The engagement of communities in the provision of library services: the case of public libraries in Zambia

MUNSANJE, Velenasi Mwale and HAGWELELE, Allan (2018) The engagement of communities in the provision of library services: the case of public libraries in Zambia. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 137 - Africa.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2236
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

The engagement of communities in the provision of library services: the case of public libraries in Zambia

Public libraries, by nature of their functions, play a key role in national development. This is regardless of the ministries or organizations they are affiliated to. In order to remain relevant, public libraries must ensure that they are responsive to the needs of their communities. No library is an island, and because of this, libraries must ensure that they work in collaboration with communities and other partners to remain relevant institutions. With a population of over 15,000,000 people, and with a limited number of public libraries in Zambia, there is urgent need to ensure that the limited public libraries ensure that they provide services that will have a positive impact on the communities they serve. For libraries to stand the taste of time and develop sustainable programmes, it is imperative that the community and other stakeholders are adequately engaged at various levels. Public libraries in Zambia, have in the recent past strived to remain relevant in this fast changing world. The objectives of this study included: determining the extent to which public libraries in Zambia were striving to transform themselves in keeping pace with the changing economic, social, and technological aspects; exploring the ways in which public libraries in Zambia were engaging their communities with the aim of providing relevant library services. The study will further looked at how public libraries had collaborated with other partners to ensure that the library services provided improved the well-being of the communities they served. This study involved all public libraries in Zambia. In addition, the study used both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Questionnaires and follow up interviews were administered to librarians in charge of these public libraries.

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