Thursday, May 31, 2018

SCECSAL adopts amended constitution

The SCECSAL General Council, following virtual consultations held on 29 and 30 May, has adopted an amended constitution which has put in place a new governance structure and formalises the resolution of the SCECSAL General Assembly, made in 2016, to establish a permanent SCECSAL Secretariat.

The new SCECSAL governance structure will be composed of the SCECSAL General Council, the highest decision-making body made up Presidents/Chairpersons of the SCECSAL member Associations; the SCECSAL Committee of Focal Points, composed of representatives of the member Associations, to be responsible for day-to-day SCECSAL business; and the SCECSAL Secretariat.

The amendments to the constitution also give power to the General Council to suspend member Associations failing to fulfil their SCECSAL constitutional and financial obligations; and authorises member Associations hosting SCECSAL conferences to charge higher registration fees to participants who are not members of their national library (information) associations, a move aimed at encouraging library and information professionals to participate in activities of their national associations.

The constitution also makes provision for organizations and associations from within or outside the SCECSAL region, that are involved in or have an interest in the development of the library, information and knowledge profession in the region, to join SCECSAL as SCECSAL Affiliates.

Work on amending the constitution began in June 2016 and was finalised at the face-to-face meeting of the SCECSAL General Council held in Entebbe, Uganda, on 23-24 April 2018.

Download a copy of the constitution in PDF.

Friday, May 25, 2018

IAALD and ITOCA announce updates on upcoming fourth Africa Conference

IAALD Africa and ITOCA have announced updates on the upcoming fourth IAALD Africa Conference to take place from 30 May - 1 June 2018 at the Leriba Hotel, Centurion, Pretoria, South Africa.

The theme of the conference will be Agricultural Innovations, Information and Knowledge: Catalyzing the Attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063.

Paper presenters from South Africa, the United States, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Tanzania, the Gambia, among other countries, are scheduled to speak at the conference and will cover sub-themes including e-agriculture and services, access to agricultural information, knowledge management services, capacity development for farmers, empowering women and youth, and open data for agriculture and nutrition.

Participants at the conference will also have an opportunity to register for one of the following CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training free of charge:
  • The ‘Knowledge Management Ecosystem’ concept and tools Workshop (KME), 
  • Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Workshop (MEL) 
  • Grant Writing & Resource Mobilization Workshop (GWRM)
  • Developing and Managing Open Data Repositories (ODR) Workshop
The conference programme is available on the IAALD Africa website.

Individuals wishing to participate in the conference and in nay of the above CPD courses should register at:

For further inquiries, please contact the conference coordinator, Ms Amanda Makwangwaidze at

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Vacancy for a librarian at Lesotho College of Education

The Lesotho College of Education (LCE) invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for the position of Librarian at Maseru campus. Interested persons may access additional information on the job from the Registrar’s Office based at the Administration Building of the LCE Maseru campus and the College’s website.

A copy of the advert is available HERE.

Monday, May 21, 2018

LIAZ clinches "LOCAL" deal

By Raymond Sikanyika

WorldReader Programme Manager, Benson Mbuthia,
demonstrates how to use an e-reader to Luanshaya
Deputy Mayor Golden Mulenga
One of Library Association of Zambia’s (LIAZ) strategic objectives is to develop capacity building strategies for innovative library services. To ensure that this is attained, LIAZ works in partnership or collaboration with regional and international organizations which have
been instrumental in helping the Association build capacities of its member librarians. 2018 has seen the partnership between LIAZ and Worldreader which has culminated into the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two organizations. The understanding has seen the birth of Local Content in African (LOCAL) Project in Zambia.

The LOCAL project is a collaborative program between Worldreader, the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), Library services in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Worldreader is pairing digital technology and locally- created e-books with extensive training, capacity building, and support to help library systems develop the resources and knowledge they need to improve their ability to help children access and read content in their mother tongue.

The goals of the project include:

  • Increased reading material in Zambian languages; 
  • Children come to libraries more often to access library services; 
  • Librarian skills, knowledge, and capacity to promote reading is increased;
  • Libraries play an active role in creating and supporting reading culture, serving as agents of change, and centers for development and literacy.

LIAZ made a call to all public libraries in Zambia to apply to take part in the project. After a call was done, 19 libraries responded from which 10 were selected to undertake the project. These 10 will receive 50 e-readers each and its Librarian's capacity built to manage the project. The first phase of the training for head librarians took place from 2nd to 5th May, 2018 at Cresta Golfview Hotel in Lusaka. The libraries that are benefitting from this initiative are: Lusaka City Council Public Library, Matero Public Library, Chilenje Public Library, Mtendere Public Library, Ndola City Council Public Library, Helen Kaunda Memorial Public library, Kitwe City Council Public Library, Chililabombwe Municipal Council Library, Chingola Municipal Council Library and Kalulushi Municipal Council Library.

Participants from the selected public libraries across Zambia that attended
WorldReader training workshop held in Lusaka
The Project will see the above libraries receive 50 e-readers each which will have 100 English titles and 100 locally purchased local language titles that will sit on them. The project targets library users aged between 0 to 12. Worldreader will ensure that the librarians are given the much needed skills to manage this project through training as already indicated above. 

LIAZ is hopeful that this project will impact positively on the communities that these piloting libraries are sitting in. It is a considered view of LIAZ that the library users who are being targeted by the project will immensely benefit from it. E-readers which make part of the ICT gadgets in this fast changing e-world will go a long way in bringing excitement in the participating libraries. LIAZ is therefore convinced beyond doubt that e-readers will add value in the libraries. It is anticipated that the LOCAL project will result in an increase in the amount of time children read, an increase in the amount of enjoyment children get out of reading, and an increase in the amount of time children spend in the libraries.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Uganda and Lesotho ratify the Marrakesh Treaty

Expert panel discussion on the Marrakesh treaty during SCECSAL 2018 
The Republic of Uganda and Kingdom of Lesotho have become the 36th and 37th countries respectively in the world to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty. 

It’s exactly two weeks today since the SCECSAL 2018 general assembly resolved that all member countries who are signatories to the Marrakesh Treaty push for the ratification of the multilateral agreement. 

During the Expert Panel Discussion on the Marrakesh Treaty on the 27th April 2018 in Entebbe Uganda, it was unanimously agreed that member countries should take on this task seriously and this will form the basis for future discussions like in Namibia 2020. 

The massage was well received as two SCECSAL member countries Uganda and Lesotho have joined the ever growing list of countries who have ratified the treaty. Other countries in Africa who have already ratified the treaty are: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Tunisia and Mali. 

During SCECSAL 2018 in Entebbe, Ms Beatrice Guzu the executive secretary National Union of Women with Disabilities said: "Before the treaty, one could not access information from other countries in a format suitable for blind persons. This situation resulted in reproducing what was already available at an extra cost just because sharing such material is blocked by the copyright jurisdiction". 

The treaty therefore acknowledges the legitimate commercial interest of the publishers who have that as a living and argued that by this sharing; no one is injuring the publishers because they are not publishing it in accessible formats for blind persons. 

In other words their target population excludes the blind which would by no means reduce their profits if the treaty holds.  Before the treaty, less than 5% of all books published were made accessible to the blind in the world. It was difficult to have current books in accessible formats including Braille, audio or large prints. 

Accordingly, global uproars have called for ratification in all member countries. This would ensure that published material in accessible format can be exchanged across the borders of those countries that have ratified the Treaty.  In response to the global calls, Uganda and Lesotho have joined the list of countries to ratify the treaty.  

This is a very strong statement in the history on the two African countries and for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities. 
We congratulate the two countries and we look forward to domesticating this into the respective national legal framework. 

The said treaty will enter into force, with respect to the Republic of Uganda, on July 23, 2018 and with respect to the Kingdom of Lesotho, on July 30, 2018.

Congratulations to all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

SCECSAL members associations resolve to report regularly on their contributions to development agendas

Uganda Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Madame Mutuuzo Peace (middle)
with members of the SCECSAL General Council during
the opening session of SCECSAL 2018 
The SCECSAL General Council, on 27 April, in Entebbe, Uganda, adopted a resolution to force
member associations to report on activities carried out in their respective countries in support of the implementation of the global or Africa-wide or national development agendas on a biennial basis.

Henceforth, all future SCECSAL conferences will include a session at which SCECSAL member national library (information) associations will be required to present reports on their contributions to the development agendas.

In 2014, in Lilongwe, Malawi, the General Assembly had called upon the member associations to align their activities to the national and global development agendas and develop post 2015- strategies, something which very few associations have done.

The Entebbe meeting also:
  • requested member Associations to establish partnerships with LIS schools and agree on modalities for multi-stakeholder processes for all future library and information studies curriculum design or revisions
  • resolved to establish a SCECSAL Committee of Focal Points (CFP) whose main function shall be to manage day to day SCECSAL activities with the support of the SCECSAL Secretariat.
  • called upon member Associations to work with organisations for the people with disabilities and organisations for the visually impaired people and advocate for the ratification and domestication of the Marrakesh Treaty in their respective countries.

A copy of the SCECSAL 2018 resolutions is available on the SCECSAL website.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

ULIA hosts IFLA IAP workshop for top officials of national library associations

IFLA IAP workshop participants
The Uganda Library and Information Associations (ULIA) was privileged to host and conduct the
IFLA -  International Advocacy Programme (IAP)’s “Train the Trainer” workshop for top officials of national library associations from sub-Saharan Africa on 2-3 May 2018 at Makerere University Main Library.

IFLA’s “Train the Trainer” workshops aim to raise awareness and build capacities of national library association leaders about IFLA’s role in attaining the sustainable development goal (SDGs).

In her opening remarks, Dr Liz State Nasali, speaking on behalf of the University Librarian, expressed great emphasis for librarians to contribute towards the attainment of SDGs noting that all librarians, regardless of the type of library they work in, have a common goal and role to play in SDGs.

Dr Nasali also noted that Makerere University was proud to host the workshop and thanked ULIA Executive Committee for considering hosting the two-day event at Makerere.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr Victoria Okojie, a member of IFLA Governing Board, and Dr Sarah Kaddu, ULIA President.

IFLA IAP Trainer Dr Victoria Okojie facilitating 
Dr Okojie noted that librarians have contributed and will continue to contribute towards the global development agenda and urged the participants to think big about what they will do after the workshop, and need to show their contributions to the SDGs.

Dr Kaddu noted that as librarians, “we need to work closely within the profession and other sectors to achieve UN 2030 Agenda”, implored the participants to become experts in their own countries and called upon them to cause a positive change in their societies.

The workshop attracted participants from Liberia, Lesotho, Burundi, Sudan (Khartoum), Eritrea, Botswana and Uganda.

Also in attendance was Ms Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa who is the former Director National Library of Uganda and currently Director of Human capacity Development and Training at AfLIA. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

SCECSAL membership fees increased by 50 percent

As SCECSAL General Council adopts a decision to charge higher conference registration fees from non-member Associations

Mr. John Paul Anbu, SCECSAL General Council President (2016 -2018)
speaking at the opening session of the the 23rd SCECSAL conference
The SCECSAL General Council has increased the annual membership fees to be paid by member Associations from US$100 to US$150 per year with immediate effect and members are expected to pay the fees on a biennial basis to the SCECSAL Secretariat hosted by the Swaziland Library Association (SWALA).

The decision to increase the membership fees was taken at the Council’s Business Meeting on 24 April in Entebbe, Uganda.

The Council last increased the annual membership fee in 2010 in at its meeting Gaborone, Botswana. 
As at the end of the 23rd SCECSAL conference, on 27 April, SCECSAL member Associations in good standing were:
  • Kenya Association of Library and Information Professionals
  • Lesotho Library Association
  • Library and Information Association of South Africa
  • Library and Information Association of Zambia
  • Malawi Library Association
  • Namibia Information Workers Associations
  • Swaziland Library Association
  • Tanzania Library Association
  • Uganda Library and Information Association
At the same meeting, the Council also adopted a decision to charge participants at future SCECSAL conferences who are not members of national library (information) associations in the SCECSAL countries slightly higher registration fees.

Delegates to the 23rd SCECSAL conference at the registration desk
In the early years of SCECSAL, participation in SCECSAL conferences was by virtual of one being a member of the national library (information) association and non-members paid higher conference registration fees.

This arrangement was meant to help build the membership of national library (information) associations and to ensure that individual library and information professionals do not prioritise participating in SCECSAL conferences at the expense of the activities of the national association.

Over the years, some SCECSAL member Associations hosting SCECSAL conference have not adhered to this arrangement resulting in some cases whereby some countries have seen a high number of library and information professionals at SCECSAL conferences who rarely participate in activities of their national library (information) association.