Three senior staff members represented AUN at The American International Consortium of Academic Libraries (AMICAL) 2020 Conference held between January15-18, 2020, at the American University of Kuwait.
The Interim University Librarian, Benson Ali, Assistant Director of Institutional Research & Planning, Nas M. Yakubu, and Interim Director at the Writing Center, Ms. Emilienne Akpan, were among over 100 participants at the conference.
AMICAL is a consortium of American-model, liberal arts institutions of higher learning which seek to advance learning, teaching, and research through collaborative development of library and information services and curricular resources at member institutions. The association comprises 30 American-style universities in 22 countries outside the United States.
This year’s conference was tagged Digital transformation at international liberal arts institutions: innovation, collaboration, and sustainability.
The 2020 keynote speaker was the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia, Siva Vaidhyanathan.
Ali and Yakubu's joint paper, Library-on-a-Flash Application (LOAF): Collaboration of ITU and the Library, highlighted how a portable web application which can be shared via a USB flash drive eases pressure on library resources and provides the host community with verified, peer-reviewed resources.
Ms. Akpan and Omachi Okolo’s presentation focused on the Impact Assessment of Librarian/Faculty Collaboration to Develop the Digital Literacy Skills of a First-Year Composition Class. Okolo is an Information Literacy Manager at AUN.
The duo developed a syllabus that includes practical tutorials on digital and information literacies to reduce reliance on peers or questionable websites.
The course helps students to “build citation skills, encourage responsible scholarship, and discourage contract cheating. The sustained efforts have yielded positive results for the stakeholders involved."
For the Interim Librarian Ali, the benefits of belonging to such a consortium include subsidized rates for database subscriptions, obtaining grants, and building very critical partnerships to support liberal arts ideals and best practices in teaching and learning.
Mr. Ali urged members of the AUN Community to respond to proposals for paper presentations, whenever AMICAL calls for such in order to benefit from conference grants.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has supported the consortium’s growth with generous funding. Other donors include Naseej, EBSCO, Statista, ProQuest, PROJECT MUSE, HeinOnline, OCLC, and AUN.
AMICAL brings together faculty developers, instructional technologists, librarians, information technology specialists, and administrators to share common goals, discuss practical solutions to challenges and form networks that enhance innovation, best practices, and inter-institutional collaborations.
The American University of Nigeria is the only Nigerian institution with the AMICAL membership. Across Africa, only three other institutions in Ghana, Morocco, and Egypt are members of the consortium. AMICAL is committed to sharing information and technologies across national and linguistic borders, using English as the primary language for consortial work.
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa