Wednesday, September 28, 2005

1st day of papers

Hi all in WC and elsewhere in the world

I am sure other bloggers to this blog will have commented on the 1st day already. My two cents follows.

The international speakers we had really adds value to this conference and allow us to travel beyond our borders for a while.

So far we have heard from the National Librarian of Cuba and the President of the Nigerian Library Assocation.

I am now writing from memory and what I most remember is the fact that Cuba is free of illiteracy. We need to take lessons from this country. Secondly, the public library system is part of the national library. I recall something similar with re Malaysia's public library system being part of the national library. This is perhaps part of the solution to our public library system that is plagued by closures, staff shortages and being managed and staffed by non-librarians.

The President of the Nigerian Library Association had some interesting statistics and argued that library are part of the solution to poverty. To represent his paper adequately will take a little more time than I have at the moment.

The person, whose name escapes me now, who attended and spoke on behalf of the local governement, made a very important point. Many people believe that we should come to conferences only if they can get something out of it that would translate directly into tangible and immediate benefits to the main institution. I have many problems with that line of thinking. Suffice it to say, that we in HE have much to contribute to the building of the profession and professionals in SA, and we should come to conference to contriubute. This is how we give more than we receive.

Got to rush off to the next session.

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