Tag Archives: Uganda

Re-skilling librarians in an age of rapid technological development
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Agnes Kanzira Namaganda is an Academic Librarian, Information Literacy Instructor, and Head of Book Bank/Acquisitions Section at Makerere University Library, Uganda. She has been supported by INASP through a 2015 Leadership Grant , and here she reflects on some of the library skills supported through INASP grants and activities. Agnes blogs regularly at LATINA IN Africa. Changing technologies, changing libraries Global competition, new ICT and the demand for accountability have created major shifts in terms of collection development (from paper to electronic) and ways in which we, as librarians, organize our work. Librarians need to rethink ways of providing educational resources to support teaching, learning and research. This calls for a wide set of skills, attributes, and attitudes in order to serve diverse communities and adapt to the constantly evolving information landscape. There is need for continuous professional development, the creation of partnerships with faculty and active engagement in research … Continue reading

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“Digital development” – the last 100 metres
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Tech-solutionism is fairly common in the development sector; we regularly hear that a new widget or (increasingly) the latest app is going to transform some aspect of service delivery or save innumerable hours of time. The same thinking has swamped much discussion on higher education (HE) in the last few years, an issue typified by recent talk about MOOCs. And, as the development sector looks increasingly at the role that higher education has to play in transforming societies and economies, the streams run together. Of course technology plays and has played a vital role in development – in medicine or agriculture for example – and technology and online learning offer huge possibilities for HE. But sometimes it feels like we’re caught in our own hype. Undoubtedly, better broadband connectivity, greater mobile penetration, more students with smartphones and laptops – these are all changing the possibilities for learning, and for the way universities … Continue reading

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Library consortia sharing expertise: A small meeting tackling important issues in Addis Ababa
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Addis Ababa is used to hosting big and important meetings. The African Union and UNECA are both based here. A few weeks ago the UN Financing for Development conference brought several thousand visitors to Addis Ababa. And on Sunday evening President Obama flew in from Kenya. But this week Addis is also playing host to a smaller, quieter event – but an important one nevertheless. Seven library consortia have come together in Addis, hosted by the Consortium for Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL) and facilitated by INASP, to spend five days sharing ideas, learning, and collectively identifying solutions to some of the many challenges they share. But library consortia aren’t just clubs or networks of libraries: they play a key role in enabling a strong and effective research and knowledge system. By enabling their member institutions to collectively purchase online journals and books, consortia are making a critical contribution … Continue reading

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What caught our eye last week
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An interesting article on the BBC news looks at how some entrepreneurs from East Africa are using mobile apps as loyalty cards that are easily tied to social media and require only a standard text to use – no smartphone necessary!  See ‘Kenyan and Ugandan start-ups make location pay its way’ (Fiona Graham, BBC). Caroline Wagner (SciDev.Net) looks at the challenge of making the outcomes of scientific research (especially publications) available to all potential users. See ‘Uncovering the world’s ‘unseen’ science’. ‘“Developing” countries arrested development’ (Hector Torres, Project Syndicate)  is a somewhat controversial article on the possibility of revising the group of countries defined as “emerging” and subject to a less restricted regime by the WTO. As a similar point of interest, our own Rebecca Bailey recently posted ‘How do you measure development?’, which questions whether HDI and GNI are good indicators of a country’s development. Finally, Simon McGrath wrote … Continue reading

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