A day in the life in Cameroon: Guest post from Roseline Bawack

Photo: 'Sunset over Yaoundé' by Ludwig Troller CC-BY-NC 2.0

Photo: ‘Sunset over Yaoundé’ by Ludwig Troller CC-BY-NC 2.0

Today’s guest post comes from the ILN representative for Cameroon, Roseline Bawack. Thanks for sharing your very busy day Roseline.





I work in the central library of the University of Yaounde I. I am a librarian in charge of institutional repository and networks. The official time to start work is 8 am but I am in my office before 8 am on most days like this special Monday morning which I want to talk about.

After driving for 55 minutes through dense traffic, I opened my office door at 10 minutes to 8 am, that is, 10 minutes before time. I take two minutes to commit the office into the hands of God through prayer, then go straight away to opening my email accounts, check their destinations, select “urgent” ones and respond immediately. There are more than twenty mails waiting for me to respond but have replied just to five and have left the rest for the afternoon.

9 am. Is time to attend the meeting convened by the association “University Knowledge Brokers”. During the meeting we brainstorm and put a team of experts to finalize a project proposal from the creation of a virtual library. During this meeting I am honored by my colleagues who handed to me a symbolic gift to congratulate me. I had received the previous day three labor medals from the Rector of the University of Yaounde I, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, in appreciation for hard work during 25 years of service to the nature. The meeting was not over but I have to leave.

10 a.m. I am present at another meeting for lectures in the department of Information and Communication in the Advanced School of Mass Communication, University of Yaounde II. We discuss matters concerning the preparation of semester exams.

11 a.m. I am presiding a meeting of the “Professional Association of Information and Documentation Sciences” (PRAIDS- UYI) in my capacity as President of the Association. At the end of the meeting we adopted our work plan for 2015.

12.30 p.m. I have three undergraduate students waiting at my office door. They have difficulties to source specific information from the internet. I give them some quick practicalities and they can retrieve the information they wanted. They leave visibly happy and satisfied.

1 p.m. I feel hungry and realize that I have not eaten since morning. I forgot to eat the slices of cake and carrots I brought for breakfast. I bring out the snacks; place them on my birthday gift tray and start eating while scanning through the emails and posting responses to queries.

2p.m. Two senior colleagues are in front of my door. I had promised them that I would examine their draft proposals on two separate projects. Both of them come into my office and I take one after the other. The first project proposal is on a planned workshop on Open Access and the second on a project to organize a conference for librarians on ICTs. These discussions took a long time.

3p.m. I was in the Ministry of External Relations, Department of the Common Wealth to attend a meeting and discuss our library membership into the Commonwealth Library Association.

4p.m. I am back in the office. I select from “urgent” pending issues, a project proposal to create a digital repository in the University. His day was the deadline to be forwarded to the donors. I have to continue from where I ended. At last, I finished the final draft. When I looked at my watch, it was 5.45.pm. Closing time was 4.pm. Only the librarians working night shift (14hrs to 22 hrs) were around. Hungry and tired, I locked my office.

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  1. Hello Roseline Bawack,
    You really had a busy schedule that Monday, and I salute you for accomplishing all them though you went home a tired lady. Congz. I wish also to congratulate you for the medal. These are roles we need to play in order to serve our users better.
    I need your input as am in the process of establishing an Institutional Repository for Busitema University in Uganda together with an Integrated Library System.
    Best Regards
    Emmy Muhumuza
    E-resources Librarian

  2. Hi Emmy, Thanks for those warm words of encouragement. It is good to know that you are in the process of establishing an institutional Repository for the Busitema University in Uganda. May I know your specificities. Do you already have a digital collection? I am willing to help. Just give me more information about your resources and we shall get started with the help of ADLSN (African Digital Library Support Network).
    Best regards

  3. Dear Roseline,
    I was very much delighted upon reading your response to the comment I made
    through ILN. For sure we are starting from scratch only that we have made
    it mandatory for our researchers mainly undergraduates to submit their
    research reports with a soft copy that will be uploaded when we start an
    My Masters research is also on establishing an Integrated Library System
    in Busitema University where I hope to make a framework report on the
    I appreciate your interest in working with us and you are welcome.
    Am to send your response to my supervisor to read through.
    Once again I say thank you

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