Congratulations to 19 African library innovators
EIFL announces names of 19 successful applicants for the IYALI (‘Young African Library Innovators’) learning experience

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ibrarians writing on big sheets of paper during training
Public librarians from Uganda attending EIFL training. IYALI builds on EIFL’s capacity building programme for public librarians in Africa, which supports public library service innovation.

We are delighted to announce the names of 19 successful applicants for IYALI (‘Young African Library Innovators’ initiative), a peer learning and international networking experience for African public librarians.

IYALI is an initiative of the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), in partnership with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The initiative aims to expose emerging public library innovators in Africa to experiences and ideas from other developing and transition economy countries.

The 19 successful applicants represent public and community libraries that serve urban and rural communities from across the African continent.

Algeria - Djillali Chatane, Head of Information Services at Public Library of ‘Le Center Cultural Islamique’ of Oran. The library serves an urban community in the coastal city of Oran, which is Algeria’s second most important city after the capital city, Algiers.

Ghana -  Felicia Kuubepuo, Library Assistant at Sunyani Public Library (Ghana Library Authority). This public and mobile library service serves 36 communities in Berekum municipality in southern Ghana.

Kenya -

  • Jemmimah Wangechi Maragwa, Librarian at Kangema Library, Kenya National Library Services. The library’s community includes many tea and coffee farmers.
  • Joseck Olala, ICT Officer at Nakuru Public Library, Kenya National Library Service. The library serves Nakuru County, whose population is predominantly young people, many of whom live in impoverished conditions in Rhonda slum.
  • Koi Kazungu, Senior Library Assistant at Kwale Community Library, Kenya National Library Service, which serves communities in Kwale County on Kenya’s south coast, where literacy levels among young people are low.

Malawi -  Khumbo Ng'ong'ola, Readers’ Services Librarian at Malawi National Library Service, which manages 17 public libraries serving urban and rural communities across Malawi.

Namibia - Ezze Shipo, Senior Librarian at Okalongo Community Library, which serves business people, including many street vendors, and farmers living in and around Okalongo village in northern Namibia.

Nigeria - Ranti Ishola, Assistant Library Officer at Oyo State Library Board, which operates four libraries serving Oyo State in southwestern Nigeria.

South Africa -

  • Mukhethwa Patience Tshisikule, Reference Librarian at Bellville Public Library, which serves urban communities in the City of Cape Town Municipality in South Africa’s Western Cape Province.
  • Sydney Nkosi, Librarian at Emjindini Public Library in Mbombela Municipality, serving urban and rural communities in South Africa’s northeastern Mpumalanga Province.
  • Thuletu Brenda Mlumbi-Javu, Adult Librarian at Kuyasa Public Library, a new library that opened in 2015 to serve people living in the vast peri-urban settlement of Khayelitsha in South Africa’s Western Cape Province.

Tanzania -

  • Taus Hamad Banzi, Kibaha Regional Librarian (Tanzania National Library Board). Kibaha Public Library serves the coastal district of Kibaha, including Kibaha town and surrounding villages.
  • Shariff Mdanku, Librarian at Mwanza Regional library (Tanzania Library Service Board), which serves communities living in Mwanza Region on the shores of Lake Victoria in Northern Tanzania.
  • Jackline Mshana, Head of Projects and Programmes at Tanzania Library Service Board, which operates a network of regional and district libraries serving communities all over Tanzania.

Uganda -

  • Betty Kabanyoro Wamara, Senior Assistant Librarian at Hoima Municipal Council Public Library which serves the town of Hoima in Uganda’s Western Region.
  • Bonny Olobo, Adult Library Officer at Kampala Public Library in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.
  • Isa Maganda, Chief Librarian at Nambi Sseppuuya Community Resource Centre, serving a rural community living in and around Igombe Village in Jinja District, eastern Uganda

Zambia -

  • Given Mwenda Besa, Library Manager at Ngwerere Lubuto Library, which serves poor and vulnerable children in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city.
  • Allan Hagwelele Mudenda, Provincial Librarian at the Provincial Education Office, which manages libraries in Zambia’s Southern Province.


IYALI builds on EIFL’s broader capacity building programme for public librarians in Africa, which supports public library service innovation.

In August, IYALI participants will attend the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2017, which takes place in Wrocław, Poland.

Before the IFLA conference, they will attend a pre-conference in neighbouring Lithuania, where they will share knowledge and experiences of innovative public library services with each other and with Lithuanian and Polish colleagues. EIFL is working with the National Library of Lithuania and Information Society Development Foundation in Poland to develop the pre-conference programme.

The IYALI participants will also be able to share their experiences and learning during the third AfLIA Conference in 2018.

In 2018, a second IYALI group will attend the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Malaysia and visit another Asian country to share knowledge and experiences of public library service innovation.