We currently have two students from UNZA (The University of Zambia Department of Library Studies) on attachment (work experience) in the Lubuto Library at Fountain of Hope. I have to say they were quite surprised when they arrived and saw the Library – questions such as “How do you maintain silence?” made me realise just how innovative the Lubuto model is in the Zambian context! However they are adjusting very well and beginning to understand the importance of the work we do. They are beginning to understand why, for example, we use our own unique classification system so that the children can find books more easily; how valuable our programmes are; and why the children who visit our Libraries are never referred to as “Users”! They are starting to engage with the children and are learning how to use the skills that they have learnt on their degree course in a more flexible way.
We are hoping that this experience will really be eye-opening for them, and that they will go back and spread the word about Lubuto to their fellow students. Hopefully this will be the start of a beneficial partnership with UNZA.