articles and Chapters in Books) and Best Author (Books); address the process for nominating and selecting the winners; and provides for the appointment the Awards Selection Committee made up of five recognized authors in the library, information and knowledge or related field.

The prize for the winners of the Author of the Year Awards will be in form of cash and a certificate while the winners for the SCECSAL Conference Paper Awards will receive certificates.

Conferences hosts to be announced four years in advance

Under the new guidelines for selecting SCECSAL Conference hosts, future hosts for the conference will be announced four years in advance and therefore the host for 2022 will be announced at the SCECSAL XXIII conference in Uganda in April 2018.

The arrangement to announce the conference hosts four years in advance formalises the decision that was made in 2016 at the SCECSAL conference in Swaziland where the hosting of the 2020 SCECSAL conference was awarded the Namibia Information Workers Association (NIWA).

The guidelines also ensure that no SCECSAL sub-region hosts consecutive SCECSAL conferences unless circumstances dictate so and the decision is approved by at least two thirds of the of the SCECSAL members. For this purpose, the current 11 active SCECSAL members have been categorized into the following sub-regions - Eastern: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; Central: Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and Southern: Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.

Since Uganda is hosting the 2018 conference and Namibia in 2020, the 2022 conference will go to any of the four countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa - in the Southern Africa sub-region.

Implementing 2016 SCECSAL resolutions

The adoption of the guidelines follows a resolution in 2016 by the General Council to review and amend the SCECSAL constitution to include terms of reference for the Permanent SCECSAL Secretariat and other appropriate provisions to strengthen SCECSAL operations and monitoring mechanisms, and simplify the biding process for hosting SCECSAL conferences.

In 2018, the representatives of the SCECSAL member Associations, during the XXIII SCECSAL conference to be held from 23 to 28 April in Entebbe, Uganda, are expected to discuss and adopt the amended SCECSAL constitution.

Monday, September 11, 2017

ULIA President sends greetings and advance welcome message to SCECSAL XXIII participants

Sarah Kaddu, PhD
President, ULIA
The President of the Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA), Dr. Sarah Kaddu, has sent warm greetings and extended an advance warm and big welcome to library and information professionals in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa and beyond, to the SCECSAL XXIII conference to be held from the 23rd – 28th April 2018 at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

Dr Kaddu, in her welcome note posted on the SCECSAL website, said: “There will be colourful opening and closing ceremonies, plenary and professional sessions, exhibitions, the memorable Cultural Evening and tours to different places such as the historical Uganda Martyrs shrines in Namugongo, the Source of the Nile, the Equator, Kasubi Tombs, Uganda National Archives and other crowd pulling places of interest. The weather during the conference will be friendly. Security is assured”.

"I extend to all of you a big and warm welcome to SCECSAL XXIII, Entebbe, Uganda, 23rd – 28th April, 2018", Dr. Kaddu said.

ULIA has made significant progress in preparing for the SCECSAL XXIII conference and thus far the National Organizing Committee (NOC), headed by Prof. Okello-Obura Constant, has:

  • Selected sixty abstracts, through a blind review process, from among 131 that were submitted for consideration. 
  • Contacted authors whose abstracts were not accepted for paper presentation and highly advised them to consider presenting posters so that the region does not completely miss out on their good ideas.
  • Worked on arrangements to hold a conference composed of plenary sessions, parallel workshops, special and poster sessions as well as exhibitions of different library materials, products and equipment from different stakeholders in the library and information fields and beyond. 

Approximately 400 participants (librarians, information scientists, documentation officers, archivists, records managers, publishers, books sellers, academics, ICT innovators, literacy experts, policy makers, etc.) are expected to attend the SCECSAL XXIII conference.

Registration for the conference is now open and the registration form (in PDF) is available here.  The following are the applicable registration fees:

  • Early Bird Registration (deadline 31st January 2018) = USD 360.00 
  • Late Registration (by 31st March 2018) = USD 400.00 
  • Onsite Registration (from 24th April 2018) = USD 430.00 

Rental fees for exhibition stalls (2 x 2 square metres) are fixed at USD 200.00.

Delegates and exhibitors are strongly advised to leverage the early bird registration dates to confirm their attendance.

The organizes have identified many hotels along the Entebbe-Kampala highway that are closer to the conference venue. Among others, they include:

For detailed information about the hotels and other suitable accommodation facilities available in Entebbe town, visit and search for Entebbe.

The NOC is advising potential delegates to the conference to visit the website of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for entry visa and related information including the list of countries exempt from paying visa fees, visa fees, etc. Application for e-Visas is also available on the same website.

Further information on the conference is available on the ULIA SCECSAL XXIII conference website.

Inquiries should be sent to

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Zambia benefits from AfLIA’s INELI programme

By Raymond Sikanyika

Ms. Kalaba Mweni, Zambia’s INELI Innovator.
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
Zambia is one of the 32 countries benefitting from the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) programme. INELI is an initiative of the Global Libraries (GL) programme, managed by the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), that was established to support the transformation of public libraries into engines of development. It does this by supporting upcoming public librarians to develop innovative services for the benefit of their communities. AfLIA is the professional trusted voice for libraries and librarians in Africa.

Zambia is represented by Luapula Provincial Librarian, Ms. Kalaba Mweni Kolandi, a dedicated and committed public librarian who has been practicing librarianship for 14 years. Since the inception of the INELI programme in April, 2016, Zambia has benefited tremendously through this programme.

Being a network of library leaders around the world, INELI has proved to be a useful network where public librarians are learning from other librarians and working together online to acquire skills and share experiences in developing and implementing innovative services for communities.

Through this programme, the Zambian INELI Innovator, Kalaba, has grown her knowledge in providing better and innovative library services in her library. In Luapula Province, where her public library is located, Kalaba has been working with school librarians to better library service delivery through innovation. With her exposure, the Zambian INELI innovator, is able to facilitate workshops based on other workshops she has attended. In July 2016, during the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) Annual General Conference, She made a presentation to the delegates on the INELI programme, explaining what the programme is about, its objectives and how she intended to impart the knowledge she was learning with other librarians in the country. At this conference, Kalaba attended a session on Customer Care and Customer Service in libraries which she later shared with school librarians in her province through a workshop she facilitated. She has done presentations to senior provincial government officials on the role of libraries in helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). In the Provincial Library, Ms. Kalaba has created a Water Corner, promoting SDG number 6 which looks at ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The Corner has materials promoting water conservation and good sanitation. The library also provides computer lessons to Grade 6 pupils.

The Mansa town community continues to benefit from the partnership which the provincial library has with Chakopo Primary School to teach reading and writing to adults who have dropped out of school. There is also a homework clinic for learners whose parents do not have skills to enable them help the children or are busy and unable to help. The provincial library staff have also developed outreach programmes to Mansa General Hospital and Senama Clinic children’s wards where the library takes books and toys for children among other things. The library staff read stories with the children and play with them.

On a national level, Kalaba joined other experts in facilitating at a public librarians workshop on
Ms. Kalaba Mweni facilitating at the 2017 LIAZ Annual General Conference
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
innovation in libraries in March, 2017. The workshop was organized by LIAZ in partnership with Lubuto Library Partners in the Southern Province of Zambia. A total of 26 public librarians benefitted from this training workshop. In addition, Kalaba also made a presentation to 115 delegates during the 2017 LIAZ Annual General Conference that was held in Siavonga. She presented on Community partnerships and enlightened delegates including association leaders of what makes up good partnerships and how partnerships can help us improve service delivery in libraries.

The INELI innovator has also done various publications on the INELI programme in the LIAZ Newsletters.

The Programme is having a lot of positive impact on librarians as the knowledge being gained is being shared with other librarians in the country. There has been a lot of emphasis on innovation in libraries in Zambia. The country is grateful to this programme and look forward to more of such initiatives by AfLIA.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Zambia revives Open Door Children’s Corners in public libraries

By Raymond Sikanyika

Services to children and youth are at the heart of what it means to be a responsive public librarian in
A newly rehabilitated children’s corner
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
Zambia, where children and youth make up more than half of the national population. Access to information is a fundamental human right. Public libraries, as institutions mandated to provide equal information access to people from all walks of life, have a particularly significant role to play in advancing this right. Public libraries, by nature of their functions, play a key role in national development.

Children and youth are among the important categories of people who need ready access to information as well as other quality library services.

For a long time in Zambia, most public libraries did not have desirable spaces designated for children’s library services. This situation did not motivate children to seek library services as they should.

Zambia was privileged to receive support from Book Aid International (BAI). This was through a partnership between the Ministry of General Education through Zambia Library Service and BAI. This partnership saw six provincial libraries; Mansa, Chipata, Mongu, Solwezi, Kasama and Choma receive support to rehabilitate the children’s corners and also received grants for the purchase of books with particular emphasis on local content. In addition, public librarians in the provincial libraries received training on the management of children’s library services.

Kitwe Public Library, under the Ministry of Local Government received support from Book Bus to improve the services in the children’s corner in the Kitwe City Council Library. The Book Bus is a unique mobile literacy service that promotes reading skills and spreads the joy of storybooks. It was founded by publisher Tom Maschler with the aim of supplying books and making them accessible to children to help get more children reading and therefore be able to make more choices about their own lives. The Book Bus aims to improve child literacy rates in Africa, Asia and South America by providing children with books and the inspiration to read them.

Out of a desire to build the national capacity of the profession in relation to children’s services, Library and Information Association of Zambia collaborated on the development of a national survey for public librarians, including both council libraries and provincial libraries, to identify how public libraries in Zambia are currently serving children and youths. Based on gaps and challenges that emerged from this survey, LIAZ and Lubuto Library Partners (LLP), an NGO that provides an open system of libraries and accessible services, and works with professional colleagues to build capacity to serve young people through public libraries, decided to team up in the development of a training program for public librarians that would address the critical need for support in relation to children’s services and programming, children’s collection development, and other areas of collective interest. This study was conducted as a result of the need to improve the provision of library services in public libraries in Zambia.

A public librarian conducting a children’s session
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
LLP and LIAZ collaboratively planned, scheduled, and funded a week-long training opportunity for provincial and council librarians from 20 – 24th March 2017, that was held in Monze, Southern Province. The training attracted public librarians from across the country. A total of 26 public librarians including representatives from partner organizations participated in the training.

This training was to complement the support from BAI and Book Bus to ensure that the rehabilitated children’s corners were effectively made use of. Public librarians in Zambia acquired various skills that are cardinal for providing quality children’s library services in public libraries.

In Zambia, each public library in now servicing an average of about 250 children per month. The trained librarians provide various quality library services and in addition conduct outreach programmes in their communities.