Located south of the Equator, this landlocked country is positioned in southern Africa, and bordered by the countries of Angola, Botswana, D.R.C., Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe • Population of just above 10million of which 1/5 live in Lusaka • Known for the worlds largest waterfall, Victoria falls, locally known as the Musi-oa-tunya.
THE ACADEMIC LIBRARIAN IN A DEVELOPING SOCIETY: challenges and prospects of retooling academic libraries Mutinta Mweemba Nabuyanda, Librarian National Institute of Public Administration, Zambia
INTRODUCTION • This paper highlights the challenges encountered by academic librarians in developing countries, in this case Zambia, in their endeavour to implement change management in the provision of efficient and effective information systems to their clients.
A sample of four academic libraries, namely, the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA), Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Sciences, the University of Zambia (UNZA) library, and the Zambia Institute of Accountancy Studies (ZCAS). • These libraries present a 66.6% of the total membership of academic libraries in the Zambia Library Consortium (ZALICO).
CHALLENGES • Poor and inadequate Infrastructure -Old dilapidated infrastructure (libraries built in the 1960s) -Limited space for expansion ( even with the increase in enrolments) -Limited number of users at any given time, e.g. NIPA built to cater for 80 but currently 1, 236 users, Evelyn Hone built to cater for 150 but currently has 1,763 users -Low funding levels
2. Poor reading Culture -Inability to purchase books -Reading to pass examinations only and not for enjoyment. - Introduction of alternative entertainment, for example, Television, video games and cinemas
3. Poor conditions of service -Low salary scales for librarians compared to other professionals -lowly placed in organisational structures -Working long hours without good incentives -High workload -lack of opportunity for advancement
4. Low qualifications of library staff -Under utilization of e-resources -Poor service delivery -unable to cope with major responsibilities
5. Poor Funding -Low provision for purchasing new books -low provision for infrastructure rehabilitation -Economic challenges of the third world a. Implications of exchange rates ( dollarisation of world economy and fluctuations in the exchange rates) - limited modern equipment
-Reasons for poor funding -lack of government support -different priorities set by parent institutions. -limited sources of funding
Traditional -conventional ‘book only’ materials -reading area only -hard copies only -manual catalogue systems Modern -e-resources -research facilities -soft and hard copies -automated catalogue systems TRADITIONAL OR MODERN?
Change management -challenges of getting new ideas implemented and appreciated. -implemented through education and communication -advantages of Information Communication Technology (ICT) need to be explained - undertake Orientation programmes
-selective dissemination of information (SDI) for e-resources through e-journal alerts -registration of internet protocol (IP) addresses for the whole institute -constant touch with academia and students to get feedback
PROSPECTS • Infrastructure Improvement -expanding and building of new infrastructure -widening bandwidth for efficient delivery of information -research can be carried out in the offices and laboratories without having to physically visit the library -Political will through the introduction of ICT national policy
2. Training of librarians -training in modern information management systems -deliberate training policies for staff whenever a need is observed -provision of post-graduate and Masters levels within the country -Introduction of need-based training -upgrading of services -Establishing and maintaining professional bodies to monitor quality of training (locally/international)
3. Funding -lobby for higher budget allocations -Taking advantage of availability of low-cost editions of books -lobby for assistance from cooperating partners through the government. -lobby for government subsidies -Introducing and providing chargeable services
4. Networking -Institutional co-operation (locally) -Formation of Zambia Library Consortium (ZALICO) -resource sharing (INASP-PERI) programme in subscription for e-resources
Institutional co-operation (International) -Webster University and NIPA -Evelyn Hone College and Irish Government -ZCAS and Irish government/European Union
CONCLUSION • With the introduction of new technological changes, it is imperative that the academic librarian in the third world is empowered to provide services which will help develop not only the intellectual capabilities of the academia and students but also contribute positively to research issues touching on the very existence of our economies. Only then will the contribution of the academic librarian be looked at positively as it will help foster economic development of the country.