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.

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