29 January 2010

Botswana Pilot Workshop for IFLA's Building Strong Library Associations Programme

By Fiona Bradley

The first pilot workshop for IFLA's Building Strong Library Associations programme was held in Gaborone, Botswana from October 12-16 2009. The workshop was hosted at the University of Botswana by Kay Raseroka, University Librarian.  Kay Raseroka introduced the Librarian of the National Library, Phodiso Tube, representing the Minister of the Ministry of Education, who welcomed participants to the workshop.

The purpose of the pilot workshop was to test the relevance of the content of the Building Strong Library Associations training package, assess the suitability of the training method, and to discuss the further development of the programme, including how it could be customised and rolled out in the Africa region. Participants also discussed the transition to a blended learning environment using an online platform and removable media to make content widely accessible to all IFLA members.  To achieve these objectives, participants with a strong background in library associations were invited to participate and contribute. The programme will be customisable to different social and cultural situations, and able to be translated in local languages. Further information about the programme is available on the ALP website.

During the workshop, participants shared their experience in library associations and success stories of how their associations have managed to increase funding, be more responsive to member needs, and advocate on behalf of members and the profession.  Helena Asamoah-Hassan, a member of the expert reference group working on the development of the development of the training package, attended the workshop which was facilitated by Angela Bridgland. Lindy Nhlapo, manager of the Regional Office for Africa organised and participated in the workshop. Participants in the workshop represented the library associations of Ghana, Zambia, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa and Botswana.

Participants appreciated the opportunity to visit two community libraries, at Mmankgodi and Kopong, and the National Museum during the workshop.

Following the pilot workshops, the programme will be further developed and is expected to be available to IFLA members from mid-2010.

Representative of the Ministry of Education: Phodiso Tube
Host: Kay Raseroka, University Librarian, University of Botswana
Administrative Assistance: Brasso Setso, University of Botswana
Organiser: Lindy Nhlapo, IFLA Regional Office for Africa
Facilitator: Angela Bridgland, Australia
Expert group representative: Helena Asamoah-Hassan, Ghana
IFLA Headquarters: Fiona Bradley, ALP Programme Coordinator


  • Benson Njobvu, Zambia. Chairman of Zambia Library Association
  • Matseliso Moshoeshoe-Chadzingwa, Lesotho
  • Victoria Okojie, Nigeria. President, Nigeria Library Association
  • Rachel More, South Africa. President, LIASA
  • Babakisi Fidzani, Deputy Director, Information & Research Services  University of Botswana
  • Reason Nfila, Senior Librarian, University of Botswana
  • Bongiwe Magocha. Board member, Botswana Library Association

LDP (Library Development Programme)

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