Leading in the Library: Ghana Forum 1 Participant Feedback

As part of the collaborative project 'Leading in the library’: a ‘learning lab’ for sustainable access to knowledge in developing countries'; Ian Williams (Executive Director) and Lorna Pearcey (Director of Development) from Caplor Horizons together with Kemal Shaheen (Programme Manager, INASP) and members of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH) worked together to strengthen strategy and explore issues of critical importance. This initial visit provided an opportunity for reflection upon the current situation at CARLIGH and on the potential barriers and opportunities for future sustainability.

The Learning Lab is an iterative, flexible and problem solving approach. Over the course of the project the team will focus on three key elements of organisational effectiveness - Leadership, Strategy and Influencing; that have been identified by the consortia in all four countries as areas in which they require capacity building support. Below you can see our 'rich picture' illustrating the Learning Lab approach.

Phase 1 in Ghana brought together 24 participants, from across CARLIGH's Executive Committee, Governing Council and various working groups, to discuss what future success would look like for the consortium. Over the course of two full days the group took part in a variety of activities and discussions focusing on CARLIGH's values, capacity and structure - marrying future aspirations with realistic and achievable aims. This included refining and strengthening the CARLIGH strategic plan 2016-2020, culminating in the consolidation of CARLIGH strategic objectives to three priority areas:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Enhancing access to knowledge
  3. Advocacy

Here we will look at what the participants thought of this first stage in the process.

On both days, 100% of participants stated that the sessions were very relevant to The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH).

"It enabled us to get a sharper vision, mission, purpose and objectives"
"This revealed deep seated issues that CARLIGH needs to address to move forwards"
"Very relevant - I learnt a lot"

100% of participants agreed that the session would help to strengthen the strategy of CARLIGH, with all but one stating it would help 'a lot'.

"It will go a long way to strengthen our commitment to the course of CARLIGH"
"The programme has been an eye-opener for strategic development"
"More focused vision, mission, purpose and objectives"
"We need to recognise the diverse skills we bring to the table, through the institutions we belong to as well as those in the consortium, for greater collaboration and advocacy."
'Seeing the point' exercise

80% of participants felt that the sessions contributed 'a lot' to their own personal learning and development. All participants felt they had personally benefited from sessions on both days to some extent.

"An enormous improvement on my strategic planning skills"
"I had a better understanding of issues. I'm eager to share with colleagues."
"Today's experience has contributed to my personal learning in the areas of creativity, collaboration, as well as team work."
"Recognised that leadership can be a lonely road to travel. A self-evaluation with the Caplor House (was useful) so I can be a better leader and manager."

You can also click here to hear an insight from Theresa Adu, an inspirational committee member of CARLIGH. In this short video she talks about her experiences of the first forum in Ghana as part of the Leading in the Library project, and of CARLIGH's shared vision for a world of equal access to knowledge.

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