Open Journal Systems

National Library and Information Policies for Africa

Anaba A. Alemna


African governments have been slow to act in creating library and information policies (as per the UNESCO NATIS pattern). A number of proposed plans are examined, and common elements are described. The prognosis for NATIS plans in Africa is not favorable, however, and in fact most of the thinking about such plans appears to be limited to librarians. Obstacles to national planning include lack of awareness by government officials of the utility of information, the poor image of the library profession, and the low quality of national library collections. Some proposals are offered to ameliorate the situation, one of which is that librarians themselvesas promoters of informationhave to show themselves as well informed and capable of useful research into information problems.

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