Building librarians’ capacity to use ICT in services that meet community needs in Africa

PETUCHOVAITE, Ramune and LIPEIKAITE, Ugne (2015) Building librarians’ capacity to use ICT in services that meet community needs in Africa. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 92 - Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning with Public Libraries.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1294
[img]
Preview
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Building librarians’ capacity to use ICT in services that meet community needs in Africa

The process of adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT) is accelerating globally, but low-income economies still lag behind, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (Paua, 2004). To bridge this gap, many African governments have embarked on national ICT roll out programmes. In some countries, these programmes include equipping and resourcing public libraries with ICT (Farrell, Shafika, 2007). Although ICT opens doors to new library roles in Africa, it also brings challenges to library professionals, who must adopt, learn to use, manage and maintain new technology. They must deal with high expectations of library users and the authorities about the value and potential of ICT. Failure to meet expectations leads to increased insecurity of librarians and dissatisfaction among users. To help libraries use ICT to its full potential, the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) has developed a capacity-building framework for public librarians that aims to support integration of ICT into new public library services that meet local community needs. The framework grew out of EIFL-PLIP’s experience in Africa , and consists of four modules (total 88 hours of training) covering such topics as advanced computer literacy, e-resources and searching, project management for new library services, and advocacy. The framework has been piloted in three countries where there has been some progress in government supported ICT roll out to public libraries: Kenya , Uganda and Ghana . This paper presents results and impact of this initiative, discusses training methodologies and lessons learned. The paper also reflects on the effectiveness of the training programme in encouraging adoption of ICT in public library services in Africa.

FOR IFLA HQ (login required)

Edit item Edit item
.