Lubuto Library Project Newsletter -- July 2014
Lubuto collection research, Indiegogo campaign results, In Memoriam
Lubuto Library Project
Newsletter #46 - July 2014
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Lubuto Library Project
Lubuto collection research
Lubuto Library collections provide users with a wide range of knowledge and concepts through informational books and an appreciation of human themes through fiction. Our collection development model is important for other libraries in Africa due to the heavy dependence on book donation programs. These programs have lead stakeholders and even librarians to think of book collections in terms of quantities of books, rather than a collection being a unified and balanced unit. Prof. Genevieve Hart of the University of the Western Cape's LIS Department, and member of Lubuto's Collection and Programs Advisory Council, has noted that many African libraries "receive" whole collections from benefactors, leaving little room for collection building on the ground. Yet, she says, "developing dynamic collections that respond to the interests and needs of a library’s community is one of the core tenets of librarianship."

With funding from the U.K. foundation Comic Relief through the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa, we are currently carrying out research on our library collections that will empower Lubuto Library staff to actively manage library collections to make them responsive to changing community needs. The research team is evaluating how the collection is used and perceived through interviews with library visitors, providing much needed insight into changes that are needed in Lubuto Library collections as our organization expands. The research project will also better define a core collection for African children and youth that can guide collection development throughout the continent and strengthen the case for increased investment in the quality and impact of youth library services.
Elizabeth Giles looks at our library users
The Principal Investigator for the collection research project is Elizabeth Giles, a current Master of Library and Information Science student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a former Program Associate at Lubuto. She hit the ground running at the end of June, already familiar with much of our staff and our libraries through her work with us in Washington. The research team also includes Lisa Scudera, Library Director and Department Chair of the Ramaz Upper School in New York, and Professor Hart, who is providing research and methodological guidance from South Africa. Elizabeth has made some apt observations on how children in the libraries interact with the collection. Please take a moment to read her recent blog post on how reading at Lubuto Libraries is a much more social activity than it was at her local public library in North America. Lubuto Advisory Board member Prof. Peter Lor noted that it "raises interesting questions on how we deal with different cultural groups in the more conventional western-style public libraries. It's also a good corrective to the myth that Africans don't read."
Indiegogo campaign results
Last week we concluded our Indiegogo campaign, "A Leader for African Libraries." A tremendous number of supporters and friends of Lubuto came together to raise $6,280 to help Thomas thrive at the University of Illinois this year. While we fell short of our goal, we are astounded by the outpouring of support from groups like the Special Libraries Association, the US Board on Books for Young People, and friends at Georgetown and Drexel Universities, all who worked to mobilize donors to give to our campaign. Lubuto will be making up the difference in the cost for Thomas to attend his Masters program from our general revenues, so we are grateful for all contributions that allow us to focus our unrestricted resources on our work in Zambia. And though the campaign is over, donations earmarked for Thomas' graduate education are still most welcome.
In Memoriam: Maurice Chimfwembe Lundu
We mourn the recent passing of our old friend and colleague Prof. Maurice Lundu. Jane first met Maurice at a conference in Botswana in 1986 and was inspired by his dedication to an African approach to librarianship. He joined us in Cape Town in 2004 as we formed Lubuto and he embraced our vision for Zambia's children to the end.
Volunteer of the Month
Volunteer of the Month
Our July Volunteer of the Month is Sarah Bauman! Sarah has worked on our site since 2011.
Learn More
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