The management of indigenous knowledge in Swaziland, with specific reference to the Swaziland National Library Service (SNLS)
Dlamini, Dudu Nomangwane Bawinile
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Indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) have made positive contributions in agriculture; health care; medicine; food preparation and preservation; land use; education and a host of other activities in rural communities as well as in urban ones (Warren, 1991:26). Yet hardly a day goes by when an elderly man or woman does not die with all the wealth of knowledge, which is then buried beyond recovery. Therefore, there is a need for institutions, which are in the business of information like libraries and/or information centers to manage (collect, document, organize, store, disseminate) the indigenous knowledge for potential contribution in present and future endeavours. Ngulube (2002: 96) rightly points out that the loss of IK will “impoverish society”.The main aim of the study was to explore the issue if indigenous knowledge within the library and information sector, specifically within the Swaziland National Library Service; investigate if IK is managed; determine how it can best be managed in order to contribute positively to the community; and identify ways to best manage it. This study adopted the qualitative research methodology using the triangulation method, which allows the use of different data collection techniques.The study found that Swaziland National Library Service (SNLS) manages IK, but at a very low level. Lack of funds is one major issue that has been voiced as the biggest hindrance to Indigenous Knowledge Management and that Library and information professionals are not adequately trained to manage IK. The study also discovered that Library and information services in Swaziland are still very much book-based and very much westernized, such that only a select elite is catered for by the current services. Intellectual property rights are not dealt with, with respect to IK.From the findings, this study recommends that Library and information professionals include indigenous knowledge in the existing collection development policies or must design collection development policies that include IK.