Dr Joel Sam

ACAFI and AfLIA Projects Director

Dr. Joel Sam is the ACAFI and AfLIA Projects Director and is based in Accra, Ghana. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Information Studies awarded by the University of Ghana, Legon and has a number of publications on information management in peer reviewed journals to his credit. He has over 25 years’ experience as a practicing librarian and in the planning, management and implementation of agricultural information projects.  

Dr. Sam serves on the Management Board of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) with headquarters in Vilnius, Lithuania and is the Chairperson of the Management Board of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH). He is a member of the Ghana Library Association (GLA).  


Libraries were thought of as the storehouse of knowledge and librarians as the gatekeepers of the knowledge. A user can have access to the knowledge through the librarian who ensured that the information provided to the user meets his/her information need and was of the highest quality. With the emergence of new technologies and the development of new storage media and retrieval of information, the days of libraries were thought of by many people to be numbered. But libraries have responded to technological changes over the ages from the clay tablet through the scroll to the codex and now digital storage and use of information. Librarians have always taken up the challenge and devised new roles for themselves. For libraries to be able to cope with the expected transformations in technology and changes in social behavior as well as interactions emanating from the impact of social media, they should provide among their services, media and information literacy training especially for the youth. This will ensure that they are able to search for and evaluate the quality of information obtained from the internet and other social media sources for since the inception of libraries, information literacy has been central to their mission. New set of skills should be taught by libraries in the digital era. This will help their users to be circumspect in their access to and use of information and be able to evaluate information to make informed choices thereby sifting the truth from falsehood. Teaching users to make sense of and think critically about the source and quality of information obtained from the internet should be the focus of libraries in order to overcome the menace of fake news. Also, in order to improve the information literacy skills of users in the digital age, libraries will have to make use of available technology to network with each other. It is expected that by forming partnerships, libraries can learn from each other, create innovative services to meet the information needs of users. Libraries have always provided reliable and verifiable information. With proper planning the future of libraries as the providers of current, accurate and quality information looks bright as they will make use of the available technologies through training and awareness creation to stem the negative effects associated with new technologies and social media.