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Monday, March 28, 2011

UNESCO Boosts Efforts to Digitalise National Library

The National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM/UNESCO) on Friday presented IT equipment to The Gambia National Library in supporting efforts to digitalise the library.
4 computers, a heavy duty copier, a colour printer, a flatbed scanner and a digital camera, procured at a tune of D230, 000.00, were officially presented to the Library officials at a presentation ceremony held at the Gambia National Library in Banjul on Friday.
“The public library is the local gateway to knowledge as it provides a basic condition for life-long learning, independent decision-making and cultural development of the individual and social groups, ” Sisay said Dr. Fatoumata Sisay-Joof, vice chairperson of NATCOM board.
Dr. Sisay-Joof described the gesture as a necessity in making sure that the Gambia National Library goes digital in performing their office duties for easy accessibility of library materials. 
“We [UNESCO- NATCOM] are quite aware of the new technological challenges of the library services but these challenges are equally opportunities for the national library to upgrade and integrate new technologies and adapt to the new trends,” she added. “We know that The Gambia National Library services authority is striving to respond to those needs and working towards a state of the art digital library in the very near future.”
According to her, The Gambia National Commission for UNESCO, through its programmes provides technical and material support to its partners each year.
“For this year, UNESCO-NATCOM, with funding from the 2010-2011 UNESCO Participation programme has been able to provide 4 computers, a heavy duty copier, a colour printer, a flatbed scanner and a digital camera, which cost D230, 000.00, in response to the request made by the national library,” she said.
Madam Sukai Bojang, the Secretary General of NATCOM/UNESCO noted that most libraries in the world are on digital, adding that it is relevant to provide such equipment to the library for them to join the digital world.
 “In every ten years, UNESCO provides office equipment to the needy and in this year’s package, The Gambia National Library happens to benefit,” she said, adding that “They will not only benefit from the equipment but training as well so as to boost their work in the library services.”
Abdou Wally Mbye, director general of The Gambia National Library Services Authority acknowledged that UNESCO is a major partner. According to him, UNESCO is the only partner that comes to the library’s aid with such a huge and needed equipment that would help them digitalise the library.
 “We will from now on be able to show up the national library global connection, where everybody can excess our information,” he said.
Being a national library, Mbye said: “We are hardly acknowledged in our work but not in the case of NATCOM/UNESCO as they are helping us to achieve our goals by being visible globally; we haven’t  get this assistance from any other partner, and for that we have delightedly designated the National Library American Conner to UNESCO Conner.”
In a separate engagement, NATCOM/UNESCO also benefited from UNESCO assistance under the Participation programme, IT equipment comprising 7 computers, 4 multifunction printers, 6 UPS voltage stabilizers, 4 external hard drives, a professional digital camera, an A3 colour printer and a heavy duty copier have been provided for the office were presented to UNESCO at the National Library office in Banjul.
Author: Abdoulie Nget

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