Internet access on a regular basis will finally be introduced at the three Lubuto libraries thanks to support from our donor OSISA.
To guide young people in accessing information via the internet, we recently launched a library portal on www.lubuto.org. The child-friendly portal is primarily designed for use in Lubuto libraries, but is useful to and accessible by anyone who can access our website. Lubuto’s cloud-based catalog, the primary finding tool for books, films and other resources in the Lubuto network of libraries, will now be available for use in the libraries. Children who have not been exposed to finding information online will greatly benefit from using the library catalog to identify books, and information within books then going from the catalog to find the book on the shelf. Thus, the catalog provides an important first step to information literacy, while also supporting full exploitation of the great books in Lubuto collections.
The portal additionally features three other “worlds” that can be explored, as outlined below.
We invite you to explore the new portal!
The portal home is at www.lubuto.org/library-portal which can also be found in lubuto.org’s main navigation menu under “Libraries” and links to the different pages tailored to serve library users. These pages are outlined below.
This is a link to Lubuto's online catalog, which is the finding tool for the holdings in all Lubuto libraries, including films available for showing in individual libraries as well as providing flexible and detailed access to Zambian books that have been scanned and included in the Zambia Heritage Library. As with any library catalog, subject indexing and other data in the cataloging record for each book allow the searcher to find information within books, not only identifying information in nonfiction books but also identifying fiction with themes of interest.
Zambia’s literary history is endangered. Many titles are out-of-print and at risk of being completely lost and forgotten. There are often very few extant copies of books, and the books themselves are not cataloged. Even older versions of Zambian titles still in print have original artwork no longer in print that needs to be preserved.
To combat growing problem, we partner with libraries worldwide to preserve and catalog Zambian books and to create the Zambia Heritage Library. The scanned books are now housed on www.lubuto.org. Users can browse titles in thirteen different languages spoken in Zambia and read books in those languages electronically. Zambian Heritage Library titles are also cataloged in the Lubuto catalog, which gives users far more user-friendly and detailed access to the holdings. The cataloging records contain a direct link to each of the scanned books.
For more than a year, we have been sharing the ideas and stories of Lubuto library users through “Voices of Lubuto.” The “voices” provide snapshots of what life is like for the children and youth of Lubuto libraries: their backgrounds and hardships; their favorite books and subjects; what they like to do for fun; their hopes and dreams; and what Lubuto libraries and programs mean to them.
Children can now see what their peers at the libraries have to say and read words of encouragement from people in Zambia and thousands of miles away. We encourage you to look through the Voices of Lubuto and to share and comment on the “voices” that resonate the most with you.
Elizabeth Giles compiled an extensive list of online resources for library users, which she organized on the portal according to the Lubuto Classification System (the system used to organize book collections in Lubuto libraries). From interactive soccer games, to websites on women’s health, to writing forums, the resources were carefully chosen to guide young people’s explorations on a wide range of topics in a safe, fun and engaging way. The resources page will be continually updated.
“I am a single orphan aged 15 and I came to live with my uncle in Lusaka from Kalomo. It wasn’t easy staying with my uncle’s wife because she made me overwork at home and when I wanted to study she would always find something for me to work on. I sometimes missed classes because she wouldn’t let me go to school before finishing house chores. My sister, who came to live with us, ran away due to her mistreatment at home.
I was always encouraged at the library and advised what actions to take if things got worse. I managed to join mentoring but failed to attend due to the same problems. I wished to be part of the mentoring sessions but I couldn’t manage and that hurt me a lot because I admired my friends taking part and I couldn’t. But this is all over now.
I gathered courage one day and explained all my problems I was facing to my uncle and he told my auntie not to treat me like that anymore. Since that time I am a free person now. I work at home as normal, I can study and attend the mentoring sessions without difficulties and am much happier because I also play with my friends freely.
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