The African Digital Health Library and Digitisation of Health Information in Zambia
Process, Challenges and Achievements
Keywords:Africa Digital Health Library, Institutional Repository, Health Information, Health Library, Health Research, University of Zambia, Zambia
The rapid growth of Internet and increasing interest in its usage has led to an acceleration of digitisation of printed documents and making available born digital documents online. Zambia’s research output is primarily in print and not much is disseminated globally. It is against this background that innovations for digital libraries have been started in several African countries, including Zambia. The overall objective of the African Digital Health Library Zambia was to increase the health content that is held in the University of Zambia Institutional Repository by digitising publications produced by various institutions in Zambia, with a vision of capturing over 6,000 current and historical materials. Equipment was acquired and sensitisation meetings were held with various stake holders to ensure successful project initiation and sustainability. Scanning and uploading of documents was done after a technical expert had trained both Library and Information Technology staff on Dspace software. Marketing the digital library within the institutions and nationally was also conducted. In June 2018 there were 266,838 downloads of materials. Challenges of collecting required materials from relevant stake holders and convincing them to make available their content were encountered in the process. Enhanced collaboration and sensitisation of stakeholders were essential in ensuring the successful implementation of the project.