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Thomas reading to Lubuto children

Focus on staff training and education

Lubuto’s focus in Zambia is to build the capacity to offer high quality and professionally-guided children and youth services. While we have offered a number of staff training workshops on dealing with vulnerable children, education for youth librarianship requires far more than short-term training. We are therefore placing a strong emphasis on providing in-depth library educational opportunities to create new leaders in children’s library services in Zambia.

Lubuto staff education

Thomas Mukonde, our Library Services Advisor, is completing his first year of the MS in Library and Information Science (LIS) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thomas is focusing his studies on youth services and will put his academic degree to great use after graduation—providing much needed leadership to Zambia in developing library programming for children. He will be back in Zambia during his May to August school break to continue training staff in our libraries and solidifying our partnership with the Zambia Educational Publishing House (ZEPH). Further strengthening our relationship with ZEPH will help expand the scope of our project preserving Zambian titles through

Elizabeth Giles, Lubuto’s former Program Associate in DC, will also lead Lubuto’s children’s services and training in Zambia. She will receive an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in August. While in school, Elizabeth continued to support Lubuto’s program. She began an extensive ongoing research study of Lubuto’s collections and how they are used. We are thrilled that she will move to Lusaka after graduation to share her expertise with us. She will spearhead training programs for Lubuto library staff and volunteers.

This month, Lubuto library staff members are participating in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on public libraries offered by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The four week interactive online course covers the topics: “Customer Service and the User Experience,” “Youth Librarianship: Best Practices to Serve our Youngest Patrons,” “Technology: Improving Library Services by Managing Technology” and “Community Engagement.” We anticipate that this and other library science courses will be available for training future staff members. We are also considering whether Lubuto libraries may be able to offer MOOCs in other disciplines to our users.

Lubuto at IFLA

Elizabeth, Thomas and Jane will attend the 2015 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in August. Elizabeth will present a paper entitled “Evaluating Lubuto Library Collections: a Case Study in Dynamic and Strategic Children's Collection Development” and Jane will present a paper entitled “Vital Partnerships Fueling the Dynamic Development of Libraries for Young People in Zambia” for the Children/Youth conference sessions. Elizabeth, Thomas and Jane will all share Lubuto’s best practices with colleagues—and will make a plea for youth services training for African libraries.

Help support Thomas Mukonde’s education!

We are now looking for financial contributions to fund Thomas Mukonde’s final year of graduate school. Last year, people generously donated towards Thomas’ education through an Indiegogo campaign. If you are interested in donating this year, you can use our Donate Now feature or mail a check to Lubuto Library Partners at 5614 Connecticut Ave NW, #368, Washington, DC 20015-2604. Please make sure to mention Thomas on your check or online submission. We appreciate all of your help!

Check out Thomas' profile currently featured on his LIS department's homepage.

American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) grant for fourth Lubuto library

5614 Connecticut Ave. NW, #368 | Washington, DC 20015-2604 |

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