Community Engagement

Proving mobile library and setting up libraries for primary schools

In a bid to serve communities in disadvantaged settings, some countries have employed a number of mobile library services such as mobile train service, horse cart, engine boats, motor cycles or book vans depending on the location of the recipients. For the ORI library, a Mobile Library to Primary Schools is a community information service provided by the university. The library has also set up libraries in disadvantaged schools where none existed before. The purpose of this program is to cultivate a reading culture in pupils for lifelong learning and sensitize and develop interest in pupils on issues dealing with the environment, conservation and wildlife science.

​​​​​​​Edutainment material to Boro prison

The Library rolled out its outreach program to inmates in Boro Prison through provision of general reading materials for infotainment. The material which include books, magazines and newspapers are sourced through the Botswana Book Project and individual donations.Boro Prison is located at Boro, a small settlement in the Northwestern District of Ngamiland. The prison houses about 200 prison inmates, most of whom are preparing to be discharged. Although most of the inmates at this prison are said to be in exit, their length of stay differs as some take about two years at the prison facility. Due to the remoteness of the facility which results in infrequent visitations, inmates at Boro Prison tend to get bored.They will be informed of current affairs, be articulate and have improved analytical skills. Reading comprehension, vocabulary, general knowledge, and positive attitudes toward reading are enhanced when inmates have regular interaction with information sources. The art of reading will be inculcated in inmates for lifelong learning and prospects of gainful employment will be within reach.

​​​​​​​Information specialist forum

North West Information Specialists is a forum for information specialists in Ngamiland who aspire to create an information sharing and training platform which strengthen capacities and professional skills of its members. The forum is an initiative of the ORI library which realized the need to bring information professionals together and share skills with institutions which are less privileged in resources allocations and skills acquisition.

Objectives of the NWIS are as outlined below;

  • Facilitate information sharing among members of the group
  • Identify information that needs to be shared
  • Identify constraints that militates against information sharing and recommend solution
  • Support training demands from different working groups​​​​​​​

Community internship

Community Internship Program at ORI was initiated by the library in 2008. The program’s main goal is to forge a relationship between communities in Ngamiland and the Okavango Research Institute (ORI). It is intended to familiarize communities in the vicinity of ORI with the institute and what it does. The program is meant to make communities appreciate what ORI is doing so that they can assist ORI researchers when they are carrying assignments in their villages. It is envisaged that the more the community know about the mandate of ORI, the more they will be willing to partner with the institute and have ownership of projects undertaken in the region. Community interns also stand to benefit from skills acquired through the program.

​​​​​​​Community of Practice (COP)

The Community of Practice luncheon at ORI is aimed at breaking barriers in accessing biodiversity information and addressing concerns of land use planning and management processes, and building trust among the different interest groups or stakeholders. This includes developing ways of disseminating feedback and management of decision information from future monitoring of biodiversity, and the engagement of resource uses in the management process.

One strategy to support this work is to as much as possible, provide opportunities for local stakeholders to interact and exchange information acknowledging the importance of conversation in business life and mutual understanding to coordination. ORI Library organizes bi-annual community of practice luncheon meetings to bring together key stakeholder representatives together to share news and discuss issues of mutual concern.