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Title: The importance of legislation in the provision of national and public library services in Zambia
Authors: Zulu, Paul
Ngoepe, Mpho
Saurombe, Nampombe
Keywords: Library legislation, national library, national library services, public libraries, Zambia, Zambia Library Association
Issue Date: Feb-2016
Publisher: SAGE
Abstract: Legislation plays an important role in the provision of national and public library services. In Zambia, however, libraries that perform the functions of national and public libraries are operating without a legislative mandate. As a result, there is fragmentation of library services as there is no single institution which performs all the functions of a national library service. Although several efforts have been made in the past to enact national library service legislation, no Act of Parliament has been passed to date (2015). This study provides empirical evidence depicting the benefits of having legislation in the provision of national and public library services. The study identifies institutions that perform functions of national and public library services in Zambia. Quantitative data were collected through questionnaires administered to public library staff and interviews with senior government officials and executive members of the Zambia Library Association and Zambia Library Consortium. The study recommends that appropriate legislation that puts together the functions of public and national libraries under one institution be enacted in Zambia as soon as possible. Failure to transform this pattern will jeopardise the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage.
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