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Carrying a Library in your Pocket

NSCC Library Services at VETA Mikumi 2013

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As we prepare for our last training session at VETA Mikumi and get ready to say our goodbyes to this beautiful country and the many friends we’ve made during our time here, I reflect on the many successes we’ve experienced in the library and IT portion of the “Building Capacity in Tourism and Hospitality Training” project and all we’ve learned along the way.
In this final phase of the project, the library team, Leigh Gagnier, NSCC Electronic Services Librarian, Christina Pottie, South Shore Public Libraries Outreach Coordinator, and I identified and purchased e-books and apps to build an electronic library of resources to support the needs of the faculty and students in their teaching and learning. These e-resources were pre-loaded onto tablets as a convenient and flexible library solution, a ‘library in your pocket’.
It was especially exciting to witness the practical application of these tablets in both the Tour Guiding classroom and in the field. For example, when Tour Guiding instructors Ludovic Saronga and Patrick Kipinga took their students and the NSCC team on safari, the tablets quickly became a teaching tool. As Saronga pointed out various bird species in the Mikumi National Park, Patrick supplemented the lesson by showing the students photos of the birds and playing the bird calls. Having this portable library of resources at their fingertips, anytime, anywhere, creates a rich learning environment and is a wonderful supplement to the curriculum.
Also, thanks to our creative NSCC IT specialist, Paul Tweed and ICT instructor Selemani Mbaga, a solution was found to bring wireless access to the campus making the tablets an even more robust tool by allowing faculty to access the Internet for an even broader range of resources.
There have been many lessons learned from our experiences with this project which we believe will be of benefit to future International projects as well as enable us to further enhance our own e-book program within the NSCC library system. Asante sana to the faculty and students of VETA Mikumi who have taught us so much and made this project such a memorable experience.

Andrea Stewart
Director, Library Services

Posted by NSCC Intl 03:53 Archived in Tanzania Tagged education travel tanzania international library nova scotia resources electronic e-books Comments (0)

Walk Up the Hill

NSCC Library Services in Mikumi Tanzania 2013

Yesterday we climbed the hill on Mikumi Campus. Guided by Saronga, the Tour Guiding Instructor who has been accompanying us during much of our stay here, we stopped at different work shops on the way. Bricklaying, carpentry, and secretarial. We met faculty and students and even had an impromptu instructional session with a few faculty and the Nexus tablets we brought with us. We continued up the hill to a narrow steep dirt and rock path that carried up between strange trees. At the top, the view of Mikumi village and the surrounding mountains was beautiful. It is strange to see so much green and lushness after being in Nova Scotia winter for months. Saronga’s office and classroom are both on the top of the hill – surrounded by the stunning views and sounds of the countryside. We attended his class where he gave his students, and us, a lesson in vertebrate and invertebrate taxonomy. He is begninng his lessons with his students by explaining the importance of plants and animals and our relationships with them. After his lesson I introduced the Nexus tablets explaining them as small, portable libraries. And we broke into small groups with the students and demonstrated how to use the eBooks and Tour Guiding Apps. They loved the tablets and had many questions about how to use them, they learned quickly and soon looked like experienced users.
They seemed to really love learning and asking me questions about Canada and what I thought of Tanzania. They show such genuine happiness and interest, it is incredible.
Tanzanians have big smiles, and they are given often. They say hello for ages and in many different ways, hand shaking the whole time. Much is made of asking “how are you” and saying “you are welcome”. It is wonderful, the kindness is as warm as the sun. I have not yet figured out “farewell” or “goodbye” as “hello” and “welcome” seem more impotant. I can see why though – I think it ill be very difficult to say goodbye to these people and this place. I already feel at home.

Leigh Gagnier
Electronic Services Librarian

Posted by NSCC Intl 07:32 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tanzania nova scotia ebooks resources electronic libraries Comments (0)

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