Knowledge Ambassadors Project Launched
From left: Ms. Lucy Kiana, IUM Librarian and Mr. Sibu Zondi, Regional Manager of Emerald Publishing in Sub – Saharan Africa flanked by the Dorado Park Main Campus library staff and some of the Knowledge Ambassadors
The IUM Library recently launched the IUM- Knowledge Ambassadors Project. The project was implemented in partnership with Emerald Publishing in South Africa and aimed at developing information-literate library users – precisely students, as well as creating awareness of available library resources and services, and promoting their usage.
Knowledge Ambassadors in general, are student volunteers who are passionate about library services and resources and zealous to promote the same to their peers. Through the knowledge imparted onto them by the library staff, Knowledge Ambassadors would in turn create awareness of the library services and sources to fellow students and staff; train them on how to use library resources, empower them with search skills – all to promote the use of authentic information resources. The project also equips students with necessary information skills that, in addition to assisting them in exceling in their academics, will help to make them lifelong learners.
The Knowledge Ambassadors Project was piloted at the Dorado Park Main Campus Library since April 2017. It started with 10 students and has grown in leaps and bounds since then.
The project is the first of its kind in Namibia adding it to a list of countries in Africa with similar projects such as Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, and Swaziland. Furthermore, IUM is the first institution of higher education to implement such a project in Namibia which thus boosts the image of the University.
Being a knowledge ambassador has several benefits for students. Knowledge Ambassadors will get opportunities to compete with other Knowledge Ambassadors in Africa from countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, and Swaziland. Another benefit is that a Knowledge Ambassador of the Year will be chosen every year and awarded a scholarship by Emerald Publishing. Other assistance from Emerald Publishing for the Knowledge Ambassadors includes training and materials such as banners, t-shirts, caps and brochures.
The project is open to all students who are active library users and are willing and have time to partake in different library activities like library week and training of peers. Another criterion for being a Knowledge Ambassador is that students should be in their first or second year of study, have interest, and be willing to train and educate others.
Following the pilot study at the Dorado Park Main Campus Library, plans are underway to roll out the Knowledge Ambassador Project to other IUM campuses.