Tuesday, February 23, 2021

LIASA to host SCECSAL 2022 conference

The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) will host the 25th SCECSAL Conference from 25th to 29th April 2022. 

SCECSAL 2022 details will be available on LIASA’s SCECSAL 2022 conference web page and on the SCECSAL website.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

“The Conference was a huge success”, Egbukole tells SCECSAL Forum

Kingsley Nnamdi Egbukole presenting
a paper at the 24th SCECSAL conference
“The conference was a huge success. The organization was excellent, the Safari Court venue was serene with adequate conference facilities perfect for a conference of this magnitude”, said Kingsley Nanmdia Egbukole in his interview with the SCECSAL Forum. 

Egbukole, from Owerri, Nigeria, participated in the 24th SCECSAL Conference, from 8 to 11 February, in Windhoek, Namibia where he presented a paper titled "Serving the public: African academic libraries and outreach services", co-authored with Mr Gilbert Mushi from Tanzania.

“The timing of the paper presentations was adhered to and the breakfast and lunch were rich. The moderation of the presentations was well executed and there was enough time for questions and answers”, the international participant commented on the conference arrangements.

Egbukole also expressed satisfaction with the arrangements by the conference organisers in ensuring that participants at the in-person event followed the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Government of Namibia, and commended the organizers for assisting international participants that needed COVID-19 tests before leaving Namibia, to get to the medical laboratory for the tests, and for transport arrangements to the airport.

The minor draw-back at the conference, Egbukole noted, was the absence of an inquiry desk at the front of the conference hall to welcome participants and give directions.

Away from the conference proceedings, he enjoyed the tour of the City of Windhoek, which he found to be neat, calm, beautiful and well planned. He visited the Namibian National Museum and would have loved the organisers to have included more interesting sites on the tour of the city.

Egbukole heads the University Research Commons at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria. He previously headed the ICT Unit, the Readers Services Unit and the Research, Training and Statistics Unit. He holds a Master in Information Technology from the University of Pretoria (South Africa); a Master of Library Science from Imo State University (Nigeria) and a Master of Business Administration (Project Management) from the Federal University of Technology (Nigeria). 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

International participants at SCECSAL conference tour Windhoek

Since April 2000, the third day at each SCECSAL conference is reserved for tours and cultural evening events, and SCECSAL 2021 was no different as far as tours were concerned.

We share photos from the tour of Windhoek by some international on Wednesday, 10 February.

Preparing to start off on the tour

At the University of Nambia
Information & Learning Resource Centre

Visiting the UNAM Resource Centre

Visting Greenwell Matongo Community Centre

Greenwell Matongo Community Centre

At the Independence Memorial

Visiting a local market in Windhoek

Friday, February 12, 2021

Librarians in the SCECSAL region urged to engage in "politics" to get extra budgets for libraries

Honourable Veno Kauaria at
the 25th SCECSAL Conference
On Thursday, Honourable Veno Kauaria, Member of Parliament in Namibia, urged librarians in the SCECSAL region to play politics of reaching out and innovation to get extra funding for their libraries, while maintaining their neutrality. 

"With the current diminishing budgets every financial year, it is up to the librarians to became politicians", Hon. Kauaria told library and information professionals during the closing ceremony of the 25th SCECSAL Conference in Windhoek, Namibia.

Libraries are neutral institutions and librarians should continue to maintain their neutrality, while striving to get the extra budget for their institutions. 

Librarians should be involved in the politics of engagement, politics of communication, and politics of persuasion. This is politics of reaching out and to innovate, she said.

Library advocacy is political engagement, it is about persuasion, it is about communication, and about reaching out, Hon. Kauaria told the gathering.. 

Librarians should know how to advocate for more funds for their libraries, they need to select who to reach out to and should engage with people who will advance their cause. Advocating for libraries is now more important than before and is within easy reach of librarians.

Hon. Kauaria reminded conference participants that people who allocate budgets, some who live with librarians in the communities and meet and engage with them at churches, need to know what librarians are doing if they are to support libraries’ cause. 

Most politicians like to hear numbers and statistics, and librarians should include in their advocacy strategies, talking to politicians in their area in terms of the number of youth visiting the library, people using libraries, to generate interest in the politicians who will see this in terms of the number of potential voters.

Hon. Kuaria, before moving into politics, worked and gained her experience in the library profession. 

She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science both from Long Island University, in the United States of America. Her work and professional experience in the library and information sector, before going into politics, including serving as Director American Information Centre in Windhoek, Namibia; Director of Namibia Library and Archives Service under the Ministry of Education, and Executive Director (Permanent Secretary) in the Department of Lifelong Learning.

Hon. Kauaria is a founder member of the Namibian Information Workers Association (now called National Information Workers Association of Namibia). She served as NIWAM Chairperson from 2015 to 2019 during which she played a critical role in NIWAN's bid to host the 25th SCECSAL Conference. She has also served on the Bill and Melinda Gates Public Libraries Committee, and as Chairperson of ESARBICA.

His Excellence Dr Elia G. Kaiyamo 
Namibia Ambassador to China 

Earlier on during the closing ceremony, His Excellence Dr Elia G. Kaiyamo, Namibia Ambassador to China and NIWAN Patron, congratulated library and information professionals in the SCECSAL region, and extended a big thank you to SCECSAL 2021 conference organizers, paper presenters, and participants for a very successful conference. Dr Kaiyamo also called upon librarians to lead by example by reading more and doing research and join in the fight against the COVID-19. He further urged librarians to a build good working relationship with governments, especially with government institutions concerned with libraries, to contribute to the development of the people.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

SCECSAL Conference ends on a good note

 By Sylvia Umana for SCECSAL Forum

Hon. Veno Kauaria (right) handing
a certificate of appreciation
The 24th SCECSAL conference came to an end this afternoon in Windhoek,
Namibia. Today, the last day of the conference, proved to be another successful day. The day’s events were concluded with the SCECSAL General Assembly session during which key decisions from the SCECSAL General Council meeting and highlights of key issues from the conference were presented, and announcement and promotion for the twenty-fifth SCECSAL conference to be held in South Africa were made.

The SCECSAL Secretariat, represented by Dr Justin Chisenga, presented three key decisions from the SCECSAL General Council meeting held on Tuesday, 9 February 2021. These are: all future SCECSAL proceedings will be made available in digital format (print-on-demand); future SCECSAL conferences will largely be hybrid events, i.e. providing in-person and virtual options, except in cases where in-person will not be possible; and SCECSAL Excellence Awards for 2020 will be given to the recipients this year, at a special virtual event.

Ms Foibe Shaambeni presenting
a summary report on the conference

The Secretary of the XXIVth SCECSAL National Organising Committee and Chief Rapporteur for the Conference, Ms Foibe Shaambeni, presented a summary report highlighting several aspects of the conference. Among others, she reported that 46 presentations were made at the conference,  including 15 onsite, 27 via Zoom meeting platform and 4 as pre-recorded video presentations.

Ms Nikki Crowster, President of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), confirmed her Association’s readiness to host the XXVth SCECSAL Conference from 25-29 April 2022. Ms Crowster told the Assembly that the conference is being planned largely as a virtual event on theme “Libraries and Information Services: Reflections and Predictions in Unprecedented Times” with sub-themes focusing on Creativity and innovation, Partnerships, Reflections (Impact e.g. fake news; focus on open access; changing buying patterns and material formats) and  Predictions (How services are redefined; planning; business continuity; etc). The call for the 2022 SCECSAL would be issued soon.  A video promoting the conference was played, following which many participants showered eagerness to participate in the 2022 conference. 

Social distanced participants
at the General Assembly
The SCECSAL Secretariat submitted to the Assembly, for adoption, two resolutions
calling upon SCECSAL member Associations i) to advocate for the ratification and domestication of the Marrakesh Treaty in their respective countries, and ii) to innovate and adopt the use of digital technologies to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on provision and access to library and information services. The SCECSAL member Associations present at the Assembly endorsed the resolutions for adoption.

The day’s programme ended with members of the Local Organizing Committee being awarded certificates of appreciation for their hard work and a successful conference, and the international delegates awarded tokens of appreciation for gracing the conference with their presence in these trying times. 

Honourable Veno Kauaria, Member of Parliament and former NIWAN chairperson, delivered the closing statement in which she emphasised the importance of networking with politicians and library and information users, to raise awareness and advocate for library services.

XXIV SCECSAL Conference in photos

By Sylvia Umana and Dr Chiku Mchombu for SCECSAL Forum

Registration at the conference

Waiting for registration

Prof. Katjavivi opening the conference
 as seen on LED screen

Participants listening to an Exhibitor

Ms Ritva Niskala,
Deputy University Librarian (UNAM)
moderating the Exhibitors' Session

Dr Chiku Mchombu (right),
Mrs Mutinta Mwemba Nabuyanda (middle) 

Ms Miriam Minin 
at the conference

Ms Teopolina Shuumbuli
at the conference

Dinner time 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Another wonderful day in Windhoek at the SCECSAL Conference

 By Sylvia Umana for SCECSAL Forum

Some conference delegates
Day 3 proceedings saw delegates attending the conference themed with traditional attires. The programme was divided into two parts. 

Some delegates participated in the tour of the City of Windhoek visiting places such as the University of Namibia Library, Greenwell Matongo Library, Nathaniel Maxuilili Community Learning and Development Centre, Independence Memorial Museum and Katutura Open Markets. 

The remaining delegates, at the conference venue, listened to the Conference Exhibitors’ presentations. Among the exhibitors was Emerald, Elsevier, Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL), EBSCO, SABINET, and Springer Nature who presented their products and services they offer. 

Emerald focused on impact measuring of research in higher institutions, e-books, and e-journals. Elsevier and EBSCO presentations focused on research data management, research citations and research collaboration. Springer Nature promoted introduced participants to new features on Springer products and services. NAMCOL presented services offered including e-learning programmes and vocational training courses available on offer. 

The day ended with the hosts taking international delegates for a breather at a local restaurant.

Monday, February 8, 2021

A glance at the first day of the first ever blended SCECSAL Conference

 By Elia Kadhiya & Sylvia Umana for SCECSAL Forum

Hon. Prof. Katjavivi
After years and months of preparations, the XXIV SCECAL Conference
(SCECSAL 2021) finally kicked off today at the Safari Hotel and Conference Centre in Windhoek, Namibia. Dr Chiku Mnubi-Mchombu, the chairperson of SCECSAL National Organising Committee, introduced the SCECSAL XXIV conference and acknowledging the sponsors’ contribution to making the conference a success. These include the Namibia Library and Information Council (NLIC), The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Emerald Publishing, International University of Management (IUM), the Goethe-Institut, Elsevier Publishing, University of Namibia (UNAM), Springer Nature, Namibia Libraries and Archive Services and the Namibia College of Open Learning (NAMCOL).

Dr Ellen Namhila
Dr Sarah Kaddu, Chairperson of the Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA), moderated the official opening session programme. During the official opening, Dr. Ellen Namhila, NIWAN founding member and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) of UNAM, extended a warm welcome to all participants at the conference venue and to participants who joined the conference through virtual platforms and indicated that we are living in an era in which human development has been identified as a critical challenge. She was followed by the Guest of Honour Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi who, in his opening speech, emphasised the important role of information services in meeting the world’s development agenda as defined in the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture was represented by the Deputy Minister Ms Faustania Caley who indicated how libraries and archives play a major role in collecting, storing, processing and delivering information in the quest to advance socio-economic development. She applauded that the conference has come at the right time when Namibia libraries need serious infrastructural upgrading to meet the demand of an information society as envisioned in the Vision 2030, Namibia’s blueprint document which outlines where the country needs to by 2030. 

Members of the Organizing Committee
A total number of 85 delegates onsite, and 34, via Zoom platform, attended the first day of the conference.  

The blended, in-person and virtual, conference adhered to Namibia Government COVID-19 prevention protocols, which includes wearing face masks, using hand sanitizers, and keeping social distancing.

Professor Katjavivi calls on information professionals to address deficiencies in services rendered in terms of library and information services

 As the XXIVth SCECSAL conference gets underway in Namibia

Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi
delivering his statement
Honourable Professor Peter Katjavivi, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia, today officially opened the XXIV SCECSAL Conference on “Inclusive Libraries and Information Services Towards Achieving Prosperity for Sustainable Development in Africa” at the Hotel Safari in Windhoek, Namibia.

In his opening statement, Honourable Professor Katjavivi, emphasised the importance of information services to meet the world’s development agenda as defined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in Africa where up to 30% of the population in many of our countries still live below the poverty line.

Hon. Prof. Katjavivi also reminded participants at the conference that inclusiveness to information services “requires to reach out and serve equally all groups in society, from the poorest to the richest, the disabled as well as the illiterate and other marginalised communities including minority groups in our societies”.

“I am happy to note that this conference will address all these deficiencies in services rendered in terms of library and information services in order to identify gaps and challenges and come up with workable solutions in the SCECSAL region.  Through this conference deliberations, I am confident that you will address inclusiveness and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda”, said Hon. Prof. Katjavivi.

Part of the participants at
the conference venue in Windhoek
The National Information Workers Association of Namibia (NIWAN) is hosting the conference for the second time in the history of SCECSAL. NIWAN first hosted SCECSAL Conference in April 2000 on the theme “Information 2000: a Vision for the SCECSAL region.

The first SCECSAL Conference was held in 1974 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

More than 50 papers are scheduled to be presented at this year’s SCECSAL Conference.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

NIWAN ready to welcome participants to the XXIV SCECSAL Conference

NIWAN delegation in 2018 at the XXIII SCECSAL Conference
in Uganda accepted to host the XXIV SCECSAL Conference

The National Information Workers Association of Namibia (NIWAN) is ready to welcome participants to the twenty-fourth Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) which kicks off on Monday, 8 February and runs to 11 February in Windhoek, Namibia. 

 Honourable Professor Peter Katjavivi, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Namibia, will officially open the conference, and the Minister of Education, Honourable Ms Ester Anna Nghipondoka, will deliver a statement during the opening session scheduled to take place at the Hotel Safari in Windhoek. 

The conference, on the theme - Inclusive Libraries and Information Services Towards Achieving Prosperity for Sustainable Development in Africa - will be the first SCECSAL biennial conference to combine virtual and onsite delivery of papers and will be graced by more than 50 paper presenters, including academicians, researchers and library and information practitioners, from Namibia, South Africa, the United States of America, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Botswana, among others.

Among others, the conference sub-themes include Access to information: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions; Building Capacities of Library and Information Professionals to Contribute Toward Attaining the 2030 Agenda; Information Literacy and the Knowledge Economy; and Open Data and Research Data Management

The conference was initially scheduled for 20-24 April 2020 and was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Visit the SCECSAL website for the conference programme, biographical information of some speakers, and individual papers to be presented at the conference.