06 Oct 2013 06:40
WINDHOEK, 06 OCT (NAMPA) The Namibia Library Symposium, which will bring together 300 librarians and a number of professionals with expertise in the management of libraries, starts in Windhoek on Monday.
The three-day symposium will provide a common platform for the participants to share experiences and encourage the discussion of new ideas in connection with the development of libraries.
Speaking at a media conference here on Sunday morning, Ellen Namhila, the Chairperson of the Namibia Library and Information Council said the meeting will feature plenary sessions where challenges, problems and other issues related to the running and development of libraries will be put on the table for discussion.
She said other topics such as the building of strong knowledge societies through libraries, libraries supporting national development plans, the creation of awareness on the importance of libraries, as well as libraries in support of education and knowledge creation, will also be discussed.
This meeting will take place at a time when numerous unsubstantiated reports and research suggest that Africa is predominantly a consumer of knowledge, and the continent rarely produces any. It is being held in the wake of these reports suggesting that the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa only contributes 0,7 per cent of the worlds knowledge. This meeting further takes place when a number of African authors papers to international journals are said to be rejected supposedly on account of it not being current, said Namhila.
She also told those in attendance Namibia's libraries need serious upgrading to meet the demands of an information society as envisioned in the Namibian development blueprint, Vision 2030.
The meeting presents a unique opportunity for Namibia and Africa to share its knowledge and experience with the rest of the world, Namhila indicated.
The meeting will amongst others be attended by the president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Finnish-born Sinika Sipila, as well as the two former presidents of the body - Botswana's Kay Raseroka and South Africa's Ellen Tise.
The participants are from host Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Finland, Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana, Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
The meeting is being hosted by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Namibia Library and Archives Services, the libraries of the University of Namibia and the Polytechnic of Namibia, and the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management.