Media, Libraries, and Archives: Unearthing the Missing Link in Zimbabwe

Media, Libraries, and Archives: Unearthing the Missing Link in Zimbabwe

Collence Takaingenhamo Chisita (Harare Polytechnic, Zimbabwe & University of South Africa, South Africa), Munyaradzi Shoko (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe), Alexander Madanha Rusero (University of Pretoria, South Africa) and Joseph Ngoaketse (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0043-9.ch013

Abstract

This chapter seeks to explore how the dawn of the 21st century and how the proliferation of information communication technologies (ICTs) has necessitated a fundamental rethinking on the interface existing between the media, libraries, and archives. There has been a gradual but rapid paradigm shift, following the information revolution made possible by the digital revolution, which have brought unparalleled radical transformation to the operations, procedures, products, and services of the information profession. Given the timeliness of media work and intense competition to break the most recent information to the world at real time, media personnel ought to add flavor to their work through retrieval of stored but relevant information found in libraries and archives. This chapter seeks to place on record the relationship, which exists among the “holy trinity.” The chapter also intends to recommend solutions to enhance the relationship between the holy trinity.
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Introduction And Background

The transition from the 20th to the 21st century marks the age of information/knowledge where intelligence becomes the panacea for libraries and related cultural memory institutions. These institutions consisting of libraries, archives museums and galleries are confronted with challenges and opportunities for survival, for example, underfunding, convergence, continuous professional development redefinition of roles, sustainable development, networking, information explosion and information disorder political polarization, digital divide among many (Given. and McTavish, 2010,145-149). These institutions are undergoing deep shifts driven by a myriad of trends, namely: the dramatic changes on how users access, share and engage in digital services and social media enabled by broadband and mobile networks (Mansfield, Winter, Griffith, Dockery, and Brown, 2014). According to the authors, this scenario created new forms of competition for cultural memory institutions as their traditional positions of authority and expertise and ability to drive change is challenged. The digital revolution has spurred the authors of this study to rethink the interface between the media, libraries and archives. Digital convergence has become synonymous with virtual libraries, archives, museums and media .This scenario has necessitated the redefinition of roles, processes, procedures, and social capital (Given. and McTavish, 2010, 145-149). These institutions are highly relevant to the information/knowledge dispensation as reservoirs and public access points to, knowledge and information. They are also centers of learning and education, communication and commerce (WISS, 2014).

The digital revolution has spurred the authors of this study to rethink the interface between the media, libraries and archives. Digital convergence has become synonymous with virtual libraries, archives, museums and media. These institutions are key components of the information, knowledge and cultural infrastructure encompassing the creators, products, distributors, disseminators and users of multimedia content (Rubin, 2017). Libraries and related institutions have shifted from being mere disseminators of information to producers of knowledge. The new multifaceted roles assumed by libraries and related institutions are free from the linear process of creation, production, distribution, dissemination and use information, which was typical of traditional publishing. For many years, the information media has remained predominantly the printed book but the digital revolution has created a deluge of digital resources characterised by seamless and real time access to content. This phenomenon has changed the myopic view of the library as a physical space and the librarian as a mere armchair guardian of the library and its books. The modern library, archive and related institutions reflect the progression of society in the digital trajectory as evidenced by the online presence and access to resources. The ‘holy trinity’ of the media, library and archive has a new lease in the in virtual world courtesy of the digital revolution.

Dempsey, (2005) envisaged the library, archives and related institutions of the future as networked physical and virtual spaces accessible irrespective of time and distance. Libraries, archives and related institutions have an important role to play in the increasingly networked work, learning, and living environments they compete with other web-based services (Tonta, 2008, 1-9).

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