Technology, African Libraries and Meeting the Development Agenda

Justine Withers, Gleeson Library Electronic and Continuing Resources Catalog Librarian, attended the 4th African Library Summit and 2nd AfLIA Conference. It was held in Yaounde, Cameroon, May 16th-19th, 2017.

AfLIA stands for African Library and Information Associations and Institutions. From the website: AfLIA is an independent international not-for-profit organization which pursues the interests of library and information associations, library and information services, librarians and information workers and the communities they serve in Africa. More details here.

The theme of this year’s conference was, “Libraries in the Development Agenda: Repositioning African Libraries to deliver on the Future We Want.”

According to Justine, “Much of the discussion revolved around the inseparable relationship between access to information and meeting the goals set forth in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I attended the conference in order to learn how I could assist some local libraries in Cameroon and how they handle the technical challenges of electronic resources. I learned the importance of meeting users where they are — including the technology they have access to and actual geographic location — and supporting local resources as much as possible. I will be thinking about how our own researchers access the library catalog as I make our resources visible.”

If you’d like more information about the conference, the program is downloadable in .pdf format here.

Yaounde restaurant