The Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) 46th conference in Kadoma seem to have rekindled the reestablishment of Branches across the nation as it seek to revitalize the strength and vitality of its activities in Zimbabwe.
Regarded as the prime leader in bringing together information professionals from all types and forms of libraries, documentation centre, records centres in Zimbabwe, ZimLA suffered a natural death in the mid of the past decade due to a myriad of challenges. It was not of anyone’s making but the entire nation was facing a mammoth task to stabilize with a runaway inflation way above 100 percent, massive currency devaluation, food shortage and a massive fuel crisise and information service providers in Zimbabwe.. All these ills had a negative impact on ZimLA activities as other professionals were also facing daunting task to operate as well as giant companies with some closing shop.
The biggest disappointment is the non membership being experienced at ZimLA which pose a great threat to the office bearers who are planning to restore ZimLA pride. Membership is the critical resource in a professional association and as we slowly move out of hard times ZimLA membership is anticipated to grow through resuscitation of Branches structures that are instrumental in reaching out to all the people. The recent efforts are positive expression from the entire library fraternity eager to see ZimLA back on its feet as a giant professional association. A number of library associations in Africa faced similar challenges resulting in non functionality to the disgruntlement of librarians who require professional development and skills improvement programmes that are run by library association.
ZimLA Branches in Mashonaland, Matebeleland, Masvingo and Manicaland managed to put structures in place to spearhead the revival process at the branch level. This is a positive move that require librarians to join hands to put ZimLA on the map in tandem with other library association in Southern Africa for instance, Library association of South Africa (LIASA) and Botswana Library Association (BLA). They have made strides to improve the position of library association due to membership and activity support. Once the ground work has been done – preparing of strategic plans e.t.c – ZimLA has potential to be the best library association ever considering the energy and ability with the librarians. The setting up of branches will ensure smooth communication and networking which are key components to success and teamwork.
Among other things that lead to a successful revival of ZimLA is the participation of members. It is important to note that the success of professional association depend on full support from members both in attending meeting, events and payment of membership subscriptions. What was witnessed in Kadoma reveal the potential in ZimLA and the positive attitude carried by the 46th conference participants expressed the needed for support to make ZimLA a giant again.
As ZimLA start to paint the bigger picture be part of that picture in every right that concern your profession.