Expanding Library Services for Indigenous Community Posteriy: A Case of Selected Public Libraries in Botswana

JAIN, Priti and JIBRIL, Lynn (2016) Expanding Library Services for Indigenous Community Posteriy: A Case of Selected Public Libraries in Botswana. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 168 - Indigenous Matters.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1445
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Expanding Library Services for Indigenous Community Posteriy: A Case of Selected Public Libraries in Botswana

Libraries and librarians are uniquely positioned to play a vital role in supporting indigenous communities. Recognizing this fact, increasingly librarians around the world are undertaking interactive activities with indigenous communities that bring indigenous communities on board as equal partners in knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and its utilisation and thus enrich their lives. Libraries are providing indigenous materials and training to the community to help the community in documenting their indigenous knowledge (IK) and support in ensuring that the intellectual property rights of indigenous communities are not exploited. Public libraries are expected to collect, store, and provide access to different types of information including IK for all people in the society. Botswana public libraries have initiated a number of projects to support indigenous communities and capture and document their knowledge. This paper was motivated to discuss and share how selected public libraries in Botswana are involved in capturing and documenting indigenous knowledge from indigenous communities for its posterity and enhanced accessibility. To accomplish this purpose, this study pursued three objectives: to identify how libraries capture, store and preserve indigenous knowledge; to find-out how libraries make IK knowledge accessible to users, and to investigate whether librarians encounter any challenges in preservation and dissemination of indigenous knowledge or not. The study revealed two major ways of providing access to indigenous knowledge: face to face forums and using CDs. The major challenges are: lack of adequate infrastructure and funds and unwillingness to disclose culture information. The paper recommends for librarians’ proactive attitudes, strong collaborative partnership with indigenous communities, support from Government, and, recognition of indigenous people to over some of the challenges and develop and preserve indigenous knowledge and indigenous community for social and economic development.

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