Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Executive Director of Library Services at Unisa, motivating academic librarians to partake in technology training to be able to face challenges of the 21st century.
Addressing fellow librarians on the importance of libraries and the work that they do, Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Executive Director of Library Services at the University of South Africa, attended a motivational dinner held for academic librarians as guest speaker at the Protea Hotel Manor in Pretoria on Friday, 20 March 2015.
Delegates from around Africa have had the privilege of attending the Professional Development Programme for the Next Generation African Library and Information Professionals
over the course of four weeks during February and March.
Presented by Continuing Education at University of Pretoria Trust (CE at UP) and the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria (UP), 32 delegates are funded through the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Centre for African Library Leadership (UP) to attend this flagship, in-service training programme for qualified academic librarians. "It is my desire that every young librarian will experience what we have experienced here."
Kingsley Egbukole, Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Nigeria
The programme equips delegates with necessary skills to make their work more efficient and focuses on practical, hands-on training in information and communications technology. Dr Mbambo-Thata encouraged librarians on the night to be proud of the work they are doing, noting that, "Being a librarian is 'clean', it's who you are; it's what you do."
"This programme is of critical importance. It is one of the few on the continent - and there are very few
of them!" she added. "It is the only one that focuses on technology and gives librarians the skills to work in the 21st century."
Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata with Dr Marlene Holmner, course presenter and senior lecturer in the Department of Information Science (UP).
"Beyond expectations", "enriching" and "challenging" were also some of the words used by delegates to describe what they have experienced on the programme.
Zizipho Madibi, Metadata Librarian at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, noted that the programme is important for all librarians. "It is an eye-opener, and a great opportunity. It is what we need as librarians and it will take us to great heights. It will help deal with a lot of challenges librarians are facing."
International delegate, Kingsley Egbukole, User Services Librarian at the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) in Nigeria, said that the programme is very relevant and worth every librarian's time, seeing that he had travelled here for the first time.
"The programme is highly enriching and far beyond what I expected. We have been given knowledge that we will use to impact our universities back home."
Egbukole added that he recommends that every librarian should take part in the programme. He also encourages those who have been part of it to share their knowledge with young, upcoming library professionals.
*****The first intake for the Professional Development Programme for the Next Generation Africa Library and Information Professionals for 2015 took place between 28 February and 28 March 2015 at the University of Pretoria. The programme is expected to have more intakes during the rest of the year.
Delegates who attended the Professional Development Programme for the Next Generation African Library and Information Professionals during the first quarter of 2015.