African Library Information Services and Contribution to Sustainable Development: A Perception Paper

  •  Rosemary M. Shafack    


One of the main challenges of every society is how to gain access to authentic, quality and trustworthy information for the proper functioning of the various sectors of society. Every human being needs one type of information or the other to meet their varying needs in order to function properly. Information is an enabler of the acquisition of skills and knowledge for sustainable livelihood. This is evident in that access to information has been considered a fundamental human right and supported by many organizations such as, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). It is obviously clear that, there can be no sustainable development without access to information and there can be no meaningful inclusive access to information without libraries, a view supported by outstanding leaders of the information profession. Libraries have proven to drive the knowledge economy which constitutes an indicator of sustainability. As such, they have been so well structured into types in a way that covers all segments of the human society. There is no single individual whose information needs cannot therefore be catered for by one type of library or the other. Library services, therefore, are indispensable in all aspects of the human community. This paper ignites discussions on the contributions of the African library services in supporting individual citizens, communities, institutions and economies in order to improve livelihood and quality of life in a sustainable way. In partnership with governments, well-functioning African library services can contribute to sustainable development through education, literacy, health, economy, ensuring equality, social justice, cultural growth, and good governance. This is, certainly, needed to help build a resilient African society, the Africa we want, through sustainable development.

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