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The future of libraries in Africa - The New African Librarian: Perspectives from the Continent

The New African LibrarianUnisa Press presents The New African Librarian: Perspectives from the Continent edited by Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Jenny Raubenheimer and Gerhard van der Linde:

This book grew out of the African Library Summit, the first event of its kind, held in South Africa from 11 to 13 May 2011, and co-hosted by the Library of the University of South Africa, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Africa Section and the IFLA Regional Office for Africa. The purpose of the Summit was to bring together African library leaders to reflect on the roles of African libraries and librarianship in the production of knowledge and the dissemination of African research, with an obligation to develop libraries in the country of origin. Delegates from 24 African countries participated in the Summit, together with delegates from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Based on the proceedings of the first Summit, the papers have been reviewed by the editors for publication and were subjected to a peer review process. The contents cover current trends in librarianship, regional and country overviews, knowledge management, the role of library associations in the development and training of 21st century library and information professionals, and much more. The outcomes, accepted resolutions and the statement of commitment signed by the participants of the Summit are provided, with an overview of the future of African librarianship. The fruitful discussions on all these topics led to one inevitable question: what does it mean to be a librarian on the African continent? The answers provided reveal the advent of the new African librarian, dedicated to a new collaborative vision, with a commitment to quality, and confidence in the important role libraries have to play in the present and future of the continent. This book represents the arrival of an exciting phase in the history and development of African librarianship and is essential reading for understanding the background to the changes we are seeing and those to come.

Table Contents

List of figures vii
List of tables viii
Foreword ix
Acknowledgements xi
About the editors xiii
About the authors xv
Introduction xxi

1 Perspectives from the continent Buhle Mbambo-Thata

2 Library and information services: Trends at the start of the 21st century Ellen R Tise and Reggie Raju

3 African library associations in the development of the 21st century information science profession Helena Asamoah-Hassan

4 African librarianship at the start of the 21st century: The current situation in West Africa Zakari Mohammed and Victoria Okojie

5 African librarianship at the beginning of the 21st century: The current situation in Southern Africa John Tsebe

6 Developing the infrastructure of digital libraries in North African Countries Region: A case study of Egypt Shawky Salem

7 African digital libraries in the 21st century: Overview and strategic issues Felix N Ubogu and Michele Pickover

8 Understanding the past and the present to map out the future for the African academic library: The digital library approach Benedict A Oladele

9 Academic libraries in sub-Saharan Africa: Present and future Maria GN Musoke

10 Open access interventions in Portuguese-speaking countries: The case of Mozambique Aissa Mitha Issak

11 Training library and information professionals in Africa: The current situation Mabel Minishi-Majanja

12 Equipping African library leaders for 21st century librarianship Agnes Chitsidzo Chikonzo

13 Whoever’s heard of libraries? Researching perceptions of public libraries in six African countries Monika Elbert, David Fuegi and Ugne Lipeikaite

14 New developments in information literacy in the tertiary education system: An overview Vicki Lawal, Peter G Underwood, Rosemary Kuhn and Christine Stilwell

15 Strategies towards a sustainable and innovative framework for knowledge management in the African context Rachel Prinsloo

16 The future of African librarianship

Annexure A: Notes on the future of African librarianship: Overview and review AL Dick
Annexure B: Resolutions accepted at the African Library Summit
Annexure C: Statement of commitment by delegates of the African Library Summit
Index

Book details

Special offer on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides

Struik Nature


 
The Struik Nature Club is running a special discount on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides until the end of June!

Save R50 on each book, plus free delivery in South Africa.

 

See the list of Struik Nature Pocket Guides here:

Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa by Steve Woodhall
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EAN: 9781920572471
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Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa by Charles Griffiths, Mike Picker
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EAN: 9781775841951
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Mammals of Southern Africa
Mammals of Southern Africa : Pocket Guide by Chris Stuart, Tilde Stuart
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EAN: 9781770078611
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Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa by Marieka Gryzenhout
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EAN: 9781770077560
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Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa by Bruce Cairncross
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EAN: 9781770074439
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Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch
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EAN: 9781775841647
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Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa by Piet van Wyk, Braam van Wyk
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EAN: 9781920572020
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Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair
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EAN: 9781770077690
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Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa by Braam van Wyk
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EAN: 9781775841661
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PE Book Launch: I'm the Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle HattinghFogarty’s and Modjaji Books invite you to the Port Elizabeth launch of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped, a memoir by Michelle Hattingh. The author comes from Port Elizabeth, so she is back in her home town talking about her incredibly courageous book.

“Compelling, clear and beautiful writing on such a necessary topic. She shatters rape myths on every page.” Jen Thorpe, gender activist and author of The Peculiars.

“Many people think middle class women are magically immune to rape or that if they are raped their easy access to the resources they need will be everything they need to recover completely. A book that discusses the cross cutting nature of the pain all women must feel when a man rapes them can only be welcomed in a time when communities across South Africa struggle with high rape rates.” Kathleen Dey of Rape Crisis

More about the book:
That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men’s perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she’ll never be herself again. She’s now “the girl who was raped.”

This book is Michelle’s fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It’s Michelle’s brave way of standing up for the women in South Africa who are raped every day.

About the author:

Michelle Hattingh was born in South Africa in 1988. She attended school in Port Elizabeth and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Stellenbosch University. She went on to do her Honours in Psychology at Cape Town University and now lives in Cape Town. Michelle works as senior online content producer at Marie Claire SA. Her work has been published in Elle SA, Marie Claire SA and Mail & Guardian. I’m the Girl Who Was Raped is her first book.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 12 May 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: GFI Gallery, 30 Park Drive, Central, Port Elizabeth
  • Guest Speaker: Emily Buchanan
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and snacks
  • RSVP: Fogarty’s, fogartys@global.co.za, 041 368 1425
    www.modjajibooks.co.za

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
Book Details

'A bit of bleeding but very little damage' - Johan Marais shares the story behind recent python photoshoot

python bite
Snakes and Snakebite in Southern AfricaSlange and Slangbyt in Suider-AfrikaA Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa'n Volledige Gids tot die Slange van Suider-Afrika

 
Johan Marais, internationally renowned herpetologist and author of Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa, has shared the story behind a recent photoshoot involving a python and a very bloody arm.

The shoot involved Shawn Hefer of the African Snakebite Institute being bitten “a few times” by a young python, resulting in “a bit of bleeding but very little damage”.

Have a look at the photographs, and check out the African Snakebite Institute on Facebook for more:

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There is a great deal of myth about pythons, especially with regards to attacks on people. Pythons in Africa do kill people, but rarely so.

There are as few as 3 proven cases where people were killed by pythons in Africa in the past 100 years+. Attacks by pythons are often reported, especially when one has been killed and appears on the front page of a newspaper. But these attacks are seldom true and there is a likelihood that the snakes are being killed for the muti market.

During a study on python behaviour at Kwalata Reserve, the members of the Alexander Lab at Wits had two or three python bites in the wild but the snakes immediately released after biting, as if they realised their mistake. The wounds were superficial. Pythons do have a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and have the ability to inflict very nasty bites, often resulting in stitches. The reason is that people pull the pythons off and the sharp teeth rip through skin.

I am busy with a program on pythons and we staged some photographs this morning where a young python latched onto Shawn Hefer’s arm a few times, causing quite a bit of bleeding but very little damage. Have a look at the photographs. Incidentally, the Southern African Python (Python natalensis) is projected in most provinces and is on the TOPS list but it is not an endangered species – in the Reptile Atlas it is listed as ‘least concerned’.

 
Related stories:

Book details

Give Allister and Stick a sporting chance

THE appointment of Allister Coetzee and Mzwandile Stick to the Springbok team represents an opportunity to align rugby with contemporary SA. Let’s not blow it.

Both bring considerable social and political capital. Each has proved himself to be a game-changer. At Western Province, Coetzee showed that you could field a team with eight or nine players of colour and still be the best in the country. In his eight years at the helm, he led the Stormers to the top of the South African conference three times, and won the Currie Cup twice.

Almost half the players in Stick’s Under-19 team, which went on to win the Under-19 Currie Cup, were black, most of them from the Eastern Cape.

Neither came from a culture that privileged whiteness, and they gave the lie to the prevailing wisdom in parts of South African rugby: that black players weaken a team and are the tax you pay to appease the politicians.

Stick grew up in a Port Elizabeth township with a mother who frequently struggled to put food on the table. He attended the local township school, and yet still managed to make it to the top, captaining the Sevens team that won the World Series title in 2008-09.

Coetzee grew up in Grahamstown. He has a vivid memory of watching white boys at nearby Kingswood College play rugby with the best equipment, while he had to walk to the much poorer coloured school down the road. His father died while he was very young and his mother struggled to provide for him and his three siblings.

 

 

ALTHOUGH a talented and ambitious scrumhalf, his race precluded him from playing for SA.

Stick and Coetzee reflect the tough life experiences common to the majority of South Africans, and their elevation to the upper echelons of the game must make it seem much more accessible than it has in the past.

Neither has a chip on the shoulder, or sees himself as a victim. Their victory against the odds they were born into shows character and emotional resilience.

These qualities came in handy when dealing with their respective managements.

Stick answered to the deeply dysfunctional Eastern Province Rugby Union, and Coetzee endured eight years of frequently erratic and interfering management under the Western Province Rugby Union.

But the pressures on the Springbok coach, in particular, are way more intense and, without proper support, Coetzee will struggle.

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) has done well to appoint Coetzee and Stick. But it now needs to prove that this is not window-dressing. It needs to give their new Bok coach all the resources he needs to succeed. Otherwise, his appointment will be seen to be a cynical one, setting him up to fail.

Similar privileges to those accorded to Heyneke Meyer would be a good start.

Saru forked out substantial sums at the start of Meyer’s tenure to enable him to bring his own management team from the Bulls. He was then allowed to add more coaches, such as breakdown specialist, Richie Gray.

As yet, Coetzee does not appear to be similarly indulged. There is no evidence that he has picked any members of the team announced on Tuesday.

Given that he has already been disadvantaged by being appointed three-and-a-half months late, Saru needs to do all it can to help him, otherwise it risks being accused of not giving the same opportunities to a black coach as it gave to a white, Afrikaans one.

The corporate world should come to the party: any new sponsorship deals should be predicated on better governance, which would include equal opportunity for all employees, regardless of colour.

There has been talk of the Super Rugby coaches forming a Bok “selection committee”. This must be rapidly scotched. Meyer fought for — and won — the right to have ultimate say over selection. Rightly, he argued that if he were to be held responsible for winning every game, he needed to be able to pick his team.

The Super Rugby franchises need to play their part and put petty provincial rivalry aside.

The initiative introduced in Meyer’s term of systematically resting key Springbok players during Super Rugby must be continued.

Super Rugby coaches should also give more players of colour some proper game time to increase the pool available to Coetzee.

Fans need to give the new coaching team the benefit of the doubt. A bit of generosity of spirit would go a long way. Fans, particularly those who flock to Ellis Park for the iconic All Black derbies, should learn the first verses of the national anthem so that we are no longer subjected to the dramatic amplification of sound when English and Afrikaans verses are sung. It’s not that difficult. Make an effort.

 

 

DESPITE the autumn chill in the air, there is a sense of spring-time, of new beginnings, about rugby. Unlike Meyer, who looked to seasoned troops right from the start of his campaign, Coetzee will have to start afresh. Most of last year’s team have either retired, are approaching retirement, or are playing abroad.

This should not be a problem for Coetzee, who has proved that he is happy to trust youngsters.

Stick is something of a specialist in turning rookies into stars, given his track record with the Eastern Province Under-19s.

Transformation, which is viewed as a burden by Meyer, will come naturally to Coetzee.

At the Stormers, Coetzee displayed the ability effortlessly to forge racially and culturally diverse teams. Boys of colour were given every opportunity, but so were white players. Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Eben Etzebeth flourished in his time, as did Siya Kolisi, Scarra Ntubeni, and Nizaam Carr.

There is a good chance that, with Coetzee and Stick at the helm, the sense of marginalisation that has plagued black Springboks will be a thing of the past. Under Meyer, Afrikaans was used for team talks, which was alienating for black players. The new Bok set-up hopefully will better reflect our diversity of languages.

Stick’s Under-19s also brought a vibrant culture from their Eastern Cape schools — with traditional isiXhosa war and struggle songs borrowed from their elders.

Some infusion of this into Bok culture could only enrich it.

• McGregor is author of Springbok Factory: What it Takes to be a Bok, and a visiting researcher at the Institute for the Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town.

*This column first appeared in Business Day

 

Fishing for a future

A shadow looms over the admirable initiative launched this week to finally grant fishing rights to small-scale fishers. Unless the disproportionately large share of marine resources currently allocated to the commercial fishing sector is cut, there will be nothing left to hand out. The process will be a farce.

Over 95% of all marine resources are reserved for commercial rights’ holders. Quotas for ten species – including linefish, abalone and West Coast rock lobster – are currently up for re-allocation to commercial rights holders in the 2015-2016 Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP).  Unless this proportion is substantially reduced, the new policy will be a non-starter.

The Small Scale Fishing Policy has just been signed into law with an amendment to the flawed Marine Living Resources Act of 1998 which recognised only three categories of fishers: commercial, subsistence and leisure.  The division was stark: those with subsistence and leisure rights were entitled to consume but not sell what they caught.

Only commercial rights holders could sell. In a stroke, this outlawed the traditional livelihoods of most of the 30,000 odd fishers in villages along the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal provinces who for decades had fished to feed their families and sold the rest of their catch.  Amounts were negligible but enough to keep poverty at bay in areas where unemployment was high and fishing was the only source of income.

There is a convincing argument that criminalising the harvesting of a resource considered to be their god-given right has damaged these communities.  Fishing became “poaching”. Gangs took over the marketing of the more valuable species such as abalone. They brought in drugs and guns. But they also enabled parents to pay school fees and feed their children.

Some individuals were awarded commercial fishing rights and this sowed divisions and deepened inequalities in communities which had been relatively egalitarian.

The new policy introduces a fourth category: Small Scale fishers. Craig Smith, Director of Small Scale Fisheries, argues that a 50% share of linefish should be reserved for these small scale fishers as well as up to 100% of near-shore resources such as mussels, abalone and lobster.  Commercial fishers can afford the big, fast boats required to exploit the deep seas.

The person responsible for making this decision is the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana. Since 1994, the colour of those awarded the right to mine the ocean’s resources has changed considerably but they still overwhelmingly represent the more powerful and politically connected. Giving small scale fishers a generous slice of the cake will indicate a new willingness to cater to the poor, rather than an elite.

The policy has taken over a decade to be implemented. It originated in a court case brought by an NGO, Masifundise, to the Equity Court, arguing that the Marine Living Resources Act created inequality.  It infringed the fishers’ constitutional rights to food security and the protection of  their traditional culture.

The outcome was a court order to the government to create a small scale fishing policy.  Masifundise has threatened to go back to the Equality Court if the Minister fails to give the small scale fishers an appropriate share.

Meanwhile, there is much excitement around the next stage of the process: the identification of suitable candidates. Representatives of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (DAFF) will visit 280 communities on the east and west coasts over the next few weeks. In school and community halls – and even in one case “an open space next to the [Fish] river” – fishers will queue up with their ID books and verifiable testimony from a fellow community member that they have fished for a living over at least the past ten years.

Dates and venues have been established for each community, advertised on radio, in newspapers and posters in each area. The fishers have only one chance to apply. If they miss their allocated day, they will not be considered. Once all the applications are in, DAFF officials and community representatives will adjudicate on each case.

The Small Scale fishing policy is ambitious: it allocates quotas not to individuals but to co-operatives. There will be only one co-op per community. Each must have at least 20 members. Fishers who currently hold commercial rights will be required to relinquish them if they become members of the co-op.

A host of services will be available to co-op members, including courses in marketing, financial management and spin-off activities such as tourism. The plan is to leverage the co-ops to promote development in rural areas.

What’s more, a sense of justice could be reinstated. If communities again feel a sense of ownership over marine resources, it is hoped that they will feel responsible for protecting them.

McGregor is a visiting researcher at The Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) at the University of Cape Town.

 This article first appeared in GroundUp

www.groundup.org.za