The Zimbabwe Library Association

ZimLA 46th Conference and AGM – A Success

05 Jun 2012
Kadoma lib
Librarians who attended the ZimLA 46th Conference and AGM held in Kadoma recently.

The recently held Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) 46th Conference in Kadoma brought together librarians from all the corners of Zimbabwe and regional nations – South Africa and Malawi – was a success. The conference discussed several issues that are affecting librarians in the 21st century under the theme “Information professionals at the crossroads: an opportunity for change” with many papers challenging the librarian to reclaim the lost position in society through adopting emerging technologies as an enabler for improved visibility.
Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) representative – LIASA president, Naomi Haasbroek and Dr, R. Ragu hinted that librarians need to embrace technology for better serving the library patrons who have got better understanding of it. The library patrons are shifting from clients who understand the traditional concept of libraries to the more techie savvy users with a greater understanding of electronmic gadgets. That’s the librarians should shift focus from the traditional concept to the new model for library services.
Other issues that were discussed were the need for Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) to increase visibility through vitalizing membership and training programs. This would improve on relationships
with librarians and other library association’s i.e ALA, IFLA, LIASA, BLA among others. ZimLA therefore made recommendation to resuscitate Special Interest Groups and to start on a marketing drive to have as many registered librarians as possible to enable participation and support. ZimLA was also challenged to revise the association constitution, advocacy policy, book policy together with National Library and Documentation Services (NLDS) and to have a professional development plan for its members to be able to keep abreast of technological advancement and have the skills and competence to better serve in the 21st century as library users are changing focus – mainly the Google generation. The partnership with Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) will improve ZimLA position as it map a way forward after several years of a plethora of challenges that troubled the
association. A new council was elected to run the affairs of the association. The new ZimLA NEC has a number of issues that require immediate attention to make ZimLA a vivacious association. Among them is a nationwide membership drive to boost membership support and participation, revising the constitution, to work on a strategic plan and mobilize branches to work on their plans.The conference offered an opportunity for networking with other librarians from special librarians who showed interests in the Online training for their users. It also provided the opportunity to learn from others in various areas of the library including work plans, administration and performance.
 Kadoma indeed was an experience that bring together the who is who of librarianship in Zimbabwe to share knowledge and experience as well as best practice. It is anticipated that the 47th ZimLA conference shall be bigger, and better likely to attract more than 200 participants. See you at the 47th ZimLA conference.

The mission of ZimLA News is to keep Zimbabwe Librarians informed and also make international librarians aware that we continue our work despite the turbulent state of the economy. The current editor is Hosea Tokwe at Midlands State University:

Please send contributions to him at: hoseatokwe@yahoo.co.uk or hoseat35@gmail.com

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