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Harare Polytechnic-The Department of Library and Information Science
Initiatives towards inforpreneural development
The Department of Library and Information Science has been in existence since 1985 and throughout this period it has successfully managed to produce quality graduates in the areas of Library and Information Science, Records Management and Information Science and Health Care Information and Medical Records Management. Initially our curriculum was designed to produce job seekers but with the advent of economic problems we were forced to make a volte-face as we had to redesign our curriculum in line with the current economic challenges. This involved incorporating inforpreneural concepts so that students could acquire entrepreneurial skills on how to develop information related business plans, market products or services as well as overall management of any information oriented consultancy work.
The Department set up a Departmental run business, which offers services in bibliographic compilation, organisation of knowledge including indexing, abstracting, cataloguing and classification and providing short-term courses in Information Science. In line with the college ‘s strategic direction, the Department resolved to come up with projects that could be used as a starting point in income generation. We were able to come up with project proposals that would help us to manage and make use of our intellectual and material resources as a way to generate income for our self sustenance as a department.
It is common knowledge that unusual situations demand unusual solutions and when people choose the unfamiliar instead of the familiar they achieve greatness and immortality.This implies that innovations are critical in the area of Information Science because of the complexities of a dynanmic information driven society.This new paradigm shift did bring dividends because we got a contract to compile bibliographic records for the public institutions in Zimbabwe. This kept us occupied as we grappled with the AACR2, the DDC’s and Sees list of subject headings and other bibliographic tools. We were also able to offer consultancy services to other institutions that intended to set up, or relocate libraries and also individuals intending to prepare business project proposals. We were able to involve Library and Information science students in live projects Library and Information Science, for example practical cataloguing and classification.
It is the policy of the college that each department involved in income generating projects should be able to draw a balance sheet at the end of each trading season so as to calculate loss and profits. This is achieved through calculating the total value of resources used divided by total amount of resources available, multiplied by the value of resources generated. The sum of this equation has been used to determine the direction of the business to determine whether we are progressing or not.
This new experience towards an entrepreneurial drive has taught us that to be enterprising you need to be prepared to take the necessary risk. We have also realized that through teamwork you can achieve the best results because a business unit should be managed on the laws of return. It is through pulling our synergies together that we have been able to steward our departmental run business towards a purposeful direction. Our vision is to create a self-sustaining department if the economy improves. It is our belief that through such initiatives and innovations we can be able to create the foundation for an information or knowledge driven industry this new development has also taught us that when you venture into an entrepreneurial programme you need to persist and be prepared to accept failure or success. It is high time that Library Schools should produce Professionals who will harness the expertise of their staff should manage libraries and encouraging and promoting innovative programmes that generate income.
Prepared by C.T.CHISITA Msc.LIS
Submitted by collence on 28 February 2009 - 5:15pm. categories [ ]