Information sharing among fisheries and aquaculture institutions for sustainable development in Malawi

Information sharing among fisheries and aquaculture institutions for sustainable development in Malawi

How well managed is fisheries information in Malawian libraries?

Malawi has not more than ten libraries and information centers which are involved in aquaculture and fisheries information. These libraries and information centers have a major role of providing the required information used for teaching, learning and research. However, it is impossible for a single library or information centre to satisfy the information needs of its users alone. The reasons range from inadequate financial resources to inadequate space to keep the information.

This paper outlines first what libraries and information centers in Malawi are doing to ensure that they are able to share fisheries and aquaculture information among themselves and discusses the problems they encounter in such an effort. Finally the paper suggests some solutions to the problems so that they can best share information resources.

Libraries and information centers involved in aquaculture and fisheries sciences in Malawi have over the years been cooperating by sending each other accessions lists, inter-lending services, distribution of duplicates and papers presented by scientists and inviting one another to workshops/ seminars/ meetings. These efforts have not worked effectively because of a number of reasons such as:

  • a few institutions produce and send accessions lists which may not be current
  • unreliable and slow postage services
  • inadequate resources for sharing
  • scientists not depositing their papers to libraries and information centers
  • infrequency of workshops/ seminars/ meetings
  • lack of and untrained staff.

The author concludes that aquaculture and fisheries information libraries in Malawi have the potential and opportunities of sharing information /documents among themselves and with other institutions within or outside the country. However, they have to resolve some of the challenges they face in their efforts to share this information.
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