Issue #: 
May 8, 2013

In this issue of The Soul Beat:

  • REPORTS AND ARTICLES on the role of libraries for development...
  • LIBRARY PROJECTS for health and heritage preservation...
  • RESOURCES - journals and guides for library and information science professionals...
  • Upcoming EVENTS looking at the role of libraries in Africa...

This issue of The Soul Beat e-newsletter looks at the role that libraries can play to promote development in Africa. The issue includes a selection of reports and articles, programme experiences, resources, and events that highlight how libraries are contributing to health, education, community empowerment, and economic development. 
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1. Libraries Powering Development: How Public Libraries Contribute Towards Reaching the Millennium Development Goal (Sept, 2012)
Libraries around the world are helping to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to this report published by Beyond Access. As the world works to achieve the United Nations' MDGS, access to information must be a priority for all development initiatives. In the 21st century, information is a powerful development tool that supports communities in a variety of ways. This report proposes that while libraries face constrained budgets, they offer a proven, existing, and sustainable venue that delivers results.

2. Six-Country Africa Library Perception Study (Jul, 2011)
This study aims to inform the Electronic Information for Libraries Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) by deepening understanding of the status and role of public libraries in Africa, and of the vision, aspirations, and expectations of the general public (library users and non-users), librarians, and national and local government officials. Commissioned by EIFL, the study took place in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe from December 2010 to July 2011.

3. Public Libraries: An Underused Resource for Development (Aug, 2013)
By Jean Fairbairn
In this opinion piece, Jean Fairbairn argues that there is untapped potential on the part of the 230,000 public libraries in developing countries to reach people with vital information, often derived from scientific research, in areas such as agriculture, health, employment, and poverty reduction - in addition to education. She notes that these places are known and trusted in their communities, staffed by trained librarians, and increasingly connected to the internet. Through the examples provided here, Fairbairn aims to highlight for policymakers the potential that libraries have for science communication.




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4. Technology for Maternal Health Project - Ghana
Launched in 2012, the Technology for Maternal Health Project in Ghana sends SMS messages with health information to the mobile phones of pregnant women. Launched by the Northern Regional Library, in partnership with the local development agency Savana Signatures, the project also includes the development of the library's health corner and training of health workers to use computers to conduct research.

5. Ulwazi Programme - South Africa
The Ulwazi Programme is a South African online media project established in 2010, which is collecting and disseminating local knowledge in English and Zulu. It is run from the eThekwini Municipality's Libraries and Heritage Department in Durban, South Africa, in partnership with McNulty Consulting and the Goethe Institute. The vision of the programme is not only to preserve and disseminate local Zulu knowledge, but to encourage local communities to take ownership of the website and to become actively involved in the developing of a resource of local knowledge.

6. Humanye Obulamu Project (HOP) - Uganda
The Humanye Obulamu Project, run by the Busolwe Public Library in Butaleja District in Eastern Uganda, combines traditional library services with information and communication technology (ICT) and drama to provide health information to library users. The project uses internet, video, CDs, books, lectures, and drama to spread health messages in the local Lunyole language and English.

7. Kitengesa Community Library Social Inclusion Programme - Uganda
In June 2012, the Kitengesa Community Library launched an initiative designed to counter isolation of deaf children in its community. The library partnered with the Good Samaritan School for the Deaf, providing boarding and day students from the school with lessons in computer use and English language, as well as an opportunity to interact with their hearing peers. Through Skype, the learners are also communicating with volunteers overseas.

8. Access to Government Public Information through Community Libraries - Namibia
This project is being implemented by the National Archives of Namibia under its mandate to preserve all government publications, in collaboration with the Namibia Library and Information Council (NLIC), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The project works to improve free and easy access to government information through public libraries in order to promote transparency of governance, the promotion of democratic ideals, and general social welfare.

9. Kenya National Library Service’s E-health Corners - Kenya
In May 2010, the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS) set up e-health corners, dedicated spaces where health workers can use the internet to access online health resources, in two libraries in the rural towns of Kisumu and Eldoret. The project is a combination of technology and capacity building, which includes training for health workers, students, and members of the public.

10. Lubuto Library Project - Zambia
The Lubuto Library Project, Inc. (LLP) is a development organisation that builds the capacity of public libraries to create opportunities for equitable education and poverty reduction. Its mission is to enrich the lives of street children, orphans, and other vulnerable and out-of-school youth in sub-Saharan Africa. Lubuto constructs indigenously-styled open-access libraries stocked with comprehensive collections of books and appropriate technology. These libraries serve as safe havens and are the center for Lubuto's programmes, which offer education, psychosocial support and self-expression through reading, music, art, drama, computers, mentoring, and other activities.



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11. South African Journal of Libraries & Information Science
This journal presents research information on practices and issues related to the institution and implementation of libraries and information science (LIS) in South Africa. The journal is published twice a year by the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), who advocate and support the provision of library and information services that aspire to equitable access to information for communities (literate and illiterate) in South Africa.

12. Finding, Organizing, and Using Health Information: A Training Manual for Students, Researchers and Health Workers In Africa (2011)
By Grace Ada Ajuwon, Abdulrahmane Anne, Thembani Malapela, Christine Wamunyima  Kanyengo, Nancy Kamau, Sara Mbaga, Cristina Horta, and Agnes Chikonzo
Developed by the Network of Africa Medical Librarians and Deans, this information literacy training manual is designed to help librarians/information professionals, students, researchers, and health care providers in Africa to find, manage, and use health information. The manual is the result of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) commitment to expanding the leadership of African librarians who have received training as NLM Associate Fellows, and is intended to guide facilitators to develop a related training course.

13. Overview of Information Literacy Resources Worldwide (Feb, 2013)
By Forest Woody Horton, Jr
According to UNESCO, although the Information Literacy (IL) concept has been studied and promoted in various countries, resources and information on the basic concept, as well as its practice, have been spread and scattered widely from many different types of sources and in many different formats, applications, and languages. In order to provide inclusive and multilingual IL resources for library and information science (LIS) professionals, teachers, researchers, and students, among others, this publication brings together IL contributions in 42 languages from different geographic regions around the world.

14. Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Teachers (2011)
Edited by Alton Grizzle and Carolyn Wilson
Written by Ramon Tuazon, Kwame Akyempong, and Chi-Kim Cheung
Published by UNESCO, this model Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Curriculum and Competency framework for teachers is intended to provide teacher education systems in developed and developing countries with a framework to construct a programme for turning out teachers who are media and information literate.




15. African Library Summit 2013 (Jul 2-5 2013) Pretoria, South Africa
This second African Library Summit is organised to create an opportunity for established leaders to engage on significant issues in support of quality library and information services and librarianship on the African continent. Hosted by the Unisa Library, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Regional Office for Africa, and the IFLA Africa Section, discussions will centre on the leadership of library and information services in the 21st century, as the dynamic digital context in which libraries currently operate demands highly strategic leadership.

16. 15th LIASA Annual Conference (Oct 8-11 2013) Cape Town, South Africa
The 15th Libraries in Dialogue for Transformation and Innovation (LIASA) conference is intended to provide opportunities to debate, share, and learn from local and international professional colleagues and partners, about the dynamic and pro-active role for librarians in the workplace and the community. This conference will enable participants to rethink their user services, share their experiences and best practices, showcase how participants and their library are agents of change for social development, enable participants to learn from librarians who take the lead in scholarly communication, and empower participants to become a library advocate and lobbyist.




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