Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Information Systems

Authored by: Janet Kaaya

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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This entry outlines the historical development and current status of library and information systems and services in Tanzania. It places emphasis on the Tanzania Library Services Board, which includes the National Central Library and which constitutes a hub of the library system in the country, and its key players in that evolution. It also covers academic libraries; school and children's libraries; special libraries and specialized information services and agencies; archival systems; museums; botanical gardens, zoos and herbaria; professional development and associations; and scholarly publishing. Finally, the entry touches on policy initiatives related to information and communications technology-enhanced information services and learning for national development. The majority of libraries in Tanzania were created immediately after that country's independence in 1961, with the exception of a few libraries that were established and run by private bodies or by colonial government-sponsored associations to cater to their members. Therefore, most of the existing libraries developed out of not only the Government's need to exercise its responsibility for developing a literate society but also its recognition of the fact that libraries and similar institutions are important elements of a nation's cultural heritage. It is because of this that libraries and other agencies covered in this entry were created as central institutions for preserving and disseminating information resources and providing information systems to support learning and research for national development. The Tanzanian government and its agencies provide funds for most library and related operations.

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