National Research and Knowledge Systems: Role of Libraries

National Research and Knowledge Systems: Role of Libraries

Ronald Munatsi (Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0043-9.ch014

Abstract

Strong national research and knowledge systems are important in national development. If libraries are well integrated in national research and knowledge systems vibrant spaces of intellectual interrogation, research synthesis and translation can be created. Such an institutional landscape is key in linking research and policy, and this is critical for national development. Research and knowledge systems connect and facilitate sharing of lessons learned, what works, where, when, and how among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers thereby strengthening strategic collaborations to drive vital national development initiatives. Research and knowledge systems where libraries are an integral component create robust communities of practice where there is effective use of research and knowledge in policy and practice. This chapter focuses on how libraries can be part of a national research and knowledge system through institutional collaborations and partnerships and how such a system contributes to sustainable development through promotion of evidence informed policy and practice.
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Background

The old cliché ‘information is power’ is an axiom that continues to wield more strength than before in this knowledge and technology driven dispensation. The G20 Innovation Report (1996) prepared for the G20 Science, Technology and Innovation Ministers Meeting views a knowledge economy as one directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and innovation. Libraries are both custodians and gateways to culture, research and knowledge (Spink and Singh, 2012). Libraries create opportunities for learning, research and innovation thereby influencing the creation of new ideas and perspectives that are pivotal to a productive and innovative economy. Libraries make it easy to advance research on human development.

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