MBABANE, 22 May 2003 (IRIN) - Challenging the technocratic vision of "virtual libraries" linking people to knowledge, librarians in Southern Africa say their "brick and book" buildings will remain the primary information centres for communities for some time to come.
"Information and knowledge are the catalysts that will empower Africa in her quest for development. By pursuing information for all, African library professionals are key actors in the attainment of the African Renaissance: the vision of a prosperous and peaceful continent," said Penny Birangi, co-chairperson for the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Libraries (SCECSAL) at its most recent biennial meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Last week, at an information summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the UN's Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), southern African libraries made an impressive case amid the high-tech glitter of the Internet, geo-information and other computer-generated data providers. Old-fashioned libraries, they argued, remain the information source for a vast majority of Africans. Libraries are also the most cost-effective means of knowledge dissemination.
I couldn;t agree more. Read the whole article here.