31 AUGUST 2020
The world moved on from 1st to 3rd Industrial revolutions as we progressed from steam engines to science and mass production and then digital technology. The birth of these revolutions was accompanied by socioeconomic, political and cultural changes as well as trepidations laced with thoughts of impossibility of new things. Remember when electricity came on board? There were permutations of what electricity could do. People said impossible! How can this new phenomenon work? The rest is history.
Recently the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the truism that change is the only permanent thing. Adapting and managing change in the face of global shifts, the new normal, constantly evolving technologies and bludgeoning online engagements is very critical for information professionals if we have to survive and thrive.
Currently, the Fourth Industrial revolution is building on digital technology as data and knowledge become the premium commodities for innovative solutions; as people, machines and locations become hyper-connected and lines between digital, physical and biological realities blur. So many possibilities exist with the different strands and components of 4IR as learning, teaching, research and scholarly communications have heavily migrated online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All these undergird the theme of the 4th AfLIA Conference and 6th African Libraries Summit ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution, sustainable development and African libraries’.
Africa is facing developmental challenges in all sectors that need innovative solutions. The 4IR can only be driven with knowledge, access to information and skills that will enable Africans to learn, think and innovate. AfLIA, as the trusted platform for African librarians in the continent and the diaspora sees potentials for libraries to be integrated into national, regional and industrial thrusts for 4IR initiatives in the continent. We are therefore highly interested in getting all Library professionals ready for the 4IR; ready for the future that is already here.
The 2021 AfLIA Conference and 6th African Libraries Summit will offer librarians the opportunities to learn more about 4IR, update their skills and understand their roles as African countries work on Smart City ideas, Connectivity, Open Science and Machine Learning among other features of 4IR. This 4th AfLIA Conference and 6th African Library Summit will include preconference workshops, Keynote and paper presentations from experts, posters, Ignite Talks as well as sessions by AfLIA Sections and entities in the industry who may wish to participate. AfLIA is also introducing the Big Ideas Podium for innovative and creative thinkers in the profession who can stir others up through spoken word artistry and help the African Library sector see the future of libraries in the continent properly as pertains to the 4IR.
Please click on Call for Papers button below to download the necessary details for submitting Paper, Ignite Talk, Poster and Big Ideas proposals.
I wish to express my appreciation in advance to all who will participate in this 2021 conference which promises to be an epoch-making event in the African Library sector. We look forward to welcoming you to Accra, Ghana in May 2021.
Helena Asamoah-Hassan, PhD