The Consortium of Tanzania University Libraries and Research Institutions (COTUL) has asked the Government through the Prime Minister's office to help buy electronic publications used for teaching in colleges because they are sold at expensive prices that the consortium cannot afford to buy.
The Chairman of the Consortium, Dr. Sydney Msonde made the request on November 9, 2023 during the opening of a scientific conference that has brought together various academics at the level of librarians, lecturers from universities in Tanzania Mainland and Islands, researchers and people dealing with technology (IT) issues. SUA is well represented by six staff including Prof. Mtega who is one of the COTUL Executives and a facilitator for the training workshop.Other librarians from SUA who are participating to this conference are: Mr. Donasian Mabula, Mr. Jabir Jabir, Mr Abiud Philipo, Ms. Erica Mgowano and Ms. Flaviana.
He said that COTUL's goal is to ensure that electronic publications are available to lecturers and students so that they can do their basic activities of learning, teaching and doing research in this country. However, buying these publications has become a challenge due to their high prices.
Dr. Msonde gave an example of the publication of a data work called 'Science Direct' which is sold for 250,000 US dollars, so it is not easy for one of the local institutions to be able to afford to buy such a publication.
"COTUL, our big task is to mobilize and bring together all public and private institutions so that they can contribute part of the financial resources that will enable them to buy these basic publications to meet the need to do teaching and research in the country," said Dr. Msonde.
Dr. Msonde said that the transfer and access to these publications may not be productive if the lecturers and students who will be using them do not develop the best ability to use them which is the basic thing.
He said the aim of the conference is to discuss the future of the library profession and how lecturers in public institutions and individuals can use electronic publications to improve teaching and learning for students in Tanzania.
The Director of the Monitoring and Evaluation Department of the Prime Minister's Office, Sakina Mwinyimkuu, praised COTUL for making great strides in the 15 years since the consortium was established in 2008.
He said that the consortium has been a great help to the government by helping it get various information and knowledge that would normally be expensive to get.
"The existence of COTUL is an opportunity even for those of us who are involved in conducting various evaluations, including research, it is indeed a very important platform," said Mwinyimkuu.
This year COTUL commensurate its 15th birthday. Its founder members include the Sokoine University of Agriculture, the University of Dar es Salaam, The Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, the Institute of Finance Management, The State University of Zanzibar and the Institute of Rural Development and Planning. This year’s conference theme is “Library and Information Services in the Digital Era” and the workshop theme is “Marketing Library and Information Services”.
For more information, https://www.michuzi.co.tz/2023/11/cotul-yatoa-ombi-kwa-serikali-kusaidia.html