Training Manuals

While there are no specific manuals for setting-up basic libraries or resource centres on adult learning, we have listed several online sources that can be useful as the basic ideas of information management of printed and digital resources can be applied across the board.

As a general introduction, we recommend “What is Documentation” from HURIDOCS: https://www.huridocs.org/resource/what-is-documentation


Basic Library Management

The Community-Led Libraries Toolkit

Working Together. 2008. Community-Led Libraries Toolkit. [pdf] Vancouver, The Working Together Project. Available at: http://www.librariesincommunities.ca/resources/Community-Led_Libraries_Toolkit.pdf


The Community-Led Libraries Toolkit provides philosophical and practical guidance for all stages of the library service planning process, from developing an understanding of community and needs identification through library policy development, service planning, day-to-day customer service, staff development, and evaluation. In addition to being a valuable resource for managers and librarians working with socially excluded communities, the Toolkit content should also be useful for any staff seeking to develop community-led practices, regardless of the social or socio-economic group they most directly serve.


Resource Centre Manual: How to Set up and Manage a Resource Centre.
Healthlink Worldwide. 2003. Resource Centre Manual: How to Set up and Manage a Resource Centre. [pdf] London, Healthlink Worldwide. Available at: http://librarypdf.catie.ca/PDF/P2/21192.pdf


Contains practical information on setting up and managing a resource center, from planning, fundraising and finding a suitable location, to collecting and organising materials, developing information services, and monitoring and evaluating the work of the resource center. It focuses on manual systems for organizing information, but also explains how computers can be used in resource centers, including e-mail, Internet and databases. It describes how to select database software and contains a detailed review of three leading database programs. It includes a list of organisations and publications that can provide further information.


Contact for a copy:
Healthlink Worldwide, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4JX, UK
Tel: +44-20-7549-0240 or Fax: +44-20-7549-0241 or e-mail: info@healthlink.org.uk


What is Documentation

Guzman, Manuel; Verstappen, Bert. 2003. What is Documentation [pdf] Versoix, HURIDOCS. Available at: https://www.huridocs.org/resource/what-is-documentation/


A series of practical manuals on collecting and organizing documentation on human rights produced by HURIDOC (www.huridocs.org). Of particular interest is What is Documentation. It deals with the following issues: what is documentation, what is a document, why document, seeking information, producing documents, acquiring documents, organizing documents and providing user services. In English, French and Russian and available in HTML and PDF formats.


Libraries for All: How to Start and Run a Small Library 
Wendell, Laura. 1998. Libraries for All : How to Start and Run a Small Library [pdf] Paris, UNESCO. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001171/117165Eo.pdf



Libraries for All: How to Start and Run a Small Library is a manual and resource guide designed for people with little or no training in librarianship and contains practical, step-by-step instructions for creating and managing a successful library. It was written by Laura Wendell, the founder of the World Library Partnership, with funding from UNESCO. It was reviewed and field tested by a panel of international librarians and development workers. This essential tool for small libraries worldwide is available in English, French and Spanish in HTML and PDF formats.


Setting up and Running a School Library

Nicola Baird. 1994. Setting Up and Running a School Library. [pdf] London, VSO Books/Heinemann. Available at: https://ia800204.us.archive.org/32/items/SettingUpAndRunningASchoolLibrary-Vso/vsolibrary.pdf


Setting up and Running a School Library gives step-by-step advice and makes establishing and running a library easy and fun. It is a lively and very practical guide especially written for non-librarians - and because it is based on VSO volunteers' and their colleagues' work, it takes into account the reality of working with very few resources. The book covers all aspects of setting up and running a library, including:

  • choosing a room and making shelves and other furniture
  • choosing books for the library
  • how to make a catalogue, classify books and establish simple and effective library
  • systems that work for your library
  • how to encourage others to become involved


Sharing Knowledge for Community Development and Transformation
http://www.catalogue.safaids.net/sites/default/files/publications/2004%2010%20Knowledge%20Managment%20Handbook.pdf / Mchombu, Kingo J. 2014. Sharing Knowledge for Community Development and Transformation. 2nd ed. Ottawa: Oxfam Canada, 2004. 104 p.


This handbook is designed for men and women who don´t have any information management skills. It is for those who don´t have experiences in library work, for people who want to learn about information, knowledge and development. You will learn how to identify, collect and provide access to the information that assists and supports community transformation. The handbook is the product of training and discussion, of questions and answers, shared by those working in development. It is also a statement of confidence in and support for rural people. But it not only tries to provide some ideas on how to do it. It first discusses some theories and ideas in a language aimed at ordinary people.


Contact for a copy:
Oxfam Canada, 880 Wellington Street Suite 400, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 6K7, Canada
Tel: (613) 237-5236 or Fax: (613) 237 0524 or e-mail:


Sustainable Library Development: Training Package.

Carrel, M. & Wadsworth, G. 2013. Sustainable Library Development: Training Package. [pdf] Washington DC, Peace Corps. Available at: http://files.peacecorps.gov/library/Sustainable_Library_Development_Training_Package.pdf


The purpose of the Sustainable Library Development Training Package is to support and provide guidance to Peace Corps Volunteers engaged in library projects as both primary work assignments and secondary project activities. The training package is intended to strengthen the work of Volunteers in partnership with their communities and to help Peace Corps better demonstrate its impact. It includes detailed session plans that provide a foundation in sustainable library development for all trainees or Volunteers in education projects that include library development, or for any Volunteer who expects to undertake a library project activity as a secondary project.


Working with Indigenous Knowledge: A Guide for Researchers

Grenier, Louise. 1998.  Working with Indigenous Knowledge: A Guide for Researchers. [pdf] Ottawa, International Development Research Centre. Available at: https://www.idrc.ca/en/book/working-indigenous-knowledge-guide-researchers?PublicationID=293


This guidebook zeros in on what indigenous knowledge can contribute to a sustainable development strategy that accounts for the potential of the local environment and the experience and wisdom of the indigenous population. Through an extensive review of field examples as well as current theory and practice, it provides a succinct yet comprehensive review of indigenous knowledge research and assessment. Working with Indigenous Knowledge will contribute to the improved design, delivery, monitoring, and evaluation of any program of research and will appeal to both seasoned development professional as well as the novice and student just beginning a research career.



Digital Information Management

A Rural ICT Toolkit for Africa

Dymond, Andrew; Oestmann, Sonja. 2003. A Rural ICT Toolkit for Africa. [pdf] African Connection Centre for Strategic Planning. Available at: http://www.infodev.org/sites/default/files/resource/InfodevDocuments_23.pdf


The Rural ICT Toolkit is mainly addressed to African policymakers and regulators and other interested parties who wish to develop rural ICT programs and projects in their countries. It is also aimed at those wanting to foster regional harmonization, allowing for cross-border initiatives that can increase economies of scale and thus the attractiveness of the rural ICT market to private investors and players. This toolkit was produced under the overall African Connections Initiative of infoDev that supports consensus building activities and an action plan for improving telecommunications in rural areas. To download a free Pdf file, please go to InfoDev Publications.



Digital Recordkeeping: Guidelines for Creating, Managing and Preserving Digital Records

National Archives of Australia. 2004. Digital Recordkeeping: Guidelines for Creating, Managing and Preserving Digital Records. [pdf] Canberra, National Archives of Australia. Available at: http://mayaarbinaginting.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/6/1/10612501/digital_recordkeeping.pdf


This publication provides comprehensive guidance to Australian Government agencies on creating, managing and preserving digital records. Digital records must be actively managed in order to ensure they are available and usable for as long as required to support accountability, good business and the expectations of the public.


The guidelines contain advice on:

  • the importance of managing digital records and how to manage them in an integrated way;
  • creating and capturing digital records, and associated metadata, into recordkeeping systems;
  • storing and securing digital records, including planning for disasters;
  • preserving digital records for as long as they are required, including an overview of the National Archives approach;
  • providing access to digital records; and
  • disposing of digital records in an approved manner.


Digital Preservation Handbook (2nd ed.)

Digital Preservation Coalition. 2015. Digital Preservation Handbook, 2nd Edition [web], Available at: http://handbook.dpconline.org


This Handbook aims to identify good practice in creating, managing and preserving digital materials and also to provide a range of practical tools to help with that process. Although there are still challenges, it gives many examples of good practice and suggests ways in which institutions can begin to address digital preservation. By providing a strategic overview of the key issues, discussion and guidance on strategies and activities, and pointers to key projects and reports, the Handbook aims to provide guidance for institutions and individuals and a range of tools to help them identify and take appropriate actions


Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial
Berkeley Library, University of California. 2017. Evaluating Souces. [web] Available at: www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/FindInfo.html


The questions on this page should help you explain why a particular source is a good fit for your research project. It is offered by the University of Berkeley, USA.



The ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for Library and Information Professionals (ICTLIP): Training Package for Developing Countries
David, Lourdes. 2001. The ICT for Library and Information Professionals: A Training Package for Developing Countries. [pdf] Bangkok, UNESCO. Available at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=


Intended to provide the knowledge and skills required to deal with the application of ICT to library and information services, this package includes modules on integrated automated library systems, information searching in an electronic environment, database design, information storage and retrieval, the Internet as information resource, and web page concepts and design.



Community Multimedia Centres: How to Get Started and Keep Going: A Guide / CMC Handbook

UNESCO. 2004. Community Multimedia Centres: How to Get Started and Keep Going: A Guide. [pdf] Paris, UNESCO. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001346/134602e.pdf

Contact: Stella Hughes at


The CMC Handbook is a result of suggestions from communities in rural and urban areas, NGOs working for community empowerment and communication planners supporting development activities. The Handbook will be a useful guide if you are already operating a community multimedia centre, providing communication services or considering starting a communication centre.