Remarks by Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) President Velenasi Mwale Munsanje

June 8th, 2017 at lUBUTO mTHUNZI aMERICAN yOUTH lIBRARY opening

As the library profession in Zambia, we have an increasing understanding that education is a life-long pursuit for all our young people. To prepare our young people to meet future challenges, our children and youth need systematically packaged information that is important for their survival.

For us as a profession, this opening of Mthunzi library is happening this week that we, in Zambia, are celebrating the National Library Week under the theme “Libraries as anchors to development in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals”. We all know that literacy is a driver for sustainable development, be it economic, social, environmental or governance. Access to and participation in literacy programs is key. One thing we are certain and proud of is that our longtime partner, Lubuto Library Partners pays so much attention to literacy in their programming. As we celebrate National Library Week, we celebrate the opening of Mthunzi Library. We are delighted because we know that our profession is celebrating a huge achievement in increasing the number of institutions dedicated to providing not only information but literacy programmes that have a huge impact on sustaining our development in Zambia.

LIAZ pledges to continue working and partnering with organizations like Lubuto Library Partners because they are passionate about promoting reading and conducting effective literacy programmes to our children, most especially the vulnerable ones.

Let me end by sharing these two quotes by the immediate past President of the United States of America, Barack Obama:

          "Literacy is the most basic currency of the knowledge economy."

To Lubuto Library Partners, let me encourage you on this tremendous job you have done of building this library by echoing what Carlos Maria Dominguez said:

           “To build a library is to create a life. It is never just a random collection of books.”

As librarians in Zambia, we have all the confidence in Lubuto programmes and are happy to be part of this occasion.