Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Zambia participates in 3rd African Public Library Summit in Durban, South Africa

The Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) took part in the 3rd Public Library Summit organized by the Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) in Durban, South Africa, from 3rd to 4th July, 2018 at the prestigious Durban International Convention Centre, on the theme “Driving Development: African Public Libraries Delivering on the Development Agenda”.

LIAZ was represented at the Summit by a six-member team comprising Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, Aggie Kaite Mwanza Mumbi, Raymond Sikanyika, Famous Simpelwe, Debra Mwango Banda and Constantine Mupinde.

The Minister of Arts and Culture in South Africa, Honorable Nathi Mthethwa, officially opened the Summit which was hosted by National Department of Arts and Culture through the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) and Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA). Honorable Mthethwa explained that the theme for the Summit was a call to action and a commitment to improve the socio-economic development of African countries and the continent, and emphasized that more coordinated support to libraries would ensure better investment in public library infrastructures.

The two-day Summit saw about ten papers and seven ignite talks being conducted. Zambia made two
Allan Hagwelele sharing his ignite talk as the sign language interpreter follows
presentations; by Ms. Munsanje who presented a paper entitled “Public Library Services in Zambia and the Development Agenda ; and by Mr. Allan Hagwelele  who did an ignite talk entitled “Going beyond the books” in which he shared with the delegates how his experience through the Young African Library Innovators (IYALI) programme had positively impacted on his work at Choma Provincial Library in the Southern Province of Zambia.

Mr. Hagwelele was a beneficiary of the IFLA partnership with the Electronic Information for Libraries Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) and AfLIA to support 15 participants in the second Young African Library Innovators initiative (IYALI) programme. IYALI is a peer learning and international networking experience for African public librarians.

Other key persons that attended the summit included Glòria Pérez-Salmerón , President the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions (IFLA) as well as the IFLA Secretary General, Gerald Leitner. AfLIA’s President John Tsebe as well as the Vice President Mandla Ntombela who is also LIASA President were also in attendance.

The Zambian delegation team also attended the Gala dinner that was hosted to celebrate 200 years of National Library of South Africa and which was also graced by Honorable Minister Mthethwa.

LIAZ Secretary General Aggie Kaite Mumbi represented Zambia during the IFLA Global Vision Meeting for the African region which took place at Onomo Hotel in Durban from 7 – 8th July.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

New NEC for ZimLA

By Kenneth Mangemba

The 52nd Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) Annual conference ended on a high note last week with an election that dissolved the National Executive Council (NEC) led by Mr. Lantern Fusire. A new NEC was elected with Shadreck Ndinde elected President of ZimLA.

The new ZimLA National Executive Council for ZimLA.
Shadreck Ndinde was the Vice president in the previous Council and has a vast of experience having been involved at branch level as ZimLA Masvingo branch Chairperson for several terms. The incumbent president encouraged ZimLA members and the information professionals at large to support the growth of the library association through utilization of talent and skills to foster cooperation in various ZimLA programmes.
The Annual General Meeting adopted a new clause in the Constitution, to have the position of President-elect, abolishing the position of vice president, of which Jerry Mathema won the vote from Matebeleland branch. The president-elect will take over as President of ZimLA when the term of incumbent president expires. The new clause gives room for a succession plan to enable smooth transfer of projects and activities. Under the old constitution, a new president would come in and take a completely new direction making it difficult to continue with projects and other ideas for ZimLA.

Charles Poterai and Praymore Tendai retained their positions as Treasurer and Advocacy Officer respectively. Another new comer is non-other than the ZimLA Mashonaland Branch Secretary, Alice Parakokwa. The position of Editor was also won by Bruce Nyabadza from Mashonaland branch. The new executive will be in place until 2020.

Incoming NEC members are expected to relinquish branch positions as they assume the new roles. Branches are therefore expected to ensure they have new members coming in to fill the vacant positions through a vote or appointing members.

A full meeting is expected to be held for a handover and takeover briefing soon. About 34 members attended the AGM despite a high attendance for the conferencing days. This indicates need for membership mobilization to ensure that more registered members attend the AGM as directed by the constitution. The next ZimLA election will be held in 2020.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Need for alternative funding for libraries: Prof Mavodza

Professor Judith Mavodza.
By Kenneth Mangemba

The 52nd Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) conference underway in Mutare got a boost from Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and Manicaland Provincial Affairs representatives. Running under the theme “Libraries in Transition: Emerging Trends and Technologies”, the conference has created a platform to iron out issues affecting growth of library and information institution in Zimbabwe.
The keynote address by Professor Judith Mavodza from United Arab Emirates accentuate on the need for library and information professionals to look for alternative funding sources for a sustainable service provision. She noted that information professional should re-assess services they are providing in the wake of emerging trends and technologies to ensure they are within the expectations of our users.

Delegates at the ZimLA conference in Mutare.
Prof Mavodza noted the impact of library spaces which are technologically-enhanced. She said that, “These spaces are becoming more active virtually, and creating more individual user experiences.” Indeed the emerging trends and technologies have transformed the entire library and information fraternity increasingly forcing librarians to ask for more funding. Prof Mavodza said Librarians should build advocacy skills that will enable them to seek alternative funding sources. She said there are private international funders such as the Elsevier Foundation’s Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries program that awards grants to libraries for improving access to and use of scientific, technological and medical information, and the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation Global Libraries program to expand technology access in public libraries. 

 The desire to fulfill the transition in libraries hinges around sustainable funding for libraries in Zimbabwe. Prof Mavonda said the current climate of extreme budget cuts can be circumvented through shifting away from local ILS models to a cloud-based service and many other strategies that strengthen consortia involvement in library work.

The conference has shown the significance of the library association with a record attendance of a hundred plus delegates from local and regional library and information professionals.