The ADLSN activities in Zimbabwe have been around members of the Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium (ZULC). ZULC has over 15 members comprised of University libraries, Colleges and polytechnics. EIFL has also played a major role in laying the ground work since 2007.
The 2007-2008 Greenstone Southern Africa Pilot Project
ZULC institutions had a chance to participate in this regional project that was coordinated by EIFL.
A three-day national Greenstone training workshop was held in Bulawayo from 3-5 December 2007. The workshop was hosted by NUST in its capacity as the national center for the project. Workshop costs were covered using funds allocated to NUST as one of the three national centers within the Southern African region. There were 21 participants, mainly from ZULC institutions, who were trained in the use of Greenstone software. There was one foreign participant, from Swaziland (University of Swaziland), at the workshop.
After the workshop, most of the follow up was via email. However, phone calls, SMS (text) messages and online chats were also used.
The result of the pilot project saw the establishment of NUST’s first ever digital library. This library was named NuStone (pronounced “new stone”) from the words NUst and greenSTONE.
The 2009-2010 Greenstone Southern Africa Pilot Project
EIFL again coordinated this project which had the following objectives:
- To convince Library heads that electronic full text copies in digital libraries meet their Library goals
- To introduce Greenstone software to heads of Libraries as a FOSS solution that will help them meet their users’ demands
- To rope in heads of Libraries as advocates for the implementation of Greenstone collections
- To train digital library project leaders
- To visit participating institutions in order to assess progress and provide onsite assistance
Three major activities were lined up during this phase and these are discussed below.
This workshop targeted heads of ZULC Libraries and in order to advocate for the importance of digitisation and digital libraries. The workshop was held in Bulawayo in June 2009 and attracted a total of 14 participants from member institutions around Zimbabwe. Copyright issues were also discussed at length, thanks to Ms. Matsika, the University Librarian at NUST. On this same occasion, the latest trends taking place, in particular the changes related to Digital Libraries were highlighted to the participants. It was further stated that Library and Information Science (LIS) education programmes must be re-aligned in order to meet these new challenges and opportunities. Fortunately, the Dean of the Library School at NUST was present and showed great interest in taking this observation further.
This two-day event was hosted by NUST Library in Bulawayo in December 2009. Institutions were asked to send in their Digital Library plans before the workshop. Digital Library projects at some of the institutions had suffered severely as a result of staff turnover and other related problems that had dogged the nation for a decade. This then became a chance for the projects to be revived.
Follow Up Visits
These were meant to check on the progress of institutional projects and to ensure that participating institutions get on-site technical support. The visits were carried out in two phases with five institutions being visited during the first phase and three during the second. The National Coordinator did server installations at most of the institutions, including setting up the system to allow users to log in remotely to work on collections. He also helped them to customise the Greenstone user interface.
Established Digital Repositories
While there are repositories available locally at many institutions, publicly accessible repositories from Zimbabwean institutions that are members of ZULC are listed in the table below:
|African Capacity Building Foundation||Greenstone||http://elibrary.acbfpact.org/|
|Bindura University of Science Education||DSpace||http://digilib.buse.ac.zw:8090/xmlui/|
|National University of Science and Technology||DSpace||http://ir.nust.ac.zw:8080/jspui/|
|University of Zimbabwe||DSpace||http://ir.uz.ac.zw/jspui/|
|Zimbabwe Open University||DSpace||http://www.lis.zou.ac.zw:8080/dspace/|
The ADLSN National Centre for Zimbabwe is the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Library and the contact person there is Amos Kujenga:
114 Fort Street
Email: akujenga [at] gmail.com
amos.kujeng [at] adlsn.org