INASP is a co-operative network of partners whose aim is to enhance
world-wide access to information and knowledge. It has three immediate
- to map, support and strengthen existing activities promoting
access to and dissemination of scientific and scholarly
information and knowledge;
- to identify, encourage and support new initiatives that will
increase local publication and general access to high quality
scientific and scholarly information;
- to promote in-country capacity building in information
production, organisation, access and dissemination.
INASP is a programme of the International Council for Science
Chairman: Kai-Inge Hillerud Director: Carol Priestley
Please note the change of domain and email addresses !
The Transformation of Makerere University
by Prisca Tibenderana
Established in 1949, Makerere University is the oldest in East
Africa, and remained the only university in Uganda until the early
1990s. In 2000 INASP invited Makerere University Library to
participate in the Danida/INASP funded "Using the
Internet" travelling workshop series. Since this was in line
with the strategic plan the library had just written (1), the
invitation was welcomed. The library provided two librarians to
assist in organization of the workshop series. The library hosted
two workshops between 5-19 December 2000 on "Using the
Internet" and "Evaluating Online Resources".
The PERI programme in Makerere
Having seen how well Makerere University Library performed in
facilitating and organizing all the ICT related workshops, INASP
invited the library to participate in piloting the Programme for the
Enhancement of Research Information (PERI). This time, the library
was to play the role of National Coordination of Online Journal
Resources during which period, Enhancement of Research Capacity
(ENRECA) researchers located in different parts of the country were
the major focus for accessing the resources. The pilot study period
was October-December 2001, and the study instruments were EBSCO
databases, Blackwell Science & Blackwell Publishers and IDEAL
Library online journals. The pilot sailed through and the project
was recommended for implementation. Sida:SAREC (already
funding some projects at the university) accepted the university
proposal (2) to provide funds for implementation for 2002 and 2003.
ICT capacity building
Before the "Using the Internet " workshop, Makerere
University Library had been providing Internet services on a small
scale via a dial up connection - mostly for Email services. In a
way, the two workshops helped the library to build up Internet
infrastructure as well as human capacity. Thanks to various funders
(3), we now have 40 networked and connected computers in the main
library and two smaller computer laboratories in the Education and
Medical Schools, all connected via MakNET. Training has also
continued with further workshops. Of our 35 professional librarians,
most can now comfortably help readers to use online resources, while
half of the support staff can send and receive Email. These are
great achievements in such a short time.
Acquisition and access of online journals
Subscriptions to full text access from three major online journal
publishers were taken up: Blackwell Science, IDEAL Library, and
The subscriptions are for countrywide access, so all researchers and
scientists anywhere in the country can use them. Currently, research
institutions accessing the online journals through this consortium
arrangement include Uganda Martyr's University in Nkozi, Fisheries
Resources Research Institute in Jinja (NARO), Centre for Disease
Control (MH), and Centre for Basic Research in Kololo, Kampala.
Usage of these online resources has been amazing, as can be seen in
the graphs on these pages. (Figures from Blackwell and IDEAL were
not available at the time of writing.)
The majority of use is from Makerere University, and increasing use
elsewhere in the country is another challenge. Within the university
more than 46 people download full text journal articles and 25
people access abstracts daily - this does not include people
searching the database, which is a far higher number. This is no
small thing from a university that had very limited Internet
connections in December 2001. As my colleague in Ghana said:
"In terms of information access, the project is one of the best
that ever happened to us" (5).
Besides the online access, there is a document delivery service
whereby a researcher can order an article unavailable online. The
order is made directly to the British Library and a copy delivered
within a few weeks. Articles can also be ordered through
African Journals OnLine (AJOL).
In order to sustain this service we are investigating linkage with
other university libraries. A project under the Carnegie Corporation
funding of the library is looking at this possibility, and a
Consortium of Uganda University Libraries (CUUL) is also in
development. This will go a long way to consolidate some of the
achievements gained from PERI.
The time for Africa to succeed is now, by utilising the liberation
provided by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Makerere, in common with a number of other African universities, has
enjoyed donor support to enable us to develop ICT skills, access and
use. It is important that African researchers and scientists take
advantage of the prevailing enabling environment to develop the
continent for the betterment of all citizens. Let the Millennium be
for the development of a better Africa.
1. Makerere University Library Strategic Plan, 2000/1 - 2004/5, July
2. Makerere University: Proposal to Sida:SAREC for Funding of
Selected Projects; Integrating Information and Communication
Technology in the University Functions, MakLIBIS Sub-project.
October 2000 & Proposal to Sida:SAREC for Funding of Selected
Projects: Integrating Information and Communication Technology in
the University Functions - PHASE 2. Oct. 2000.
3. Sher, Afzal. coordinating ICT Support: Sida:SAREC ICT
infrastructure development projects encourage bundling of funding
opportunities. INASP Newsletter No. 17, June 2001.
5. Martey, Alfred K. PERI in Ghana. INASP Newsletter No. 19,
Senior Librarian, Makerere University
Uganda PERI Project Coordinator
Use of Scientific Information in a World
of Divides: a Case Study
by Ana María Cetto
A map of multiple divides
There is an ongoing increase in the digital divide and a growing
difficulty to "bridge the gap". ICTs (whether measured by
telecommunication access paths or by internet hosts) grow at an
annual average of 18% in developing countries, compared to 23% in
industrialized countries (1). In 1997 the number of hosts per capita
was 267 times smaller in Africa than in North America; by the year
2000 this factor had grown to 540 (2).
This increasing digital divide, however, is not an isolated
phenomenon as there is a similar divide in education, economics,
social welfare, industrial development and scientific capacity. For
instance, the investment in S&T and the scientific output of the
industrialized world account for approximately 90% of the world's
total - and the figure today is larger than it was a decade or two
Let us look, in particular, at Latin America. The region (including
the Caribbean) accounts for more than 8% of the world's population
and its gross domestic product (GDP) is one fifteenth of the world's
total, but only 0.6% of this is invested in S&T - in contrast to
2.55% in the USA. There are 142,000 active scientists in the whole
region, in contrast to 1,874,000 in the USA. There are 6 PhDs per
million inhabitants in Latin America, in contrast to 179 in the USA
(3). Moreover, the region is strikingly diverse in development: its
map looks like a collection of islands of (relative) north embedded
in large seas of south. For instance, the GDP per capita ranges from
US$400 for Nicaragua and US$500 for Haiti to US$8,300 for Argentina
(in 1998!) and US$4,700 for Brazil.
The use of ICTs in the region is also marked by strong divides both
among countries and within them. It is estimated that by the year
2005, the Internet will have reached only the richest 20% of the
population - about 100 million people in total. To the recurrent
economic crises, the inequalities mentioned above and the lack of
infrastructure, one must add the fact that the Internet is one more
foreign tool, developed without our participation, and that its
contents are almost entirely in a foreign language. Moreover, there
is widespread information illiteracy, dating back to the
pre-electronic era: it is not part of our culture to compile and
systematize information, nor to make efficient use of it.
... and niches for activity
On the other hand, there are also important common elements
throughout the region, language being one of them. Of the almost 500
million inhabitants, 320 are Spanish speaking and another 160 speak
Portuguese. For this and other reasons, the countries of the region
have the opportunity to produce content of specific value. This led
the Organization of American States (OAS) to set up a
hemisphere-wide inter-university S&T information network,
RedHUCyT, which carries out activities aimed at strengthening the
Internet infrastructure in the least developed regions and supports
a number of specialized information and data networks in various
fields of S&T (<www.redhucyt.oas.org>).
There also exist a few regional initiatives in the scholarly
environment that make intensive use of the existing ICTs. In the
field of electronic publishing, for instance, the SciELO model
(Scientific Electronic Library Online), which originated in Brazil,
is being adopted in other countries for online publication of a
selection of journals (<www.scielo.org>). 80 titles from
Brazil, 29 from Chile and 5 from Cuba are online, and Costa Rica,
Spain and Venezuela are in the process of developing their SciELO
systems. In the field of journal information services, LATINDEX has
established itself as a comprehensive online system for the
scholarly journals of LA&C, Spain and Portugal, with 13
countries contributing at present to the database on a daily basis
(<www.latindex.unam.mx>). The Latindex Directory provides
standard information on 11,000 journal titles, and the more recently
developed catalogue provides added services for a carefully selected
list of titles. On a local scale, the main universities in the
region are developing automated systems to offer an increasing
variety of scientific information services to their own communities,
including digital libraries and catalogues.
Despite considerable amounts invested in the field, not much is
known about the actual use of electronic literature and the impact
it is having on user communities. University libraries are only now
beginning to assess the use and impact of services provided through
the Internet. Given this context, we have asked ourselves: to what
extent are the ICTs effectively changing the access, use and
production of scientific information by scientists in Latin America
and what are the factors that facilitate or inhibit this change? To
find some answers we surveyed the physics community of the
University of Puebla, a medium-sized public research and higher
education institution in Mexico - a half-developed, medium-sized
country. The results of this survey and our conclusions may be read
in the February 2003 issue of the INASP Newsletter.
1. RAND (2001). G. F. Treverton, L. Mizell. The future of the
information revolution in Latin America. 2001. <www.rand.org/publications/CF>
2. Understanding the digital divide. OECD 2001. <www.OECD.org/EN/documents>
3. Cetto AM and Vessuri H (2002) Scientific cooperation in Latin
America and the Caribbean. UNESCO World Science Report (in press).
Prof. Ana María Cetto
Instituto de Física, UNAM
Online resources available
Full text journal resources
The following resources all include leading titles in many disciplines
within science technology, medicine, arts, humanities and social
- over 350 journals from Academic Press,
through the service, IDEAL
- over 600 journals from Blackwell
Publishers, through the service, Synergy
- over 5500 full text journals from EBSCO
Host within seven major databases
- The Cochrane Library - the
highly-respected medical resource which includes databases of key
medical reviews, protocols, registers and bibliographies
- Over 120 journals from Oxford
University Press (new!)
- The four internationally acclaimed primary
research journals from the Royal Society of London (new!)
- Over 1200 journals in a variety of
research disciplines plus 700 journals and a range of
encyclopaedia in medical and related disciplines from the Gale
Document Delivery Resources
PERI is able to provide document delivery from two resources:
- The British Library - articles
through the British Library are provided by airmail at no cost to
researchers and their libraries in not-for-profit institutes in
participating countries, through PERI/INASP funding.
Additional Current Awareness and comprehensive searching are
facilitated by the British Library's Inside Web Service.
- African Journals OnLine (AJOL) -
this resource comprises a growing list of journals published
within Africa. Tables of Contents and in many cases abstracts are
available online. The full text articles can be supplied, by
airmail as paper copies, on request.
This list will continue to expand as more
publishers join the PERI initiative. It is maintained and updated on
the INASP website at: <www.inasp.info/peri/electronic.html>.
For further information contact Sarah Durrant at:
INASP-Health is a cooperative network
created by health information providers, for health
information providers. Its goal is to facilitate cooperation
across the health information community towards universal
access to reliable information for health professionals in
developing and transitional countries.
The network currently involves more than 800 participants,
North and South, representing nongovernmental organizations,
international agencies, library services, publishers (print
and electronic), and others.
To join the network, please contact:
Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh Programme Manager
We are grateful to the following organizations for their
- British Medical Association
- CDSI (ICSU-Press)
- Department for International Development (UK)
- World Health Organization
Handheld computers for health workers
by Amy Galblum
SATELLIFE is testing personal digital assistants (PDAs), also
called handheld computers, as a tool for data collection and
information access in Africa. Funding has been provided by the
Acumen Fund, a non-profit organization incubated by the
Rockefeller Foundation, the Cisco Foundation and individual
In order to test the feasibility and usefulness of using
handheld computers to conduct surveys, SATELLIFE joined with the
American Red Cross (ARC) in their Measles Initiative, which aims
to vaccinate at-risk children across Africa. Paper surveys are
normally used by the Red Cross to gather data, but they are
time-consuming, plagued with errors in data collection and
transcription, expensive, and inevitably followed by delays in
the receipt of a final report.
A PDA-based public health survey was designed to target mothers
and other caregivers gathered at immunization sites in Ghana in
December 2001. Prior to the start of the campaign, 30 Ghanaian
Red Cross volunteers trained to use the PDAs over two days. They
readily adopted the technology, though some of them had never
used a computer before. The volunteers subsequently completed
over 2,400 questionnaires in just three days, throughout the
Cape Coast region. Stored data were transferred rapidly from
each handheld computer to a laptop computer, using the
synchronizing software and cradle supplied with the PDA.
Transfer of data into the database was accomplished with no
errors. ARC were able to analyse the data and deliver a complete
report to the Ministry of Health within hours. The speed and
ease of collection and reporting were unprecedented.
In Uganda and Kenya physicians and medical students are
currently using PDAs for short surveys on malaria and TB, and to
access health information. SATELLIFE uploaded eighty PDAs with
medical reference materials including medical textbooks,
essential drug lists, and treatment guidelines on HIV/AIDS, TB,
and malaria specific to Uganda and Kenya. SATELLIFE is currently
collecting survey data and monitoring how the participants use
the units and the information resources carried on them. A
thorough evaluation is planned to examine the usefulness of both
the technology and the content.
A major advantage of PDAs is the speed at which data collected
in the field can be returned to policy makers for decision
making. In addition, PDAs enable physicians and other health
professionals to have constant access to up-to-date information
in under-resourced environments.
Other possibilities for handheld computers include record
keeping, database management, and communication for sustainable
development in health and in other fields, such as agriculture
and environmental health. This initial work demonstrates the
viability and usefulness of a new technology in Africa. In turn,
this may stimulate a new market and provide incentives to the
corporate sector to develop relevant tools at an affordable
price for African users.
Amy Galblum, MPH
PDA Project Manager
is a non-profit organization dedicated to building healthier
communities in the developing world through the power of
information. Some 10,000 health
professionals in 120 countries currently access SATELLIFE's
information services, including on-line newsletters and
discussion groups, enabling them to be actively engaged
participants in the global health community.
International Funding Priorities for
by Ibrahima Bob
This year I conducted a survey on the two email discussion
lists, 'HIF-net at WHO' and 'AHILA-net'. I wanted to explore
the similarities and differences between the priorities of
health information providers in Africa ('recipients') and
those of donor agencies.
Recipients were asked: If you were to get support from funding
organizations, towards which priorities would you put the
resources? And funders were asked: What types of health
information related programmes would you consider funding?
600 (HIF-net at WHO) and 80 (AHILA-net) received the
questionnaire and 55 responded, of whom 47 were recipients of
funding and 8 were donor agencies.
The 47 recipients included 20 non-governmental organizations,
17 medical school libraries, 5 government health
projects, 4 research institutes and 1 hospital library; 35
were from Africa, 7 Europe, 3 North America, 1 Asia, and 1
Training was reported as a priority by both donors (75%) and
recipients (70%). However, 'local creation of health
information' was a priority for 45 of the 47 recipients, but
only 3 of the 8 donor agencies. Similarly, 80% of recipients
felt that repackaging (adaptation of health information) was a
priority, compared with only half of donor agencies.
The message to donors is that funding organizations should be
doing more to support the local creation and adaptation of
health information in Africa.
I would like to take this opportunity to flag the many related
issues which are well known to those of us in Africa who are
trying to improve access to health information:
1. Less than 10% of global biomedical research funding is
spent on diseases that account for 90% of the global disease
burden: more funding is required for biomedical research in
2. Research in developing countries is difficult to access:
more developing-country research needs to be published in
international journals and/or in African journals.
3. Providers of health information are restricted by copyright
laws: copyright law needs to be reviewed for essential,
4. Medical libraries in Africa lack computers, Internet
access, textbooks, core journals, photocopiers, printers,
paperŠ These are basic needs that must be addressed.
5. Information on 'funding for health information' is hard to
find. There should be a dedicated fundraising advisory service
for health information activities.
6. The Health InterNetwork is providing increased access to
northern e-journals, while African journals are in a state of
collapse. There should be more support for, and inclusion of,
7. The Blue Trunk Libraries are effective in meeting
district-level information needs and should be made more
8. Information services are only effective when managed by
trained staff. Therefore all information projects should
include training of local personnel.
9. South-South and South-North-South networking are highly
effective, and are vital to promote understanding, exchange of
experience, and convergence of priorities. Therefore
international networking should be strengthened.
Despite the potential of ICTs, health information providers in
Africa continue to work with their hands tied. It is time for
donor agencies and others to work together to ensure that all
health professionals in Africa have access to the information
they need to learn, to diagnose, and to deliver the most
effective healthcare possible with the resources available.
The above paper is based on a presentation given at the Health
Information Forum meeting on 21 May 2002 at the London School
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa
INASP-Health Priorities 2002-03
In response to demand:
- expand and develop existing
- online INASP-Health Directory 2003
- regional and national versions of
INASP Health Links gateway <www.inasp.info/health/links>
- enhanced cooperation among funding
- advisory service on fundraising
for health information activities
- promote creation and adaptation of
- development of procurement tools
- cooperation to meet the
information needs of rural health workers
- in-country workshops to develop
skills and cross-sectoral collaboration
- regional and national 'HIF-like'
For further details, contact
|The HIF-net at WHO
email discussion list now has more than 800
subscribers. To join, send your name, organization and
interests to Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh at
Health Information Forum Programme 2002-03
- The HIF Debate: "On Trial:
Access to Health Information." - E-Health 2002,
Barbican Centre, London, 18 Sept 2002
- Health library partnerships -
Wellcome Trust, London, 12 Nov 2002
- Health information and continuing
medical education - Royal College of Physicians,
London, 14 Jan 2003
- Reliability of information for
health workers in developing countries - International
Health and Medical Education Centre, London, 18 March 2003
- Impact of information on
healthcare - British Medical Association, London, 20 May
- HIF Annual Forum and Exhibition
2002 - British Medical Association, London, 15 July 2003
For the latest on HIF events, click
on 'Events' at <www.inasp.info>
Quest: A practical guide for local
producers of health information materials
Many health workers are responsible
for producing or adapting health information materials. To
help meet their needs, Healthlink Worldwide has developed
Quest, a practical guide for use in isolated or resource-low
settings. Quest encourages the use of local resources to
create locally appropriate and owned information.
Quest was developed with input from a wide range of
individuals and organisations. It is relevant to audiences in
developed and developing countries, including health workers
and educators, community workers in government bodies and
non-government organisations, and community and patient
groups. The first Quest training workshop took place in April
2002 in Zimbabwe. A manual, website, CD-ROM and training
package will be available in December 2002.
The Quest framework has seven stages: assessing needs;
planning; researching content; developing content;
pre-testing; production and distribution; and post-production
evaluation. Each stage includes questions and evaluation
points to prompt creative thinking about how materials will
work in practice. There are also "How to..."
sections that aim to develop practical skills, e.g. "How
to plan a budget", and "More about..." sections
that signpost to further information and resources.
For more information, or if you are
interested in pre-testing the Quest website, please contact:
David Curtis, or Melaina Barnes,
Healthlink Worldwide, Cityside 40 Adler Street
London E1 1EE UK
Workshops on Electronic
by Dr. N.A.Parakesh
In March this year the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bangalore
organized two workshops on electronic publishing in science. The
workshops were partly supported by INASP, which contributed both
financially and by providing literature resources.
The Indian Academy of Sciences (<www.ias.ac.in>)
is a major
publisher of science journals in India. Its journals are available
on the Internet. The workshops were planned as an attempt to
catalyse growth of electronic publication among other nonprofit
publishers and to review and enhance the Academy's own electronic
publishing programme. The organization owed a great deal to the
enthusiasm and energy of Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam (of the M.S.
Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, <www.mssrf.org>).
The main resource persons were Prof. Leslie Chan of the University
of Toronto Canada, and Bioline International
(<www.bioline.org.br>, supported by IDRC) and Barbara Kirsop
of the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development in the UK
supported by the British
Council. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
and the Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India also
provided financial support.
The workshops were intended primarily for editors, editorial support
staff, computer support staff of Indian nonprofit science,
technology and medicine journals and publishing organizations. The
aim of the workshops was to address issues that relate to
establishing electronic editions of journals in parallel with
existing print editions. Open archives (<www.
<www.eprints.org>) was also part of the content. Considerable
time was devoted to hands-on sessions at PCs for creating a simple
web version of a journal paper, and for adding metadata elements to
The participants acknowledged that the workshops provided an
excellent opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to electronic and
traditional print publishing, even simply to find out what other
journals are doing. It was interesting, for instance, that several
Indian medical journals have websites and have built up experience
in managing them but that the participating science journals were
Participants were asked to come up with a list of important topics
for electronic publishing. It includes web journals and visibility,
partnerships with institutions in developed countries, preprinting
workflow and document management, tools for electronic publishing,
search engines, advertisements, copyright issues, XML, cost of
maintenance, access and control, archiving and long-term access,
role of libraries, lack of access in many regions, file formats and
conversions, pricing and economics, persistence of print editions,
impact on subscriptions to print journals.
The importance of metadata for structure of documents, search and
retrieval, data management, access and rights issues, bibliographic
control, data exchange and interoperability, and digital
preservation was highlighted. A take-home lesson was that metadata,
machine-understandable information for electronic resources, are key
to successful electronic publishing.
SciELO and Bioline were described. Both provide a platform for many
journals from different publishers and offer advantages difficult to
achieve for an individual journal or publisher. Not surprisingly,
the idea of a shared journal server for Indian journals evoked much
interest among the participants. One participant made a cogent
summary of the pros and cons, which generated lively discussion.
Feedback from the participants shows that most of them place high
priority for setting up a common journal server for Indian journals.
The overarching concern was the urgent need to increase visibility
of Indian journals by making them available on the Internet in
formats that take advantage of search and retrieval procedures. That
is not an easily achieved objective, but the hope is that the
workshops will have played the catalytic role that was intended for
N. A. Prakash
Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore
INASP Newsletter is available in full text on the web. An automatic
Email can be sent on publication of each issue of the newsletter.
To sign up for this please send
an Email to ,
and in the subject line write "newsletter Email alert"
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the KNLS Initiative
by Francis A. Anyenda
A workshop on strategic communication recently held in
Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania advocated for the establishment of
communication strategies for public organizations in Eastern and
Southern Africa. The workshop (under the aegis of the Carnegie
Corporation of New York's Public Library Revitalization Programme)
brought together 38 participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and
Botswana. The four countries are some of the beneficiaries of the
Corporation's grants aimed at streamlining their services and
The Corporation's assistance is timely since most public
institutions in Africa are faced with financial constraints.
Communication is crucial for an organization to achieve its mission,
goals and objectives.
In Kenya, in common with most other African countries, public
libraries are funded by the government. They are institutions
established by an Act of Parliament and are developed to meet the
information needs of the general public without bias or
discrimination. However, as observed at this workshop, the media
know little of what libraries do - other than being stores for books
and places to go to kill boredom.
In Kenya, this scenario is slightly different. Under the office of
the Director of the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS) and during
a period when the KNLS was undergoing great change, a Public
Relations unit was established to communicate with the media.
One achievement of this unit has been the value of press coverage
over the past 2 years: the KNLS has spent less than KShs.500,000,
but has received coverage worth over KShs.2million. Good
relationships have been built with the media and they have promoted
the activities of KNLS. The KNLS Board has also shot a documentary
film on its activities, and in conjunction with the film department
in the then Ministry of Information and Broadcasting produced a
newsreel on its services which has been shown in all the major
cinemas in Kenya and in other parts of the world.
Another important milestone has been the media attention given to
the Camel Library Service (CLS). The CLS, established in 1996, has
become a darling of local and international media. It has appeared
in the popular television programme "Africa Journal"
produced by Reuters, and has also been covered by the Voice of
America, the Middle East Broadcasting Service and the British
Broadcasting Corporation. Through this extensive publicity, the KNLS
has managed to attract a lot of interest in the service - including
donors. Among supporters is the Germany Embassy in Kenya which
donated approximately Ksh.60,000 for purchase of books, and has also
pledged to donate a full caravan comprising three camels, furniture
The Community Based Libraries (CBL) initiative to develop a public
library system began in 1990 when it became evident that the
government funding for constructing libraries was no longer
forthcoming. The CBL approach is an initiative through which the
local communities play a central role in the establishment of public
library services by provision (and development) of land and
furniture. This initiative has seen the growth of 16 Community Based
Libraries across the country with many more opening soon.
The KNLS website <www.knls.or.ke>
was developed to communicate its programmes and activities to
various audiences nationally and globally. In addition the KNLS has
used other means of communication including: participation in
various activities (e.g. hosting World Book and Copyright Day and
National BookWeek Celebrations); and production of various publicity
materials (diaries, calendars, posters, brochures, T-shirts, etc.).
The relationship between KNLS and the media has continued to remain
cordial and the media is always invited to all functions organized
by KNLS. The Public Relations Unit has recently been upgraded to
become the Donor Liaison and Communication Division with more local
and international communication responsibility. The division is
currently formulating a communication plan that will form the basis
of the communication strategy for KNLS. This plan will be guided by
the knowledge obtained from the strategic communication workshop.
Francis A. Anyenda
Public Relations Officer, Kenya National Libraries Service
Producing Newsletters for Members of
National Library Associations in Africa
by Anthony Olden
Active involvement in professional activities is important for
personal development. This can be a challenge in developing
countries where library associations are fairly new and paid-up
membership is often low: financial resources are limited in
consequence. Information professionals want something tangible in
return for their subscriptions, and an INASP programme (funded
through the Carnegie Corporation of New York) is assisting national
library associations in nine countries to bring out newsletters.
Starting with the Botswana and Kenya Library Associations in 2001,
financial assistance was given towards bringing out two issues of a
newsletter each year. From 2002, the scheme was extended to Ghana,
Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
A number of associations had newsletters or journals already, but
financial constraints made production irregular. Editors and
editorial committees are now working hard to remedy the situation.
What is required of them? An interest in doing the work is vital,
plus the capacity to do it in a professional manner. Most editors
want to make a contribution to their profession. Editing keeps them
in touch with what is happening - and with what is about to happen.
Editors need to be persuasive. They need to convince their (often
sceptical) professional colleagues that the newsletter will indeed
come out, and that there are benefits to writing news items and
short articles for it. Those who agree to submit something may need
to be chased into doing so. Newsworthiness is essential, since there
is no point in informing members of meetings that are over or
submission dates that have passed, and that means getting the
newsletter out on time.
Diplomacy is required. A certain amount of rewriting may be
required, and not all authors take kindly to this. It may be
necessary to remind potential contributors of the difference between
a newsletter and a journal. Scholarly articles comprising several
thousand words and numerous references make important contributions
to the literature, but an academic journal is the appropriate place
for them, not a newsletter.
Content and presentation vary, naturally enough, but the overall
standard is high. There is usually an editorial or a message from
the chairperson. Association news includes reports of workshops,
general meetings, and conferences. All these are of value to
association members who do not have the opportunity to attend in
What else do newsletters contain? Some include interviews with or
profiles of particularly active librarians. In Matukio (the
Kiswahili word for events) Theophilus Mlaki (Director of Information
and Documentation at the Tanzania Commission for Science and
Technology) reflects on his career over more than 30 years and on
his expectations of younger colleagues. The Uganda Information
Bulletin outlines the career of the new Director of the East African
School of Library and Information Science, Dr Isaac Kigongo-Bukenya:
from grade II teacher to PhD graduate.
New appointments are another feature, as are obituaries. The death
of one of Nigeria's best-known librarians, Dr Simeon Aje, is
recorded in the Nigeria Library Association Newsletter. Dr Aje was
the first Nigerian Director of the National Library of Nigeria, and
a regular participant at International Federation of Library
Associations conferences in the 1970s and 1980s.
How will the newsletters be sustained when the financial assistance
comes to an end? Expanding membership should bring in more income in
the form of subscriptions, and this will help. But African library
associations are also increasingly entrepreneurial. Nigeria's
newsletter includes advertisements from publishers, booksellers and
other firms, while Tanzania's Matukio states "THIS SPACE IS FOR
SALE" in a box on its front page. The future looks bright.
Thames Valley University, UK
From Individualism to Groupism
Library Resource Sharing and Cooperation
in the Eastern, Central and Southern African Region
by Beatrice Sekabembe
Between 13-15 April 2002, the Esselenpark Centre in Johannesburg was
a hub of activities. Library professionals from near and far
gathered to discuss, resolve, and pave the way forward for the
national and university libraries in the Eastern, Central and
Southern African region. This was the fifth time that the Standing
Conference for the African National and University Libraries in the
Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL-ECS) was meeting since
its inception in 1994. For South Africa, it was a historical event
since it was the first time they have hosted librarians from across
The conference attracted almost 100 delegates from both national and
university libraries and from the sister West African regional
association, the Standing Conference of African University Libraries
- Western Area (SCAULWA); Carol Priestley and Diana Rosenberg
represented INASP; and eight exhibitors promoted their information
products. Eleven papers were presented, discussed, and resolutions
Among the resolutions, the concept of consortia was identified as
one sure way for effective resource sharing and cooperation.
Fortunately, there are existing and functioning consortia within the
region for others to emulate.
The business meeting
The conference was closed with a business meeting chaired by Mr John
Tsebe. The following were elected:
Chairman: Mr James Mugasha, Makerere University, Uganda
Vice Chairperson: Ms Dikeledi Kunene, Swaziland National Library
Secretary: Mrs Beatrice Sekabembe, Makerere University, Uganda
Treasurer: Mr Frederick Mukungu, Uganda Christian University,
Ex-Chairman: Mr John Tsebe, University in the North, South Africa
Editor: Ms Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa, University Librarian, Uganda
Martyrs University, Nkozi, Uganda.
This was a landmark for Uganda because it was awarded most of the
Missing in the conference was the young blood. This was due to the
restrictive funding situations in almost all the national and
university libraries, since what is available can only bring in
Another area of concern is the funding status of the SCANUL-ECS.
With all delegates being donor funded (apart from those from S.
Africa), I shudder to think of what would happen should donor
funding finally dry up! The next meeting is in 2004, so perhaps it
is time that institutions start saving early to enable more
Agenda for the new SCANUL-ECS officials
The new executives have started work and the following are underway:
- SCANUL-ECS Newsletter to be published
and distributed to members twice a year (funded by INASP);
- A case study of the activities of
existing and functioning consortia in the region as well as
those in different levels of formation. INASP will provide
- A directory of university and national
libraries in the region;
- A website for SCANUL-ECS to be hosted by
NISC in South Africa.
Makerere University, Uganda
Public Library Revitalization in Africa
As part of its work with public libraries in Africa, INASP has been
advising and assisting the national library services of Botswana,
Kenya and S. Africa for almost two years. This has also included
acting as adviser to the Carnegie Corporation of New York in the
implementation of their Public Library Revitalization in Africa
programme in these countries. INASP's role covers technical
assistance and sector building; capacity building, research and
training; development assistance to library associations; and
dissemination of information.
During the past year, INASP has been particularly active in
supporting the Grantees, including organizing, facilitating and
providing support for the following:
'From proposal to action: strategies for implementation' workshop
April 2002. Topics included project set up, implementation, final
closure and reporting.
"Reader development and reader Promotion" workshop April
2002 (during SCECSAL) - over 160 people registered and participated.
Persistent requests for a follow-up have led to the preparation of a
publication on Reader Development. INASP has been approached to
facilitate similar workshops at the West African Library Association
(WALA) conference in 2003.
A workshop on issues and options within Information Communication
Technologies (ICTs) is in development.
INASP assisted the Botswana Library Association hold a workshop on
"Proactive librarianship: marketing and public relations with
particular emphasis on services tailored towards children, the
youth, the physically challenged and adult basic education and
training" at the end of July.
Kenya Library Association plan to hold a workshop on
"Strategic Management" during 2003.
Proposals for workshop sponsorship and assistance for 2003 have
been invited from the national library associations of Ghana,
Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Throughout 2001, grantees commented that they found it incredibly
difficult to obtain information about publishers, booksellers and
various other players in the book community. This complemented a
request from partners of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
INASP was invited to coordinate the preparation of a book on the
"book chain" in Anglophone Africa - see the notice on the
Following a request from the Kenya National Libraries Service (KNLS)
eight library systems are currently being guided in writing case
studies on income generation for public libraries in Africa. The
research will be completed by the end of 2002 and subsequently
INASP contracted Book Aid International to facilitate workshops on
"Monitoring and Evaluation" and on "Advocacy and
Lobbying" with the Botswana National Library Service in May and
June 2002. Similar workshops are scheduled for the Kenya National
Library Service (KNLS) during 2003. The materials produced during
the Botswana workshop have been compiled by Book Aid International
and are available on the INASP web site at
INASP worked jointly with the IFLA Africa Regional Section in
arranging for seven librarians (from Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda,
Tanzania, Nigeria and Zambia) to attend IFLA 2002. The second
meeting of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Public Library
Revitalization Programme Grantees for 2002 was held while grantees
were in Glasgow at IFLA. This meeting confirmed the value of INASP's
involvement in the programme, and added various aspects to the Work
Plan for 2003, including the need for INASP to produce guidelines
and research on performance measurement and statistics in public
libraries in Africa.
More information on these initiatives can be obtained from
Anne Powell, INASP
The Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information is
becoming increasingly popular. This programme comprises four
components, all concerned with enhancing access to and understanding
of, online research information. Through component 1 of PERI,
Delivering Information, access is negotiated to online resources for
use by researchers in developing and transitional countries.
Resources are prioritised by the researchers and librarians. INASP
then negotiate with the publishers on their behalf. We aim to agree
discounts of between 90-98% to ensure that the resources can be
long-term affordable and sustainable. In some cases, access can be
supported through PERI funds.
We are receiving more requests and more publishers are asking to
work with us - see the table of available information and the new
publishers recently joining us on pages 6 and 16 respectively. See
also the website <www.inasp.info/peri/electronic.html>
For more information, contact Sarah Durrant at
Publishing Support from INASP
Working with partners around the world, INASP are increasing the
number of training courses and support for publishers and editors.
We welcome applications and suggestions from all PERI-supported
Recent workshops include:
India - see the article on Workshops on Electronic Publishing
Nigeria - "Research and writing skills"
Switzerland - "Consultative Workshop for Medical
Chile - "Scientific electronic publishing in developing
For more information, contact Pippa Smart at