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Positioning the technological university library in higher education and human resources development in Africa

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Purpose ‐ This paper seeks to discuss the positioning of academic libraries in universities of science and technology in Africa. With the importance that is given to the establishment and outputs of these types of universities and to skills development as a contributing factor to Africa's development, the role of library and information services are to be discussed. The paper aims to focus on the position of the library in relation to the changing complexity of information resources, tools for users to access information, IT developments, knowledge creation and dissemination, community engagement, support for innovation and entrepreneurial development, external partnerships and measuring service delivery through research. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The challenges for the library in science and technology universities are to remain relevant to the development of skilled human resource that can contribute to Africa's economic and social development. The changing information provision landscape, the new community engagement programmes, the thrust to contribute to knowledge development and the support for innovation and entrepreneurial development ensure that the library remains relevant in the academic projects in Africa. Findings ‐ The library in science and technology universities in Africa and in other developing countries remains an important strategic partner in the development of human resources and overall economic and social development of the continent. Originality/value ‐ The discussion in the paper provides some insights into the planning and development of emerging technological university libraries in Africa and other developing regions.
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Keywords: Academic libraries; Africa; Higher education; Human resource development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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