USIU-Africa Library staff to receive professional skills training as part of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

By Southern Connecticut State University and Dr. Sylvia Ogola

The USIU-Africa library is currently hosting a Carnegie Fellow for a program that will run till January 2022. Prof. Elsie Ayagogo Rogers Halliday Okobi is from Southern Connecticut State University in the US and comes with a wealth of experience as a Librarian and Library Educator. In the initial stages, she engaged in a very fruitful interaction with Prof. Munyae Mulinge, the Ag. DVC Academic Affairs and Dr. Sylvia Ogola, the University Librarian and identified areas for collaboration and professional development. This resulted in the development of a joint project proposal, on ‘Structured professional development and capacity building for library personnel and faculty at the United States International University – Africa’.

There will be training in information literacy, digital reference services, open educational resources and how they can be used to complement library resources, impact evaluation of library services, outcomes and assessments and developing library strategic plans that are aligned to the institutional strategic plans. There will also be sessions for faculty together with librarians on embedded librarians and integration of information literacy concepts into the curriculum.

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to reverse Africa’s loss of highly trained natural-born citizens by helping African Diaspora scholars give back to the continent’s next generation by sharing their expertise. The program also seeks to develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and those in the United States and Canada.
“Having been involved in higher education in the United States for four decades, this award provides me with the opportunity in a small way to give back and contribute to narrowing the digital divide in Africa, as well as help in attainment of United Nations Millennium Development Goals for sustainable development,” Okobi said. “I hope that my participation will help develop global digital citizens in developing countries.

Okobi also earned a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship in 2019, when she developed and presented a month-long training program for librarians at the American University of Nigeria to update staff and faculty on digital information skills.
She is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar for Librarianship, having traveled to Hanoi, where she developed and presented training for faculty and library managers at Hanoi University of Culture.

Okobi, who joined SCSU in 1990, has been active in various Connecticut library community and organizations during her tenure. She is a member of American Friends of Kenya — a New London based, non-profit organization that works to develop school media centers, provide books and train teacher librarians to run the centers. In 2012, she traveled with the group to establish school library centers and conduct school media specialists training workshops in Kenya.

She also has worked with noted Harvard University professor Henry Gates Jr. on the publication of the Dictionary of African Biography.

The program is funded by the Carnegie Corp. of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with United States International University – Africa. A total of 471 fellowships have been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013. Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars and cover the expenses for project visits of between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend, and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance. Host institutions are expected to have a cost-share commitment as their contribution towards the program.

Social Media