Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role ICTs can play in repackaging of indigenous knowledge. An exploratory approach through extensive review of related literature was adopted for this study. Conceptual framework was developed to understand indigenous knowledge and the ways it can be documented and communicated by packaging and repackaging it for preservation and consequent dissemination from generation to generation. This paper found out that ICT tools and techniques can be leveraged on for the efficient acquisition, documentation/preservation, transmission or communication of age long customs and traditions summed up as indigenous knowledge in order to impact decision making in areas of agriculture, medicine, education etc. Indigenous knowledge has the potential and capability of saving lives and increasing food security/income; providing a basis for problem-solving strategies for local communities; being used for the treatment of a variety of ailments e.g. fevers, headaches, malaria, respiratory and nervous disorders; helping in the aspect of pest control, food processing and storage among others. With the accrued benefits of indigenous knowledge and the essence of repackaging it, it is still bedevilled by a number of encumbrances such as: misconception by many natives as to the extraction of their IK from its borders. They see it as a form of theft; inadequate finance to achieve effective IK documentation and communication; cultural homogenization and death of indigenous people among others. It was recommended that librarians should gain the confidence of the natives and make them understand the need for their IK to be collected, repackaged and preserved for future generation; library professionals should be proactive in handling and managing community’s knowledge resources; they should ensure accessibility of IK materials by preparing inventories and registers among others.