First Annual Lubuto Librarian Training Workshop

Week of 20 March, 2017, Mumuni Library, Nabukuyu

Lubuto and the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) coordinated a workshop on children's library services at Mumuni Library for Zambian librarians. This was the first time that council and provincial librarians in Zambia have ever been invited to a joint workshop—many met each other for the first time!

Government also had a strong presence at the workshop. Director of Teacher Education and Specialized Services Mr. Kamutumwa and Chief Librarian of the Zambia Library Service Robinson Bwato were both in attendance.

This training was an eye-opener for me as I come from libraries which are struggling in terms of funds. I also learned that there are so many areas of service delivery you can improve with very little money.
Workshop participant

Holding the training at Mumuni showcased some of the unique features of our first rural library. Most participants had never been to a training at a similar type of location. They particularly enjoyed the hands-on nature of the event. The participants were even able to put what they learned into practice immediately—working directly with the children of Mumuni Library.

Velenasi Munsanje, President of LIAZ, delivered a speech declaring that librarians as part of the public service profession should be immersed in a community setting for training.

People noted how unique and beneficial it was to have facilitators from many institutions discussing different ideas. Some facilitators and training workshops included:

  • Mr. Cornwell Hademu (Executive Director, Brethren in Christ Church Choma Children Development Project): co-facilitated a session on outreach using community mapping as a way to plan outreach and programming

  • Velenasi Munsanje (President, LIAZ): presented on strategies on improving service delivery

  • Kalaba Mweni (Initiative Young African Library Innovators (IYALI)): presented on innovation in public libraries

  • Dr. Akakandelwa Akakandelwa (LIS Lecturer, University of Zambia): presented on public library services for children and youth with disabilities

  • Dr. Godfrey Miti (Lecturer, National Institute on Public Administration): presented on customer service in public libraries

  • Elizabeth Giles (Director of Library Services, Lubuto): presented on early literacy, children’s literature, program development for children and youth and collection development for children and youth

  • Kasonde Mukonde (Country Director, Lubuto): presented on reference services for children and youth

  • Namukaba Hichilo (Volunteer, Lubuto): facilitated an all-day session on digital literacy

  • Given Besa and Tukiya Mbewe (Librarians, Lubuto): presented on library outreach

I would like to change the provision of library services from the traditional way to a more interesting service that will meet the needs of all the members of the community I am serving.
Workshop participant

A popular challenge of the workshop was to come up with a new program focused on children and youth that they can introduce for free at their libraries over the next three months. Everyone submitted forms and they will provide updates on the programs, which will be presented at LIAZ's annual meeting. Some ideas included: introducing mentoring sessions, music and arts programs, programs on computer basics, drama programs, book talks about children’s literature, early literacy programming, outreach and literacy programs for young people.