The Ulwazi Programme is now in its seventh year, and has grown and changed over time. More than just a portal for recording and distributing knowledge indigenous to KwaZulu-Natal – as important as that is – the programme was also established with a number of other aims, including improving local communities’ interest in digital resources through an increase in locally relevant content, and developing ICT skills and subsequent social transformation through an increased interaction with online resources. An initiative of the eThekwini Municipality’s Libraries and Heritage Services, the programme works in conjunction with public libraries where the public have access to free internet services, but things have changed since Ulwazi first began, with more and more people now accessing the service via their smart phones. In 2012 Niall McNulty, one of the people responsible for setting up the program, wrote a paper, Local Users, Local Language, Local Content, which provides a great overview of the Ulwazi Programme.
Now and again its good to look back at where we’ve come from, to remind ourselves of what we initially set out to do, and to look forward to where we should be going – a good reminder nearly a decade on, of how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go!