Capacity building of public librarians in Zambia

EIFL training to inspire creation of new public library services that meet community needs in Zambia

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The Zambian trainees, from 12 public libraries, in a group outside the training venue.
The trainees from 12 public libraries in Zambia who attended the first round of EIFL-LIAZ training in Zambia in February 2018, with their trainers.

In 2018, EIFL entered into a partnership with the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) for a national initiative that will build digital technology and professional skills of public library staff to enable them to initiate new public library services that use technology to meet community needs.

The initiative targets 12 public and community libraries in Zambia that are already equipped with computers and the internet. Two librarians from each of the 12 public libraries (a total of 24) will take part in the training.

The training is organized by the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) and LIAZ.


The Zambia training adapts the four-module curriculum successfully tested in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, and expands it with the addition of a fifth module:

Module 1: Advanced information and communication technology (ICT) skills for public librarians.

Module 2: Internet searching and e-resources.

Module 3: Developing and managing new public library services, including community needs assessment, writing funding proposals, service design, new service implementation and impact assessment.

Module 4: Communications and advocacy, including how to publicize new services in communities and advocate for resources to fund and sustain new services.

Module 5: ‘Social Learning Circles for Online Learners’. This module developed out of a pilot project in which EIFL partnered with the US-based non-profit organization, Peer to Peer University, and Kenya National Library Service. Learning Circles are lightly-facilitated in-person study groups for online learners. (Read more about the pilot project and its impact.)

Gaps of at least a month between training sessions enable librarians to return to their libraries to integrate new knowledge and skills into their daily workflows. During these breaks, the librarians also develop action plans for introduction of innovative public library services that use ICT. The plans are shared and discussed. during training.


January to December 2018.


  • In February 2018, 24 public librarians from 12 libraries completed a skills course in advanced ICT (Module 1). The librarians learnt training skills so that they can provide computer and internet training in their communities.
  • In May 2018, 24 public librarians from 12 public libraries completed training in internet searching, e-resources and new service development ( Modules 2 and 3).
  • In October 2018, 24 public librarians from 12 public libraries completed training in communications and advocacy, and ‘Social Learning Circles for Online Learners’ (Modules 4 & 5).
  • In May 2019, 11 Zambian public librarians attended an EIFL training-of-trainers workshop to enable them to train their fellow librarians.

What’s next for EIFL’s capacity building initiative in Zambia

At the end of the training, EIFL invited public libraries that attended the training to apply for small grants to implement innovative services that use ICT to serve their communities. A total of three grants will be awarded - watch our website for details.


The Zambian training is part of a major public library capacity building initiative for public librarians in Africa. After successfully piloting national training for public librarians in Ghana in 2014, EIFL-PLIP adapted the curriculum and methodology to meet the needs of public librarians in EthiopiaKenyaUganda and Zambia.

Read Public librarians in Africa ready for action after training, EIFL-PLIP Impact Manager Ugne Lipeikaite’s blog about the results of EIFL’s capacity building initiatives in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

LIAZ is extremely happy to partner with EIFL in this project. Times have changed, computers and the internet have become essential information tools, and Zambian librarians need new skills to use this technology to provide better services.
Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, former President of LIAZ , who is coordinating EIFL's capacity building initiative in Zambia.