Stimulating and Enriching Partnership with Community Based Organizations: Inclusive Participatory Platform with Libraries in Nigeria

OSUCHUKWU, Ngozi Perpetua and EDEWOR, Nelson (2016) Stimulating and Enriching Partnership with Community Based Organizations: Inclusive Participatory Platform with Libraries in Nigeria. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session S27 - Africa. In: Building Cross Cultural Capacities for Universal Access to Information and Knowledge in Africa, 11-12 August 2016, Athens, Ohio, USA.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2079
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Stimulating and Enriching Partnership with Community Based Organizations: Inclusive Participatory Platform with Libraries in Nigeria

It has become unimaginable for libraries and librarians to alienate themselves from other organizations and “do their own thing” without joint efforts for effective information service delivery in the communities. The importance of collaboration and partnership has removed the notion of “stiff necked professionals” to create spaces for reshaping and reinvigorating roles of the libraries beyond their physical space and immediate users. It is to enable libraries become more interactive, augmenting realities with new layers of information and content in emerging information societies. Thus, aligning with the community based organizations not only gives visibility to library and information centers but opens avenues on knowledge management, civic engagements, governance and budget documents, holistic empowerment and sustainable development activities. The rich cultural and human resources in the communities add value for total quality services which libraries aim to achieve. The question is, are libraries willing to embark on this platform? This paper is a report of the collaborative work of an information center with various community based organizations (CBOs) to fast track the implementation of knowledge and innovative strategies for sustainable development in 32 rural communities of Anambra State, South East of Nigeria. It also explored the use of invited spaces created for integration of libraries and implications of “standing alone” in today’s collaborative exigencies. The study is both qualitative and quantitative which involved group discussion, brainstorming, community groups, NGO officials and librarians. Interviews and questionnaire were also used in data collection. This library and information service delivery activities were carried out from May, 2014 to December, 2015 under the Voice to the Peoples Project (V2P) that initiated the CBO as a powerful collaborative platform in delivering literacy services and local knowledge to communities. This study brings to the fore unique partnerships and networking opportunities that could bring libraries “out from the closet” in achieving the sustainable development goals. The “stand alone” libraries have detrimental effects on professional and personal development of their staff as they impact on efficient information service delivery.

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