Importance of Lubuto Volunteers

Volunteer Emily Purcell doing research for Lubuto Collections

Volunteer Emily Purcell doing research for Lubuto Collections

The functioning of Lubuto would not be possible without assistance from our volunteers, who bring their own expertise, strengths and enthusiasm—and greatly add to the diversity and depth of our work.

Lubuto has recently initiated several exciting projects that have been ably carried out by professional volunteers. 

Lubuto Special Collections

Robin Taylor, a Library & Information Science (MLIS) Masters student at San José State University with extensive experience in Africa, served as a Lubuto intern during spring semester. Robin assisted Sarah Bauman in updating and maintaining our Lubuto Special Collections website. She archived electronic volumes on the website, and improved our metadata system. Her strong background in digital collections and conversions enabled her to add new fields of classification, which has resulted in a more robust and searchable collection.

Emily Purcell—an MLIS student at the University of Illinois specializing in Community Informatics—traveled to Zambia for three weeks to volunteer with Lubuto. She visited Lusaka and Southern Province and met with library officials at the University of Zambia and the Faith and Encounter Centre Zambia (FENZA) Library with Thomas. Following these meetings, she helped identify Zambian literature and formulate a plan to integrate these volumes into A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between Lubuto and UNZA outlining each party’s responsibilities in a forthcoming digitization project.

Lubuto rebranding and communications

Caitlin Raines started an internship with Lubuto in DC at the end of May. A Public Relations major at Pepperdine University, Caitlin is focusing on revamping our social media presence and communications materials. She has already created a new company LinkedIn page, and greatly increased the number of social media posts and followers. She is also working on devising a framework for Lubuto social media management and analytics that will allow us to continue to cultivate strong and meaningful relationships with friends, supporters and stakeholders. Caitlin has been key in helping to develop an engaging new website.

Monitoring and evaluation

Dr. Lori Gardinier—Director of the Human Services program at Northeastern University—will lead a group of Northeastern students to Zambia, where they aim to help Lubuto improve monitoring and evaluation data collection. It has always been our goal to improve and grow our monitoring and evaluation system, but at the same time to continue to allow library staff to focus on youth services. After learning more about Lubuto operations and services from library staff, they will try to identify new ways in which participation and impact can be captured and communicated, and, most importantly, help our host organizations better understand how their library helps them reach their objectives. Several students will work at Fountain of Hope and Ngwerere Libraries from July 13 through August 7.