MALA VISIT LIBRARY AND INFORMATION
SCIENCE STUDENTS AT MZUZU UNIVERSITY
There was Joy and ululation from
students and staff from the Department of Information Science at Mzuni when
they welcomed the Malawi Library Association Director of Publications Mr
Geoffrey Salanje on the 8th February 2018
Mala sent its Director of Publications
to Mzuni for the following:
To present a proposal to both staff and students for the
establishment of a MALA Students
Chapter at Mzuzu
Deliver a motivation talk to students in LIS department
To encourage both staff and students to write scholarly
papers for publishing in the Malawi Journal of Library and Information Science
Those that attended the presentations
were staff from DILS and Mzuzu University Library, students doing Bachelor’s
degree in Library and Information Science (BLIS) in Levels 3 and 4
respectively; and postgraduate students studying masters’ degree in LIS. At the
meeting the MALA director of publication gave a motivation talk to Students and
Staff titled “Titled Expectation versus Realities”
The presentations were well received
and was followed by discussions – more especially questions seeking
clarifications, comments and suggestions. The students were motivated and have
their eyes and ears opened on what is expected after finishing their studies
against their illusions. Some staff lamented on the fact that MALA was not as
popular as some membership associations such as ICT Association of Malawi,
Malawi Institute of Engineers, and Economists Association of Malawi (ICAM). In
his brief response; Salanje emphasized that MALA belongs to its members; as
such they are supposed to be active, pay membership fee regularly and make
suggestions on what they want their association to be or to be doing.
It was during the discussions it was
discovered that the LIS students have their own association known as MULISSA
(Mzuzu University Library and Information Science Students Association) duly
registered with Mzuzu University students union. The only problem was that not
many LIS students knew about its existence as such not all students are
members. MULISSA was somehow dormant though it has an executive committee
headed by a president who is a student in Level 3. It was agreed at the meeting
a need to have a body of LIS students that works with MALA in a form of MULISSA
or as a MALA branch.
At the meeting both staff and
students were made aware of the various MALA publications – more especially the
Malawi Journal of Library and Information Science. Staff and students
emphatically indicated that they already have a number of research papers that
could easily go into MJLIS, what they require is to polish them.
At the Meeting the MALA Director of
Publication, Students and members of the Department of Information Science
agreed on the following
MULISSA a student body
DLIS to be maintained and strengthened by allowing all LIS students become
members by compulsory. The head of DILS promised to meet the current MULISSA
leadership to map the way forward.
An annual membership fee for student for student to MALA will
be determined by the students in consultation with the head of DILS. The Head
of DILS to give feedback to MALA.
MULISSA President or his/her representative be a member of
MALA Executive Committee.
MALA Executive Committee must resuscitate the scholarship
with funding from Norwegian Library Association (NLA). It was also agreed that
other partnerships should be entered with other associations / organizations
for the benefit of its members.
MJLIS must include more international reviewers and editors
in order to increase its credibility.
Authors must be given adequate incentives as a motivation to
The journal must be indexed in such reputable e-resources
platforms such as African Journal Online (AJOL).
It was agreed at the meeting that the
next issue of MJLIS MUST be dedicated to papers from staff and students from
Mzuzu University, Department of Information Science. The Head of Department of Information
Sciences will coordinate the collection of those papers. It was also emphasised
that More of these meetings should held regularly so that LIS students are
motivated and also seek some clarifications about their chosen career. At the
end of the HOD of LIS thanked MALA for sending its director to Mzuni and said
he is looking forward to working with MALA.
*Mr Geoffrey Salanje is MALA Director of
Publications and Luanar Librarian