In advance of the African Youth SDGs Forum, IFLA was happy to support a workshop for students and new library professionals in Zambia, focusing on sharing the skills they will need to fulfil the potential of libraries today and tomorrow. This project was made possible thanks to a grant from Stichting IFLA Global Libraries.

Group photo of the participants at the Zambia Workshop for students and new library professionals
Participants at the workshop

The future of African libraries relies heavily on its young and emerging library leaders. This population of emerging library professionals holds a very strong and strategic position to co-create the future of library services delivery over the next decades, and so change lives. To realise its potential, they need the right skills and capacities. 

IFLA was therefore happy to support the organisation of a student conference, led by The Library and Information Association of Zambia, a Pre-Summit Workshop for the 5th African Youth SDGs Summit. The Workshop took place on 9-10 August, and aimed to create a platform for emerging library leaders to build capacity on library advocacy, design thinking, and how libraries drive the SDGs. 

At the workshop, Damilare Oyedele, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Library Aid Africa, represented the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and facilitated sessions on Library Advocacy: Why it Matters & the roles of emerging Library leaders and another session on Design Thinking: developing user-centered library solutions. The workshop had 40 participants in attendance, drawn from library and information science students and early career professionals in Lusaka, Zambia. Through the workshop, participants were taken through a step-by-step approach to library advocacy and design thinking. 

Furthermore, the workshop also leveraged collaborative working groups where participants were grouped to develop library advocacy plans and innovative solutions using design thinking approaches. In the process, each group presented their ideas, with feedback and comments from fellow participants –this provided a platform for idea co-creation. 

Pauline Namulomba Nchemba, Library and Information Association of Zambia

In addition, a session on The Role of Information Professional Students in the Attainment of SDGs was led by Mrs Pauline Namulomba Nchemba. This session gave detailed insight into the SDGs and how libraries play an essential role in achieving the 2030 agenda. 

Kanyiso Ching’embu, during his session on Information Professional Skill Sets in a Digitized Environment, shared key insights on emerging digital skills and capacities needed for emerging library leaders to thrive in our contemporary society. 

An open discussion on How to improve the profession & engaging students – students & industry professionals’ views moderated by Mrs Dubeka Buumba further shared perspectives on essential ways to foster student professional development for the current and future of libraries. 

Picture of a woman speaking with a microphone
Mutinta Nabuyamba, President, Library and Information Association of Zambia

During her closing remarks, Mrs Mutinta Nabuyanda, President, Library and Information Association of Zambia, further underlined the need for continuous professional development as an essential component for the future of libraries. She placed the emphasis on emerging library leaders taking responsibility to learn, connect, and co-create and develop innovation solutions and approaches to provide library and information services. 

IFLA’s support for this event was made possible through a grant from Stichting IFLA Global Libraries.