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Cape Crusade: Building the Steve Biko Library-Archive in the Eastern Cape

Cape Crusade: Building the Steve Biko Library-Archive in the Eastern Cape

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Cape Crusade: Building the Steve Biko Library-Archive in the Eastern Cape

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  1. Cape Crusade: Building the Steve Biko Library-Archive in the Eastern Cape Kenneth Schlesinger Chief Librarian Lehman College

  2. Mission Impossible • Draft a three-year Strategic Plan for proposed Library and Archive for Steve Biko Centre in Eastern Cape, South Africa • . . . in six weeks

  3. Who was Steve Biko? • South African student leader from the 1970s actively involved in liberation movement • Developed concept of Black Consciousness [community empowerment] • Brutally murdered by police while in detention in 1977 • His death awakened world to excesses and abuses of Apartheid

  4. Steve Biko gravesite

  5. Statue – East London City Hall

  6. Steve Biko Centre • Cultural heritage center under construction in Ginsberg Township [Biko’s hometown] • Museum, auditorium, conference center, community garden, Internet Café, library and archive • Community-oriented space promoting leadership development, training and empowerment • Need for spaces to interact – talk to each other • Petition to be designated as UNESCO World Heritage site

  7. Steve Biko Centre – under construction

  8. Process – Eastern Cape • Visit local public libraries – meet with librarians • Accomplish needs assessment of access, content and technology requirements • Meet with Provincial government representatives in libraries, archives and curriculum development

  9. South Africa - Map

  10. King William’s TownPublic Library

  11. East London Central Library

  12. Eastern Cape - Challenges • Poorest Province in South Africa • 43% unemployment – little local industry • 51% pass rate on high school Matriculation exam [second lowest in country] • Libraries under resourced – not acknowledged as part of education reform • Public schools share library services [in clusters of groups of ten] • Limited access to Internet technologies

  13. Archives - Plan • Visit Special Collections at National Library and major universities • Review original documents related to Steve Biko, Black Consciousness and student liberation movements • Attempt to enact duplication and exchange agreements with various repositories

  14. University of Fort Hare – Alice

  15. Computer Lab

  16. Rhodes University - Grahamstown

  17. Information Commons

  18. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University – Port Elizabeth

  19. University of the Witswatersrand [Wits] - Johannesburg

  20. Historical Papers – Reading Room

  21. University of Cape Town

  22. Manuscripts and Special Collections

  23. Project Plan – Mission Statement • Collection Scope *African History and Civilization *Cultural Heritage *African Diaspora *Information supporting Biko Centre programs and initiatives *Free public health information

  24. User Groups • Ginsberg Township, King William’s Town, Eastern Cape • Cradle to Grave: Pre-schoolers, Seniors, Primary, Secondary, University Students, Out-of-School students • Visitors, tourists, research scholars

  25. Space Planning Library divided into three sections: • Entrance – Reference Desk greets visitors • 10 Internet terminals • Central – Bookshelves on either side, bookstore-style • Four large work tables

  26. Space Planning Public Space includes the following: *Exhibit cases *Couches and chairs for Periodicals section *Carpeting-cushions for Children’s Readings

  27. Cataloging-Software-Consortia • Recommendation that Library selects Sabinet for cataloging and circulation management [OCLC-affiliated] • Join national SANLiC Consortium to make available major portal of electronic resources for Eastern Cape at reduced price • 10,000 book collection cataloged by Dewey Decimal system [used by most South African public and academic libraries]

  28. Staffing • Librarian • Archivist • Library Assistant [book cataloging-circulation] • Archive Assistant [records processing]

  29. Literacy-Writing CentreCurriculum Materials • Library offers literacy training to children and adults • Writing Centre staffed by volunteer specialists to critically review students’ essays • Teachers encouraged to contribute syllabi, lesson plans, and best practices to Curriculum Materials repository as community resource to foster excellence in instruction

  30. Outreach • Library must extend reach and influence beyond physical walls of Centre • Librarian can visit schools, child care centers, churches, and prisons for library orientations and Book Talks • Mobile Library – Bookmobile travels to schools in underserved rural areas to distribute books and provide computer demonstrations

  31. Steve Biko Archive • Specialized repository collects materials documenting Steve Biko’s writings, philosophy, political activity, and legacy • Archivist must proactively solicit related materials and pursue exchange agreements with appropriate collections • Archivist maintains intellectual control over release of sensitive documents

  32. Archives - Challenges • Special Collections at major universities reluctant to show primary documents • Perception that Biko Centre is in competition with them • In their defense – South African libraries have been burned by insensitive U.S. university libraries presuming ownership of documents in cooperative digitization projects

  33. Archives - Achievements • Mayibuye Archives agreed to share copies of Steve Biko-related documents • Memorandum of Understanding in process • National Library generous in showing rich liberation materials in collection • University of Cape Town provided lead to trove of oral histories related to Steve Biko with major players

  34. Mayibuye Archives – University of Western Cape

  35. South Africa National Library - Cape Town campus

  36. Computer LabMultimedia Centre • Computer Lab extends Library by offering information literacy workshops, exam preparation, and computer training [novice to advanced] • Multimedia Centre provides fledgling multimedia journalists with training in online editing and oral history techniques to create new programs and community legacy assets

  37. National School of the Arts students - Johannesburg

  38. Apartheid Museum – Take a Look at our Beautiful Country

  39. Then Walk Away Free . . .