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Learning in African public libraries_INELI-SSAf projects in perspective_CHIJIOKE.pdf (735.07 kB)

Learning in African public libraries: INELI-SSAf projects in perspective

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-12-23, 12:21 authored by Chidumebi Okwuoma Chijioke, Folasade Adepoju, Alice Musonda Mwape

Public libraries are centers for development and lifelong learning for members of communities wherever they are established. The level of development in communities may be in correlation to the level of sophistication of the public libraries available. The digital age triggered the need for African public libraries to embrace changes in service provision. This also brought about the need for an operational shift in order to make more impact and not lose relevance. Innovation was the only rescue. The need to create new ways of rendering service in African public libraries so as to fit into the digital age cannot be overemphasized. Public librarians as would-be drivers of these innovations needed to be reoriented through adequate and dynamic capacity building. African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) took up this onerous task by creating the platform for International Network for Emerging Library Innovators Sub-Saharan Africa (INELI SSAf). Two cohorts of innovators pooled from public libraries across African countries have graduated from this training programme anchored by AfLIA. INELI is a global initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to groom young library leaders to connect, learn and explore ideas and opportunities. The innovators were exposed to dynamic training modules that inculcated in them effective librarianship in the digital age. Consequently, innovations have continued to spring up across African public libraries. Informed users are constantly emerging from learning creative lifestyle through these programmes. The objectives of this paper are to examine the content of the Moodle learning platform of INELI-SSAf, to identify the community projects carried out by different innovators and evaluate the impact of the innovations on the communities. This was an evidence based research. Results indicated that the innovators learned new ways of creating innovations in libraries, various projects were carried out by the innovators, and the impact has been positive on the library user communities across Africa. Recommendation include that more public librarians should be given this opportunity to learn.

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