Local librarian selected for international fellowship

21 Aug, 2016 - 00:08 0 Views
Local librarian selected for international fellowship Jerry Mathema

The Sunday News

Jerry Mathema

Jerry Mathema

Ngqwele Dube, Sunday Life Correspondent
ZIMBABWE Library Association Matabeleland region chairperson, Jerry Mathema has been offered a fellowship that will see him spend four weeks in the United States learning about new technologies in the Library and Information Science department and also meet industry leaders.

Mathema is one of the five participants chosen from across the globe for the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) /International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) fellows for 2017.

According to an OCLC press statement, Mathema, who is also the Masiyephambili College librarian, is set to join Patience Ngizi-Hara from Zambia, Eric Nelson Haumba of Uganda, Sharisse Rae Lim (Philippines) and Nguyen Van Kep (Vietnam) for the programme scheduled for May next year.

According to the release issued last Tuesday the IFLA/OCLC Fellowship Programme provides advanced continuing education and exposure to a broad range of issues in information technologies, library operations and global co-operative librarianship.

Mathema, who holds the post of the director in the International Association of School Librarianship Region 1: Africa Sub Sahara said he was elated by the selection and will use the chance to broaden his knowledge in the library field.

“The fellowship will provide me with a once in a lifetime opportunity to access advanced continuing education and exposure to a broad range of issues in information technologies, library operations and global co-operative librarianship which is still at its infancy where it exists in school librarianship.

“In Zimbabwe, academic universities have a vibrant consortium and as school librarians we want to step into their shoes and follow their footsteps and come up with one that will help in the development of school libraries,” he said.

Mathema added that he was confident the fellowship will equip him with the requisite knowledge and skills required in running and developing 21st century school library and media centers in Zimbabwe and of course Africa in general.

He said it was time for school librarians to embrace and nurture emerging technologies in operations.

The selection of the five Fellows for the class of 2017 brings to 85 the number of librarians and information science professionals from 38 countries to have taken part in the programme since it began 15 years ago.

According to the OCLC website, the Fellows participate in discussions with library and information science leaders, library visits and professional development activities during the four-week programme, which is based at OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, USA.

IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 at an international conference, IFLA now has 1 500 members in approximately 150 countries around the world while OCLC is a non-profit global library co-operative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation.

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