Pretoria – On 6 March 2013, the United Nations Information Centre organized a full-day workshop for library users on how to access UN information on the internet. The purpose of the workshop was to improve public literacy of UN information and to encourage library users to use UN information/documents as their primary information source.
The workshop included a briefing on how the UN bodies are structured, with relevant themes intricately interwoven to ensure participants are familiar with UN information/documentation and how to access it.
The UNIC Librarian, Hope Kabamba, welcomed the participants and screened the UN4U video to show the different programmes and activities of the United Nations, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Participants were also taken through a presentation to look at the reporting relationships between the UN main organs, programmes/funds, agencies and their related documentation. Romain Lecadou, UNIC Interim Webmaster, also gave a brief overview of the UNIC and UN in South Africa websites, guiding participants through different content, links and how to access them. This was followed by a question and answer period.
In the second session participants were given a chance to experience a hands-on sessions, guided by the Librarian and the Webmaster. It showed the advantages and disadvantages of each electronic reference tool and how to use them for maximum results. Participants learned about UN documents such as resolutions, meeting records, press releases and sales publications as well as other UN and non-UN reference tools and materials, including UN Today and UN yearbooks.
After the practical session, a survey was conducted which showed that the participants found the workshop useful. This was also evident through the many questions and the interaction during the presentations and practical sessions.
In closing, the UNIC Librarian thanked all participants and encouraged them to continue to visit the UN websites. An open invitation was extended to them to come back for more questions whenever they needed assistance in accessing UN online information/documentation.