Lubuto Library systems are designed to leverage professionally trained librarians to support the nonprofessional staff. Lubuto’s training model includes long-term in-service training of library staff by experienced library managers and short-term specialized training in library services, program facilitation, and outreach to vulnerable groups. Both by modeling high-quality library services to children and youth and by directly teaching them (at, e.g., the University of Zambia), Lubuto aims to raise the quality of education in schools, libraries and households, as well as to highly vulnerable populations.
Library staff are trained in children’s and teen library services such as outreach, storytelling and book-based literacy programs, digital literacy instruction, collection development, and coordinating programs and services. Lubuto provides and trains staff in systems to collect data on library use and impact, compiles data on users and the collections and provides ongoing professional guidance to the library programs, as well as new programs and materials for the book collections.
Librarianship for children and youth in Africa requires efforts going far beyond traditional collection development and the acquisition of print and digital resources. In Zambia, Lubuto found demand for the full range of activities that libraries throughout the world undertake: active involvement with preservation; programming that supports leadership development, health, and gender equity; technological innovation for teaching children to read in their mother tongues; advocating for free internet access in public libraries; creating context-appropriate information literacy programming; and, most of all, for education and training of specialist librarians.