Thursday, June 21, 2018

Zambia celebrates 2018 National Library Week

By Velenasi Mwale Munsanje

Guest of Honour chats with exhibitors
as LIAZ Vice President Mr. Jabulani Moyo,
on his right, looks on
National Library Week is an annual event commemorated around the world at different times. The significance of this event is to create public awareness on the importance of libraries by giving an opportunity to libraries, documentation/information centres to showcase their resources, facilities, events and services through different programs and events to the community. The event also provides the community with the opportunity to find out about the wide range of services which libraries and other information providing institutions offer as well as recognize the vital role they play in research, education and entertainment.

National Library Week in Zambia does not only provide libraries with a way to promote their services and raise awareness of the vital role that libraries play in society, but also  encourages literacy and provides people with access to information.

As well as attending events, National Library Weed attendees can check out their local libraries and inquire about their services available to find out new ways to utilise the facility. Presentations include a variety of topics that affect citizens such as drug abuse, environmental issues, sexual harassment, etc.

The Ministry of General Education in partnership with Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ), yet again, partnered this year to celebrate this important event. In the recent years, the hosting of the main launch of the National Library Week has been rotating in the various provinces in Zambia. This has given an opportunity to the host provinces to have a national activity with much more impact on the local community.

The National Library Week celebrations took place in various provinces from 4th to 8th June, 2018.The main official launch was held on 6th June, 2018 in Kasama, in the Northern Province. The theme for this year’s National Library Week was “Libraries Lead.” The Northern Province Minister, Honourable Brian Mundubile officially opened the National Library Week that was hosted by Kasama Provincial Library. In his speech, the Honourable Minister echoed that the National Library Week was a great opportunity to talk about the how libraries lead in everything about our lives. He emphasised that libraries lead us to community exploration, heritage, academic success, innovation and our overall future. He observed that Librarians have long been trailblazers when it comes to issues like equity of access and intellectual freedom; beyond that, Librarian’s services and expertise help lead people to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life.

The award for the best exhibitor was grabbed by Road Development Agency (RDA) with the second position going to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). ZRA has been the best National Library Week exhibiting organization for the two previous years.

Although Northern Province was the official host of this national event, various celebrations were held in other provinces. These included Lusaka, Western, Luapula, North-Western, Eastern and Southern Provinces. Each province had a Guest of Honour that graced the occasion with various libraries exhibiting their services.