EIFL public library training initiative in Zambia
New partnership with Library and Information Association of Zambia to build library ICT and new service development capacity

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Given Mwenda Besa, manager at Ngwerere Lubuto Library in Lusaka, and Allan Hagwelele Mudenda, from the Provincial Education Office, which manages libraries in Zambia’s Southern Province, are among the 24 librarians who will take part in the training.

EIFL is delighted to announce a partnership with the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) for a national initiative that will build digital technology and professional skills of public library staff to enable them to initiate new public library services that use technology to meet community needs.

The initiative targets 12 public libraries in Zambia that are already equipped with computers and the internet. Two librarians from each of the 12 libraries will take part in the training.

This is EIFL’s fifth national capacity building initiative for public librarians in Africa. Since 2014, EIFL has launched similar initiatives in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, working with local partners in those countries.


The training takes place from January to October 2018. It adapts and expands the four-module curriculum successfully tested in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. During the training, the 24 librarians will develop action plans for initiation of innovative services that use ICT at their libraries.

The four modules are:

  • Advanced computer literacy for librarians (Module 1)
  • Internet Resources and Searching (Module 2)
  • New public library services  (Module 3)
  • Communication, Advocacy and Awareness-raising for public libraries (Module 4)

In addition, the Zambian librarians will attend training in a fifth module. The ‘Social Learning Circles for Online Learners’ module developed out of a pilot project in which EIFL partnered with the US-based non-profit organization, Peer to Peer University, and Kenya National Library Service. Learning Circles are lightly-facilitated in-person study groups for online learners. As a result of the pilot project, they are now being offered in 15 public libraries in Kenya. (Read more about the pilot project and its impact.)


“LIAZ is extremely happy to partner with EIFL in this project. Times have changed, computers and the internet have become essential information tools, and Zambian librarians need new skills to use this technology to provide better services,” said Ms Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, the immediate past President of LIAZ , who is coordinating this project.

“What makes this training unique is that it is truly national. In Zambia, there are three sectors of public libraries: public libraries run by the Ministry of General Education, those run by Local government, and libraries managed by Lubuto Library partners, which is a non-governmental organization. In the past, the tendency has been for each sector to organize separate training for its librarians. The EIFL training brings together public librarians from all three sectors, and from eight provinces."

While the training is underway, LIAZ will be conducting advocacy with government and the private sector to encourage resourcing of public libraries with computers and the internet. “We hope that by the end of the year, some of the other public libraries will be equipped with computers and the internet for public use,” said Munsanje.

further information

The Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) is a membership-based non-profit organization that unites and supports institutions and people working in libraries and information services in Zambia.

The EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) advances community development by enabling public libraries to implement innovative ideas that use technology to improve people’s lives and livelihoods.

Read more about EIFL’s capacity building initiative for public libraries in Africa, and its impact.