Overseas trip opens doors for librarian

Mxolisi Nkosi with Eugenijus Stratilatovas from the National Library of Lithuania.

Nkosi said the journey was about sharing experiences, aspirations and issues relating to innovative public-library services and outreach programmes across Africa.

“We learned about Africa’s library vision and discussed personal visions for public libraries. We shared insights with our peers through social media. We got a general understanding of the Eastern European libraries network and its context. We also learned and discussed cases of creative use of technology to service our communities,”
said Nkosi.He said they got their hands on technology tools and methodologies used by Eastern European public libraries.

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He said they got their hands on technology tools and methodologies used by Eastern European public libraries.
“We developed a deeper understanding of ICT training for public library users, and how to create a space to accommodate unusual services. We were also trained on innovative leadership and impact. There was ICT training for 3D and digital design labs, library services for children with special needs and social developmental skills programmes, libraries for arts and creativity for comics labs,” added Nkosi.

The group of curious librarians were taught how to convert information in books into a product to improve the economic condition of their communities.
“We were taught the importance of engaging stakeholders when planning for an event and how to create a space for the specific needs of our communities. For example, a musical community will require musical books or musical technologies in the library.

Also read: Lowveld High School’s night out in Paris

“We learned about advanced technology education programmes for schoolchildren and taking the library outdoors. We learned about online reading therapy for children at risk in communities and about games for learning and interactive play for kids of various age groups,” continued Nkosi.

He said they acquired knowledge on how to use research to curb unemployment by using technological skills to create better lives.
“We were reminded about the importance of a library in creating a local history as a gateway for tourism. We also went to Wroclaw to visit the World Library and Information Congress where we had to exchange ideas for the implementation of libraries serving persons with print disabilities,” Nkosi explained.

They also gained insight on building a nation of readers and creating a culture of literacy in public libraries.
“We were taught how we can assist women in rural communities to start their own businesses and the roles of public libraries in achieving sustainable development goals. We also discussed professional development and capacity building in the workplace,” said Nkosi.

Richard Nkosi

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