Libraries Hosts Africa Satellite Meeting

Ohio University Libraries will host the satellite meeting for the Africa section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) conference from August 11-12, 2016, in Alden Library’s Friends of the Library Room (319).

The satellite meeting for the Africa section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) conference will be hosted by OHIO Libraries August 1112, 2016. (Image courtesy of the International Federation of Library Associations website)
The satellite meeting for the Africa section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) conference will be hosted by OHIO Libraries August 1112, 2016. (Image courtesy of the International Federation of Library Associations website)

The theme for this year’s satellite meeting is “Building Cross Cultural Capabilities for Universal Access to Information and Knowledge in Africa.”

“The Libraries’ hosting of the satellite serves to reinforce Ohio University’s rich history of collaborations with African institutions in the development of education and knowledge in Africa,” said Araba Dawson-Andoh, Africana librarian. “A history dating back to the late 1950s when President Baker decided to open the doors of Ohio University to the world and started engaging in international education programs.”

In 1957, Ohio University received an overseas contract from the United States government that enabled the University to “provide technical advice and assistance in the development of a higher education infrastructure and teacher training programs in what was then the Western region of Nigeria,” said Dawson-Andoh.

Throughout the years, OHIO’s faculty have served as an integral part of these collaborative programs, which fostered “decades-long involvement in education development projects in various African countries including Cameroon, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho.”

“President Baker’s successors, notably Dr. Vernon R. Alden (1962-1969) and Dr. Charles Ping (1975-1994) continued the efforts of globalizing the University and internationalization became a key component of Ohio University’s mission,” said Dawson-Andoh.

The Africa section satellite meeting will kick-off with a speech by keynote speaker Ruby Bell-Graham, librarian for African studies and international development studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

There will be five panel sessions and paper presentations on a multitude of relevant topics that align with the meeting’s theme, such as the role of libraries in empowering African communities; partnerships and collaboration; social media and community library outreach; building cross cultural capabilities, and libraries and cultural development, among other topics.

Conference attendees and presenters from various African countries and all over the United States are traveling to Athens, Ohio for the Africa section satellite meeting before attending the main IFLA Conference in Columbus, Ohio from August 13-19.

IFLA, an international organization for professional networking and development in the library information services sector, has more than 120 member countries and 3,500 participants worldwide. Each year, IFLA’s annual conference is held in a different location, and the section satellite meetings are held prior to the conference.

The panel sessions and paper presentations for the Africa section satellite meeting are open to all. For more information on the Africa satellite conference, please visit the IFLA Africa section’s webpage.