Governing contested cities in Federations:Urban Politics,Confilcts and Policies of Addis Ababa & Dire Dawa, Ethiopia_ By Milkessa Midega

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The Law of Attraction: Tech and Teens in the Library

Technological initiatives that can be used to attract students to the library

Attracting young people to the library can often be a challenge, there’s many competing demands on a student’s time, so how can school libraries engage with this busy cohort? A great way to entice young people in to any library is by utilising new and innovative technologies. Let’s take a look at some of the current technologies and how libraries are using them to catch everyone’s attention!

Library Website

The library’s website is usually our first impression for young library patrons, so it’s worth getting it right. A clunky and out-dated website is a sure fire way to immediately lose people’s interest. Take some time to read and learn about web design; a lot of the theory is easy to understand and implement. To start: get rid of daggy clipart, reduce the text, embrace white space, and build from a user’s perspective. Talk to your patrons and find out what their key needs are – are they mainly interested in library programs? Or finding books? Make this information front and centre, and avoid Librarian jargon if you can.

A library’s website is not ‘set and forget’ – it’s a fluid site that needs consistent updates. Has a program ended or a deadline passed? Remove that information from your pages! Broken links are frustrating for patrons, so make sure to check them frequently. Include patron created content like book reviews or video book trailers if you can, as utilising their voices helps to create a sense of ownership and community. You don’t need to be a tech whiz to build a great website, many providers offer simple ‘drag and drop’ templates for you to fill in with your information. Look into companies like LibGuides, Softlink, or even WordPress.

eBooks & Audiobooks

Now that you’ve  got a great website, you can fill it with digital content. Attracting students to the library can encompass both the physical and digital spaces. We’ve found our students still prefer print books over eBooks – but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place! During remote learning, eBooks were a necessity. Over school holidays, students can still access our collection. Popular books that are hard to get their hands on, are usually still available as an eBook alternative. Even students who forgot their book for English class can easily borrow the eBook to get them through the day. Audiobooks have also proven popular, and have enabled more accessibility by providing a wider range of formats.

Our school library doesn’t purchase individual licenses, we pay a subscription fee to OverDrive whose Librarian curates a collection for high school students. We share access to this collection with some other schools. If cost is a barrier, remember there are many free eBooks available, mostly the ‘classics’. You can use a website such as Project Gutenberg and add these resources in to your catalogue.


Makerspaces are an incredibly popular way to bring exciting technology into the library. These spaces usually offer services like 3D printing, coding clubs, tinkering with robotics, and all sorts of STEM related activities. The most important step in starting a makerspace is having a clear plan. Deciding to purchase a pile of shiny new technology because it’s ‘the cool new thing’ without a cohesive plan is a recipe for disaster. Think about what activities would best suit your patrons, as well as who will be able to offer training on the technologies in use. Also, how will you ensure appropriate use of these likely expensive products? Are there going to be ongoing costs for extra parts or supplies, and will you charge users any fees? Do you plan to allow use of the Makerspace only through library led sessions, or can patrons book in at their leisure? How do you intend to promote this new space? There are many questions to think about before getting started to ensure successful implementation of your new space.

The reason Makerspaces are so effective at engaging young people is that they are hands on. It’s learning through play, where the learning isn’t explicit or the main goal. It’s more of a consequence of having fun with the technologies (or other-low tech products like LEGO) on offer. Giving students free range to be creative and use their imagination to make anything they want is a powerful way to open up the library to them.


Continuing on the theme of having fun – offering games can be an excellent way to engage young people. Many libraries have capitalised on the popularity of games such as Minecraft to connect with their patrons. For example, check out LibraryCraft run by Western Australian Libraries. Some Libraries lend out video games, others have consoles and computers set-up to play in their space. There’s a broad range of ways to utilise these games, offering co-operative clubs like eSports teams, or some friendly competitions such as a Mario Kart battle. Simple and free games such as Google Quick Draw can be a fun way to catch people at your entrance way (try a big touchscreen!) and entice them to continue inside for more . Designing a library leader board is a great way to showcase and encourage participation.

To take it to the ‘next level’ (pardon the pun), Libraries can integrate virtual or augmented reality technologies.  For example, some libraries utilised Pokémon Go’s augmented reality game, where students could catch Pokémon hiding in the library. These technologies don’t have to break the bank, with options including open source cardboard smartphone viewers. These technologies can be a lot of fun and will likely continue to improve and become more accessible in the coming years.

There’s a broad range of technologies to try out, with options for a range of contexts and budgets. Getting your student’s foot in the door is half the battle, so use that tech to catch their attention and give them the opportunity to see all the great things your library has to offer!DOES YOUR LIBRARY HAVE PROBLEMS WITH PRINTING?

We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!

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Michelle De Aizpurua

Michelle De Aizpurua

Michelle De Aizpurua is an ALIA qualified Librarian with a Master of Information Studies from Charles Sturt University. She has six years industry experience in tertiary and secondary educational libraries, and is the current Library Coordinator at East Doncaster Secondary College in Melbourne. She has previously worked across both Business and Law faculties at Monash and Deakin Universities. Michelle’s career focus has been on developing students’ information and digital literacy skills, particularly by utilising eLearning tools. She is passionate about supporting educators, innovating and utilising new technologies, promoting literacy, and instilling a life-long love of reading in her library patrons.

Twitter: @MissLibraryGrrl



Be true to Yourself | Love Yourself

What does this mean: “Be true to yourself”, words like honesty, integrity, value systems, and self-worth comes to mind. If you really love yourself, be true to yourself.

Actually, being true to yourself is identifying your inner-self, inner compass, and sticking to it. It means you aren’t trying to please people to prove your goodness; rather you are focused on doing what is right. Sometimes this will require you to go against the grain of popular cultural traditions or societal norms and beliefs. However, it is the most redemptive way to live. If you’re true to yourself then you can be true to anyone and this is the main thing everyone needs to achieve in life.

Being true to yourself isn’t so easy that can be done without any efforts. It is not a small task and does not happen overnight. Instead, it happens in the small picks of everyday life. It is deliberately choosing not to bend over with every wind that blows and declining to be a people pleaser but choosing the right things that matter the most.

be true to yourself
Image Source: Unsplash

To Be true to Yourself:

In this article, I am going to share 6 tips that might be helpful for you to be true to yourself. So, you must;

1. Know your Self-worth:

Do you know what your ethics and values are?

Identify your ethics and values and stick with them. Sit down and analyze the kind of person that you are and the kind of person that you want to be, and then work on becoming that person.

Find out what you really want out of life and chase it. Recognize your Self-worth boost up your self-esteem. Accept yourself, flaws, and all.

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” Alexander Hamilton.

2. Tell yourself the Truth:

Stop sugar coating things. Be honest with yourself. Live your life with integrity and honor. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then you can’t be honest with others.

Be authentic and take responsibility for your life and your actions.

As Mahatma Gandhi nicely quoted; “Be congruent. Be authentic. And be your true self.”

3. See the Best in You:

Treat yourself in the best possible way. The way you treat yourself tells people how to treat you. Love yourself and love people around you. Loving each other is the key to success, the push that some people need to overcome their limits.

Success needs improvement in yourself, your skills, and your abilities. Speak kind words to yourself. Be the best version of yourself every time, even when no one is watching.

4. Learn from your Mistakes:

Mistakes and failures are part of our lives. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. So, it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes because you as a human being are imperfect. See your mistakes as learning opportunities. Be kind to yourself even after doing something injudicious. Allow yourself; to grow, improve, and evolve with every change.

So, you don’t have to be the same person you were yesterday. Learn from your mistakes and learn to be true to yourself.

5. Learn to say No:

In a world, where everyone seems to be selfish and jealous of others, not everyone will like you and your choices. Be okay with that, after all, you’re not ice-cream. Surround yourself with positive people who support you; who encourage you and see the best in you.

6. Improve your Self-confident:

Don’t be afraid to be you. Speak up, live boldly, and freely. Don’t shrink yourself to feed people’s insecurity. God has created you gorgeous; so be the person that God wants you to be.

Love Yourself
Image Source: Unsplash

Believe me! Everything is possible. It is only a matter of self-belief. Something basic in life is setting small goals that can be achieved. Big goals lead to big failures; however, small short-term goals will be your great ally to achieve your final goals. If you believe in yourself, that you can achieve it, then your path begins to straighten and with effort and perseverance, you achieve what you set out to do.

Where insecurity and low self-esteem reign, failure usually reigns. If you don’t believe in yourself, it is very difficult for you to achieve what you set out to do. Self-confidence is something fundamental and it serves on many occasions to guide our paths.

I like to be able to encourage you, be part of your day to day and show you that if I want something, something costs me, but I get it. There is nothing that perseverance and hard work cannot achieve.

So, fight for what you want and you will reach very high. In my case, my luck to be able to work on what is my passion, allows me to share hundreds of stories every day. Every day when I wake up, I know that there will be new people wanting to change their life, and this is a real boost of energy for me.

Man is the Architect of His Own Destiny

Take care of your habits, because they will become your destiny”

Mahatma Gandhi

Believe me! Man is the architect of his own Destiny. Many people believe that life is a matter of chance, that experiences and opportunities that arise spontaneously, in addition to being pleasant surprises, are the best way to live and grow personally. These types of people rely more on external events and for that reason, they wait for things to happen..…READ MORE

Call for Nominations for OSA’s Distinguished and Outstanding Student Awards

Dear OSA Members,

OSA would like to invite you to submit nominations for the following two OSA’s Annual Awards. Your nominations should be accompanied by a brief statement of the potential awardee’s contributions based on the specific criteria outlined below (see full description:

Distinguished OSA Award:
The Distinguished OSA Award will be given to an individual, group or an institution that has made major financial, scholarly or service contribution to OSA, Oromo studies, culture, art and/or other spheres Oromummaa studies. Contributors who are identified to have given above and beyond the call of duty and expectation in advancing the mission of OSA through publication, presentation, service, talent and/or material resources will be recognized by this award.

Outstanding Student Award:
OSA will recognize outstanding students of the Oromo who have made significant contributions to OSA through scholarship, leadership, service and/or original presentations that advance Oromo studies. The Student awardee should be a model for the young generations by his/ his/her maturity, sophistication, confidence and quality and originality of his/her work.

Submit your nominations not later than July 15, 2021.
Contact: Email submissions to:  Direct any questions there.

Oromo Studies Association,

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