Zimbabwe Library Association president Mr. Lantern Fusire has been invited to present on the current situation of public libraries in Zimbabwe at the forthcoming Directors of Housing and Community Services Forum to be held in Bindura in October.
The Forum for Directors of Housing and Community Services is a community comprising local authorities Housing and Community Services directors that meet regularly to discuss, and share ideas towards solving challenges within their jurisdictions.The invitation came at a time ZimLA was driving advocacy initiatives to promote the growth and expansion of libraries in Zimbabwe. The public library system has lagged behind under the existing harsh economic condition that has affected council run public library funding. The building infrastructure and library collections are heavily depleted.
Efforts to resuscitate the public library interest group that can assist in advocacy initiatives for public libraries has been in discussion for quite a while with limited progress due to a plethora of reasons not limitrd to geographical locations, lack of initiatives by local public librarians, skills gap and obsolete Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure that make it impossible for networking amongst the public librarians.
At the recently held ZimLA conference in Masvingo, Masvingo mayor Councilor Hubert Fidze pledged to convince the Housing and Community Development department to revive community libraries. He noted that, "The conference was an eye opener; I will talk to the Housing Director (Levison Nzvura) and encourage him to revive community libraries. There is also need to encourage young and ambitious Zimbabweans to recognize and take up librarianship as a rewarding career path. Qualified and competent librarians and media centre specialists therefore should be encouraged to apply and manage these libraries and media centers."
Through this initiative ZimLA anticipate renewed public library support from local councils will greatly benefit community users and in a large way assist to attain the global United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.