Libraries as engines for social and economic empowerment: Best practices and results from a partnership project between Tanzanian, Namibian and Finnish libraries

MCHARAZO, Alli and KOSKINEN, Minna and MCHOMBU, Kingo Jotham and HAMWAALWA, Namutenya (2017) Libraries as engines for social and economic empowerment: Best practices and results from a partnership project between Tanzanian, Namibian and Finnish libraries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 139 - Division V - Regions.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1648
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Libraries as engines for social and economic empowerment: Best practices and results from a partnership project between Tanzanian, Namibian and Finnish libraries

Developing people’s living conditions through investing in relevant library services has been the leading principle in a partnership project: Libraries for Development. The project has been run between three partners: Tanzania Library Services Board, Namibia Library and Archives Service and the Finnish Library Association since 2012, and will continue until the end of 2017. The core idea of the project has been to bring the information society to the grassroots level through libraries. This has been done by equipping project libraries with ICT facilities and training the library personnel in ICT and information search skills, in order to enable them to impart these skills onward to people in their local communities. Results achieved are promising: after learning to access information at the libraries, people in Tanzania and Namibia have found new opportunities in life. An evaluation report shows that many have improved their academic performance, enhanced their small-scale businesses and obtained jobs. On the basis of the assessment of the project’s outcomes, we argue, that libraries can act as engines for social and economic empowerment. In our paper, we thus aim to present the best practices and the achievements of the project, and to inspire others to apply similar methods in their endeavours.

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