Following up a one-week of general training in Kenya, the second part of the Nairobi CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries took place at CERN this year, from 17th-28th June. This in-depth training saw the participation of 4 African librarians invited to CERN to complete their training after attending the Kenyan School in early October 2018.
Now on its 5th edition, the CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries aims at making African research more visible, by familiarizing librarians with open access and open science principles, introducing them to new web technologies and services, such as Invenio, and advising them how to further develop their own digital libraries.
Throughout their two weeks in Geneva, the participants attended conferences at the United Nations, met advocates of open access and created new professional networks. “It was my first time in Europe, and we had the opportunity to meet new people, make connections with founders and delegates around the world”, says Peter Otuoma, from Kenya, who is a systems librarian at Karatina University.
Most importantly, during this follow up training, they had the chance to work hands-on on open access technologies with the help of CERN experts, which has helped them come up with solutions for their own professional challenges. “The solutions for open access I discovered here were quite helpful. Now I feel confident I will be able to test my knowledge back in my home institution”, says Timothy Sukya, systems librarian at University of Nairobi.
When asked about what the future had in store, Daniel Mwashiuya, from Tanzania, had no doubts he would help spread and share the knowledge learned at CERN: “The role of librarians worldwide is constantly changing. We are no longer just sitting on shelves and this is why we need to familiarize ourselves with digital libraries. Giving back to my institution is equally important as coming to Geneva and having an in-depth training of open access technologies.”
Winfreda Nalwimba, from Zambia, the only female participant who was able to attend the training at CERN, had also great plans. She was amazed that “at CERN develop for the sake of science, for the humankind”, and hopes that by sharing her experience at CERN, she can inspire more girls in her home institution to be involved in Science.
The CERN-UNESCO School for Digital Libraries is an Education & Outreach project supported by the CERN & Society Foundation. The 2016 school in Ghana, the 2018 school in Kenya and their follow-up training at CERN were only possible due to the kind donation received from Ms. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus.
Download now the 2018 CERN & Society Foundation Annual Review, to learn more about the Nairobi CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries.