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Planning for the University of Malawi Library automation project

Kondwani Wella


The Library Automation project in the University of Malawi is described and analysed in terms of the extent to which it used successful planning techniques. After outlining the background of University of Malawi libraries and general barriers to successful library automation in Africa, the paper examines the extent to which project management principles were followed in the planning and implementation of the library automation project at the University of Malawi. The article based on a masters study examines formal project planning, time planning, risk and resource management, feasibility studies and piloting of the project, and accurate costing of the project. It was found that whilst funding will remain a major factor affecting the automation of libraries in many parts of Africa, the situation is exacerbated by the ad hoc manner in which some projects are handled. Therefore, libraries should use project management principles when planning and implementing library automation projects and librarians should update their skills to include project management.

Innovation, no.43, December 2011