The New Vision Resource Centre and ICT
Godfrey Malime is the chief librarian at the New Vision. He joined the organization in 1992 as a trainee librarian. He went through the ranks to get to his current position. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in librarianship and information sciences. He is also in possession of a postgraduate diploma in journalism and media management and another postgraduate diploma in Tourism management.
The New Vision Group is the biggest multimedia house in Uganda. It publishes 8 newspapers and 5 magazines. It owns 3 FM radio stations and a television network. (www.newvision.co.ug)
Ali: How did you get where you are?
Malime: David Mukholi, the current Sunday Vision editor, trained me as a librarian. At the time of joining the New Vision, he was the chief librarian. All credit goes to David for all my achievements as a librarian. He trained me so well, that when time for him to move on came, he recommended me to take over his post as chief librarian. My qualifications and experience made me the best candidate for the job.
I can see the library is now bigger and better organized, who takes the credit for the current set up?
The current set up is my own effort. When more space was offered to us, I personally re organized the library.
So what does the library constitute of?
The library constitutes of newspaper clippings, pictures, old newspapers, books, journals, magazines and pamphlets. The most frequent visitors are journalists and researchers. Old newspapers are bound monthly in hard cover volumes. Newspaper clippings and pictures are kept by subject to make it easier for a researcher or journalists to search.
The rest of the New Vision has embraced the digital culture apart from your department, why is this so?
Firstly most of the researchers who visit the New Vision seek for physical evidence in most cases required by courts of law. We copy for them this evidence and verify it by certifying it as a true copy. Such evidence is admissible in court. Courts in Uganda are yet to admit digital evidence.
Secondly, due to budgetary constraints, the library is not on the priority list of departments to be fully digitalized. Today we have only 3 computers for internal use. Our clients cannot do their searches using the computer, but because we are quite experienced we know exactly what they want and where to find it, so we always assist.
Are your services free?
No. From 9.00 am to 12.00noon, outsiders can access the library at a fee of the equivalent of 1 dollar. Photocopying is also charged 1 dollar. Certifying and photos are charged 2.5 and 10 dollars respectively. New Vision staff access it free of charge.
Tell me how you use ICT in the library
The library still needs appropriate software for archiving. However the resource centre is not taken as a priority by the management. What we do now is to pdf the digital newspaper and manually archive it. We use Adobe Photo shop programme to archive photos in different folders on the intranet. Hard copy photos are now minimal. We have requisitioned for a bigger scanner to enable us scan all past newspapers to be stored digitally in their entirety.
The mobile phone has also been an essential tool because the librarian is accessible any time by the editorial department.
The library additionally uses the Internet to subscribe and receive magazines and newsletters for reference. We also expect soon to acquire computers to be used by our clients to access information more quickly.
How do you rate the new technological innovations?
Today, the library has changed its role as a traditional bookkeeper to virtual and digital access provider. It is therefore important to digitalize all the functions of the library to be able to fulfill this new role.