Think Big Start Small: Institutional Repositories: Policies, Strategies, Technological Options, Standards and Best Practices. The Case of the University of Buea

Ngum, Harry
Shafack, Rosemary
Koelen, M. Th.
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In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the number of people living in hunger and poverty and stimulating economic growth to enhance rural household economies, the stakeholders involved need to provide access to resources and technology as well as effective information services. Information and knowledge are fundamental for education and development as well as essential requirements to improve the quality of life for people living in regions where the population has not reached a high level of economic and social development. Libraries play an important role in this educational and research process. For strengthening educational capacity and building up research capacity, access to relevant information is of great importance. In this paper an initiative at a university in Cameroon is described. The purpose of this paper is to give insight into the challenges most African universities face in developing their institutional repositories. The aim is to investigate how evolving digital technologies could be integrated into the libraries of these African universities. In the light of existing realities in most African countries, the creation of an enabling institutional environment for information repositories to blossom is of prime importance. Information repositories often stand low on the scale of priorities and this can be attributed to the laxity in national and institutional regulation and policies. How therefore do we get to run an institutional repository when the platform for information resources (the library) is not a priority for policy makers and for the institutions themselves?
ICADLA, conference, digital library, archive, Buea, standards, policy, strategies, IR