Thursday, May 23, 2024

IFLA Statistics & Evaluation Committee announces "Focus on Impact series"

Register today and participate in five FREE sessions offering a different perspective on demonstrating library impact.

The IFLA Statistics & Evaluation Committee (S&E) is happy to announce its upcoming series, Focus on Impact.  The Focus on Impact series provides attendees with five sessions, each offering a different perspective on demonstrating library impact. Each session features a different format for participant engagement. Attendance is free. The sessions will explore impact case studies, key performance indicators, data storytelling, building a community of practice, how S&E can serve its members, and findings from a global survey on library experience.
1.      Panel Presentation

Date: June 5, 11:30am - 1:00pm (BST/GMT+1)
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The assessment of library impact can take many different forms.  Three panellists with very different experiences will share their perspectives and experiences in this presentation. Grand Mutando will discuss the African Capacity Building Foundation's (ACBF) role in enhancing the community of practice and capacity development in Africa. Sherine Eid will demonstrate how ISO 16439 acts as a guide for assessing library impact. Dr. Leo Appleton will discuss library assessment methodologies and practices.
  • Grand Mutondo, Information Management Associate (The African Capacity Building Foundation).
  • Sherine Eid, Acting Head Quality Improvement Unit (Bibliotheca Alexandrina).
  • Dr Leo Appleton, Senior University Teacher, University of Sheffield.
Moderators: Christine Brown (Head Faculty Engagement, University of Alberta) and Justine Wheeler (Assessment Librarian, University of Calgary)
2.      Article Discussion

Date: June 12, 3:00pm - 4:00pm (CEST), 
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Participants will come to the session having read the following article. Bring your questions about the article and hear from the author on how you might use data storytelling to demonstrate the impact of your library services.
Kate McDowell (2024). Library Data Storytelling: Obstacles and Paths Forward. Public Library Quarterly, 43(2), 202-222. DOI: 10.1080/01616846.2023.2241514
To link to this article:
Speaker:  Kate McDowell (Author of Article)
Moderators: Christine Brown (Head Faculty Engagement, University of Alberta) and Justine Wheeler (Assessment Librarian, University of Calgary)
3.      Forming Your Community of Practice
Date: June 19, 5:00pm-6:00pm (MDT), June 20th 9:00-10:00 am (AEST)
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In this webinar, participants will learn what a Community of Practice (CoP) is and how it can support library assessment activities. Our speakers have created a Value & Impact Community of Practice to assist staff at university libraries, in Australia and New Zealand, share best practices around evaluating and assessing their activities and services.
  • Joanna Logan, Quality and Planning Manager, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Simon Hart, Policy Planning and Evaluation Librarian, University of Otago.
 Moderators: Christine Brown (Head Faculty Engagement, University of Alberta) and Justine Wheeler (Assessment Librarian, University of Calgary)
4.      Let’s Hear from You about Impact
Date: July 3, 10:00am - 11:00am (MDT)
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The Statistics and Evaluation Committee seeks your input on how we can help you learn more about library assessment and promote your impact. In this session, Committee members will be ready to hear your comments, questions, and success stories.  We will take this information in and use it to formulate programs and activities.
Facilitators: Statistics & Evaluation Committee Members
5.      Redefining the Library Experience
Date: July 10, 11:00am -12:00pm (EDT)
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“Libraries are continually evolving how they engage with users to make the most impact within their communities. Recently, this has included a renewed emphasis on proactively shaping experiences around library spaces, programming, collections, and staff development” (Connaway et al., 2023). These words open,  Redefining the library experience: Findings from the 2023 OCLC Global Council survey The findings from this report are based on a global survey from the library community, and included all library types. In total, more than 1600 responses were collected from respondents located in approximately 77 countries/territories. Dr Connaway will discuss the findings and implications. Please join us for this insightful and thought-provoking presentation. 
Speaker: Dr Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Executive Director, Research, at OCLC.
Moderator: Bella Gerlich (Dean of Libraries, Missouri University of Science and Technology).

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

2024 LIASA Annual Conference

 Call for papers

The 2024 LIASA Annual Conference will take place from 1-4 October at the Durban International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa. This year's conference theme, "Libraries in an Age of Democracy," will reflect on the 30-year journey of South Africa's democracy and its impact on the country’s libraries.

For details and the call for papers, visit the conference website:

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Embracing new horizons in career and professional development: my experience at my first SCECSAL conference

 By Pauline Namulomba Nchemba

As I reflect on my first participation in the XXVI Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and

Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) held in Mombasa, Kenya, from 22 to 26 April, a wave of emotions floods my mind. From the exhilarating moments of moderating a panel discussion to the jubilation of winning the cultural evening award with my colleagues from Zambia, every experience has left an indelible mark on me.

Before I even set foot on the SCECSAL journey, I made a promise to myself: I was going to make waves, make connections, and have a blast while doing it. And boy, did I deliver!

It all began with a bang as I arrived at PrideIn Paradise Hotel, eagerly embracing every opportunity that presented itself. Meeting with Dr. Justin Chisenga, a SCECSAL stalwart, and Mr. Kepi Madumo, National Librarian & CEO - National Library of South Africa, stood out as a memorable moment on my first day in Mombasa. Engaging in a stimulating discussion about passion, initiative, and personal growth in one's profession truly set the stage for the adventure ahead.

In church after Catholic mass

Anticipating the whirlwind of activities ahead, I found moments of personal reflection and discovery. The rainy Sunday morning became magical as I attended mass draped in my vibrant Zambian Catholic Chitenge design. It was a soulful experience, a fusion of spirituality and cultural immersion that SCECSAL in Mombasa uniquely offered.

My professional journey began even before the official start of the conference, with a visit to the Technical University of Mombasa for a workshop on emergency readiness and disaster management. Witnessing the dedication of participants from various countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa reaffirmed my belief in the power of continuous learning within our field.

The pinnacle of excitement was reached on Monday as I took the stage to moderate a panel discussion titled “SCECSAL@50: The Past, The Present, and the Future”. This session evolved into an engaging dialogue between esteemed panelists and enthusiastic participants, transforming it into a dynamic exchange of ideas and insights. SCECSAL, established in 1974, had indeed come a long way, and I am benefiting from its existence. 

At the SCECSAL cultural evening

On Wednesday, a unique blend of cultural celebration and camaraderie was brought forth at the SCECSAL Cultural and Awards event held at the neighbouring Mombasa Continental Resort. Clad in our vibrant Lozi-themed attire, my colleagues from Zambia and I showcased our passion for libraries and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a presentation that blended Zambian traditions, dance, and storytelling. The overwhelming joy of winning the cultural evening award for the fourth time resonated deeply, reinforcing the impact of our collective efforts in promoting the potential of library initiatives’ contributions to the SDGs.

As the conference drew to a close on Friday, I found myself once again in the spotlight, delivering a presentation at the session on 'SDGs and Libraries.' Sharing LIAZ’s initiatives on igniting youth leadership towards SDG attainment sparked a newfound sense of awareness and enthusiasm among participants. Witnessing the realization dawn upon them that they too were instrumental in SDG-related endeavors was immensely gratifying.

Listening to Dr Helen Kay Raseroka

Beyond the professional engagements, SCECSAL 2024 offered me invaluable opportunities for networking and mentorship. Interactions with esteemed veterans like Dr Kay Raseroka and Jacinta Were instilled in me a sense of purpose and encouragement to pursue excellence in my profession. Imagine receiving personalized mentorship immediately after a presentation on how to make your next presentation even more interesting. Kay Raseroka did just that, boosting my mood and igniting a craving to do more.

Looking ahead, as Zambia prepares to host the XXVIII SCECSAL Conference in 2026, I am filled with anticipation and excitement. Eager to extend the same warm hospitality and enriching experiences to fellow colleagues and first-timers, I envision a conference that not only fosters professional growth but also celebrates the rich diversity and heritage of our region.

In essence, my journey at SCECSAL 2024 has been nothing short of transformative. It has reinforced my belief in the power of collaboration, innovation, and lifelong learning within the field of library and information sciences.  As I carry forward the lessons learned and memories cherished, I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of a vibrant community dedicated to advancing library and information services across Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.

I made intelligent noise and am glad it yielded results beyond what I expected and am glad am getting positive feedback on my participation at the conference. 

Did I deliver? YES, I DID!

Friday, May 3, 2024

The SCECSAL conference provided me with an excellent networking opportunity

 By Veronica Muthoni Kariuki, State Department for Cooperatives, Kenya

Greetings, SCESCAL fraternity!

It brings me great pleasure to share my experience attending the 2024 SCESCAL conference at the Pride Inn Paradise Hotel in Mombasa. The journey was filled with excitement, knowing that I would meet fellow professionals from Eastern, Central, and Southern African countries. The conference provided an excellent networking opportunity, and I learned a great deal from the presentations.

Veronica Muthoni Kariuki at the SCECSAL conference
in Mombasa, Kenya

The sessions were of the highest quality, emphasizing the need for us to be agents of change in the digital era. As everything rapidly evolves, embracing these changes is crucial to avoid being left behind by the ever-advancing tide.

One of the highlights was the culture dinner, where African diversity was beautifully showcased.

From captivating stories to national anthems, traditional dances, and attire, the evening was truly exciting.

As I reflect on this experience, I pray that I will have the privilege of attending future SCESCAL conferences, wherever they may be held. Long live SCESCAL!

Reflecting on my first SCECSAL Conference: Insights from Bosco Buruga

By Bosco Buruga, Librarian, Muni University, Uganda

It is exactly one week since the XXVI SCECSAL Conference ended in Mombasa. A truly inspiring experience of some sorts for the delegates both first-timers and regulars. The conference was a vibrant gathering of brilliant minds, each sharing their unique research findings and perspectives. We asked some delegates specifically those attending the region professional showpiece for the first time to share their insights about the conference and this is what they had to say. 

The conference was a transformative experience that allowed me to deeply appreciate the LIS landscape.

My name is Bosco Buruga, a librarian at Muni University, and an executive committee member of the Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) representing Northern Uganda. I would like to share some of my experiences at the SCECSAL XXVI 2024 Conference and Assembly held in Mombasa, Kenya from 22nd to 26th April, 2024. This conference was not just an event, but a transformative experience that allowed me to deeply appreciate the library and information science landscape in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.

Mr.Bosco Buruga presenting his paper during SCECSAL XXVI

When I learned that the 2024 SCECSAL Conference was going to be hosted by the Kenya Library Association, I saw it as a golden opportunity for me to attend the first SCECSAL Conference in my career. I immediately sprang into action, strategizing on how I could participate in this life-enriching conference. 

The first step was setting a goal for myself: to broaden my professional network and gain knowledge from the conference presentations. The second step was responding to the call for abstracts. I, along with two other colleagues, wrote an abstract and submitted it to the local conference organizing committee. I am grateful that our abstract was accepted, and we were able to submit a full paper, marking the beginning of a truly enriching journey. Our paper was Applying SWOT analysis to assess drivers and barriers of using e-resources among selected academic libraries in Uganda.

My dream of attending the SCECSAL XXVI 2024 Conference at PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort, Convention Centre & Spa Mombasa almost died because I failed to get funding from my institution to pay for conference fees, accommodation, and transport. I decided not to disappoint myself by missing the golden opportunity to attend my first SCECSAL Conference. I borrowed money and ventured into an exciting trip of about 1,700 km on the road using a bus from Arua City in northern Uganda to Mombasa, Kenya, for this important professional event of my life. It took me three days to reach Mombasa and another three days to return to Arua after the conference. Some Ugandan colleagues who flew from Mombasa arrived in Kampala before I started my journey from Mombasa to Nairobi city.

The sacrifice that I made to attend SCECSAL 2024 enabled me to achieve the following:

1. I had the rare opportunity to represent the president of the Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA), as a SCECSAL delegate. This enabled me to attend the SCECSAL General Council Meeting. You cannot imagine my joy in representing ULIA and attending a meeting of Presidents of Library Associations in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. The sacrifice I made was worth it because I networked and knew the leaders of the African Library Associations in person. I am happy I actively represented my country well because I made valuable submissions in the meeting.

2. The conference presentations were rich in content and aroused my desire to do more research and build collaborations and networks. I was moved by the president of the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) 's presentation on supporting SDGs initiatives by establishing a children's information centre in a public hospital. I am reflecting on her presentation and developing a concept that will be used to source supporters and possible donors for establishing such an information centre in our regional referral hospital.

3. I was able to present my conference paper and received very good feedback from the conference participants. The positive reception has motivated me to respond in the future to other calls for abstract submission from SCECSAL and/or any other relevant professional conferences.

4. I met esteemed personalities in the profession, such as Prof. Clara Chu, Prof. Maria G. N. Musoke, Dr. Justin Chisenga, Dr. Kay Raseroka, Madam Getrude Kayanga Mulindwa, and Ms Jacinta Were. I was blessed to have tapped knowledge from these celebrated personalities in SCECSAL. May God give them more years to mentor us in the profession. 

5. I attended the Cultural Evening, which was characterised by a dancing competition from diverse African cultures and an awards ceremony. Africa is blessed with beautiful dances, but the time for the cultural evening was not enough. I was blessed with another opportunity to receive an award on behalf of Phenny Birungi (SCECSAL Presidents Award) and another for ULIA (SCECSAL Hosts Award).

Ugandan delegates performing during the cultural evening

6. Throughout the conference, I had the opportunity to attend various sessions from exhibitors, ranging from library systems or technologies to library information resources. All the sessions provided unique perspectives and valuable takeaways, making the conference enjoyable and less boring.

In a nutshell, the SCECSAL Conference 2024 was a success because I enjoyed all the aspects of the conference, ranging from paper presentations, workshop sessions, and Country SDGs reports to SCECSAL Country reports. A crucial take-home assignment is that, as a Ugandan librarian, I need to get involved in documenting and sharing my library's contribution to supporting the implementation of the SDGs. I will now be an ambassador of SDGs in my Library Association. I have already recommended the SCECSAL conference to my young colleagues in the profession because it offers them an opportunity to expand their professional network and fresh insights and perspectives that will enrich their work moving forward.

Mr. Buruga receiving an award on behalf of Phenny Birungi

I have started preparing for the SCECSAL conference of 2026, which the Library and Information Association of Zambia will host in the city of Livingstone. This is my time to visit the home of the Victoria Falls. God willing, I will have to be physically in Zambia to consolidate my established professional networks, get new ones, and participate in knowledge exchange in the SCECSAL region by presenting conference papers and listening to other presenters. God bless SCECSAL and its leadership.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Bridging worlds: Maasai indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage and library services in the digital age

By Priscah Kirwa

Priscah Kirwa, Senior Librarian
Maasai Mara University, Kenya
The combination of Maasai culture and librarianship offers a unique opportunity to merge traditional values and knowledge with modern information practices. As we redesign information products and services for the digital age, it's critical to leverage technological advances while emphasizing accessibility, inclusivity, and user-centered design. Librarians must take the lead in efforts to maintain relevance in this digital landscape. Maasai land is home to an indigenous culture where the vibrant colors of traditional attire blend with the vast landscapes of the savannah. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in library and information services in Maasai land, one that integrates the rich heritage of Maasai culture with the transformative power of digital technology.

At a time when the world is becoming increasingly connected through the digital realm, Maasai communities are employing innovative approaches to preserve their cultural heritage, promote educational opportunities, and improve access to information. Maasai Mara University Library is committed to promoting indigenous knowledge, fostering community engagement, leveraging digital innovation, supporting environmental conservation, and celebrating Maasai cultural heritage.

In keeping with our dedication to cultural sensitivity and respect for indigenous knowledge, the library has put in place strict measures to ensure the protection of the Maasai's intellectual property rights to their indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage. These protocols include obtaining explicit consent from the Maasai community before featuring any materials or information about their traditions, following ethical guidelines for the documentation and dissemination of Maasai cultural materials, and actively engaging with Maasai representatives to address any concerns or issues about cultural sensitivity and tradition. 

Through strategic initiatives and partnerships, the University Library is involved in a strategic collaboration with local Maasai groups. This collaboration focuses on initiatives such as community-led archival projects and educational outreach programs aimed at preserving and promoting Maasai cultural heritage. These efforts enrich our collections and enable the Maasai community to recover and celebrate their traditional identity. This benefits both the Maasai people and the academic community. The University Library serves as a catalyst for positive change and empowerment within the Maasai community and beyond.