Unsung Heroes: Stories from the Library

New Publication from Research4Life Partners

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Research4Life’s global testimonies from librarians in developing countries highlight the important role they have in building institutional capacities and aiding in vital research

From information literacy training to building infrastructure and outreach, librarians are critical to building a healthy research culture in the developing world and they are often the “unsung heroes” in the research ecosystem. For this reason, Research4Life has commissioned a special booklet, “Unsung Heroes, Stories from the Library” – narratives from individuals around the world who have in reality become the unsung heroes of research in their institutions.

Every day, these librarians train, assist and empower faculty, students, doctors, and staff  in accessing and using vital information available through Research4Life and other resources, impacting not just the individuals work, but the extended community around them.

These stories were chosen from a total 45 case studies which were reviewed by a Research4life  judging panel of twelve international librarians and experts in research capacity building. All entries showed a clear pride and dedication of their work in supporting and building the capacities of their institution and nation’s research.

These stories demonstrate how HINARI, AGORA, OARE and ARDI have made a difference to so many. The booklet represents a number of examples, including:

  • Enabling a Ugandan agricultural librarian to drastically reduce the use of print resources, minimizing congestion in the libraries while boosting usage and output.
  • Empowering a Kenyan librarian to embed Research4Life usage across ten campuses, ramping up research and demonstrating that the library is research’s digital backbone.
  • Equipping new research centre in the Maldives to educate the young democracy’s future scientists and policymakers.
  • Inspiring a health librarian to write her PhD on solving low Research4Life uptake and developing a powerful training infrastructure at Ugandan universities.
    Driving a Kenyan librarian to become an expert on information technology and electronic data resources at her university, collaborating with doctors and nurses to find the research they need to effectively treat their patients.
  • Challenging another Kenyan librarian to specialise in electronic data resources and train new students in Research4Life within a month of starting classes.
  • Enabling a tech-savvy Honduran medical librarian to create a one-stop virtual medical library, resolving security issues which had previously prevented access.
  • Inciting one of the early adopters in Nigeria to turn around medical and nursing curricula to include information literacy and Research4Life training.
    Supporting another Ugandan librarian to use Research4Life at Makerere University, which has seen a substantial rise in research productivity.

These testimonials highlight librarians− Research4Life’s ambassadors – sharing their voices and exposing their role in the trends, challenges and opportunities facing research communities in the developing world.

The booklet can be downloaded here. 

If reading this book inspires you to learn more, whether as a participating institution, publisher, technology partner, journalist, donor, or policymaker, please contact us at: info@research4life.org.