Library of Congress to train TU-K staff

The Library of Congress in Nairobi will train academic and library staff of the Technical University of Kenya on descriptive cataloguing using Resource Description and Access (RDA).

This training offer was made during a consultative meeting between Prof. Joseph Kiplang’at, TU-K’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Administration, Planning & Infrastructure (DVC-API) and Dr. Edward Miner, the Director of the Library Congress in Nairobi.

RDA is the new cataloguing standard which is bound to replace the second edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR-2) which have been used to catalogue information materials since 1978.

“RDA is flexible and provides a comprehensive way to identify and describe diverse categories of information resources”, Dr. Miner explained. He added that most libraries the world over have already transitioned to RDA from AACR-2.

The training will be offered through shadowing of TU-K staff with experienced cataloguers at the Library of Congress. The participants in the training will be academic staff from the Department of Information and Knowledge Management as well as librarians. The training will equip the academic staff with technical skills in RDA which they will in turn impart to their students. The librarians, on the other hand, will be able to apply RDA in cataloguing digital and physical information resources.

While appreciating the offer, Prof Kiplang’at said that this training will place TU-K among the most progressive schools of library and information science which have embraced RDA and rolled out training modules on it. He explained that the training opportunity has come at the most opportune time because it will enable the university to produce graduates who meet the emerging market needs. “Given that our motto is to provide education and training for the real world, this is one of the best mechanisms of realising our vision”, he added.

Dr. Miner expressed the confidence of Library of Congress in TU-K as a valuable partner in championing the use of new information organisation and retrieval tools because of its historical reputation of offering training programmes in information and knowledge management.

The Library of Congress in Nairobi is one of six overseas offices administered by the African/Asian Acquisitions and Overseas Operations Division of the Library. These offices acquire, catalogue, preserve, and distribute library and research materials from countries where such materials are essentially unavailable through conventional acquisitions methods.

The Library of Congress also donated a cache of special information materials to the TU-K library. These were received by Joyce Nyambala on behalf of the Director of Library and Learning Services.

Dr. Miner was accompanied by Terry Ngatia and Alfred Odhiambo. Prof. Tom Kwanya, the Director of the School of Information and Communication Studies and Dr. Naomi Mwai, the Chairperson of the Department of Information and Knowledge Management also attended the meeting.