Lisa P. Nathan: Say your name, your home country and your title here at the ICTR.
Okay, my name is Angeline Djampou. I’m from Cameroon and I’m Chief of Legal Library and Reference Services at ICTR, but I started as a legal archivist in Kigali, Rwanda.
LPN: So can you walk me through your timeline here, the year and month that you started and perhaps the different roles that you’ve worked?
In 2001, I was recruited at Legal Archivist in the Legal Advisory Section in Kigali. It, it was a section within the Office of the Prosecutor but it has been dismantled. It is no longer a section but I was recruited as a Legal Archivist and assigned to Kigali.
I don’t know why I was assigned to Kigali because I recall that when I was applying, the, the position was located here in Arusha but I got, when I got the offer, I was sent to Kigali and there was no reason for that because the Archive Services of the Office of the Prosecutor was based here in Arusha.
And I remember when I came there was an argument between people from Arusha who needed an archivist and those in Kigali. So I, I was in Kigali and I must admit that as an information professional, also I found there was very little to do as an archivist in Kigali but I was assigned in the of-, in the Legal Advisory Section and as also, I’m a trained as, I’m trained as a lawyer.
My skills were used for the indictment reviews, so I was doing more indictment review than really Legal Archi-, Archivist. Then, in 2003 there was an opening at the library and I applied. It was a, a better position and I was selected to head the library section.
But at that time also, I was – the Legal Advisory Section was being transferred. It was dismantled and staff were being transferred here in Arusha, so I would be t-, trans-, I, I w-, I would have been transferred to Arusha anyway, yeah.
LPN: Can you describe some of the responsibilities that you have as the Chief Librarian?
As Chief Librarian, I’m in charge of supporting the trial support with information and documentation services, providing to trial parties and judges the documents and the information that they need to do their work.
But in addition to playing that library traditional role, the ICTR library also plays a very important role in the outreach, ICTR Outreach Program whereby we put together training programs in various subjects and go back to Rwanda to teach Rwandan population.
We also play a major role in the compilation of the library, (_), of the ICTR case law in the form of CD ROM, and the, the main objective of compiling the CD ROM, the case law into CD ROM was to make sure that the ICTR case law was also available to areas or regions where internet is not available, because existing case law or jurisprudential database are only available in print or on the internet.
In print it's not very portable. Our judgment (__) are quite big and how many copies can you do? We have, recently I made a set of existing judgments. French and English you have about – at the time I was printing them, now it’s more – it was 84 books, so a set of eight-, 84 books. How many, even here in ICTR, we can’t all claim to have each one set because it’s just too costly to reproduce and, and it’s not portable.
So when you put the documents on CD ROM, it’s very light and you can distribute. You can have as many as possible, and then it’s also easy to, to, to disseminate.
LPN: So, the CD ROM, is that also used here in Arusha?
Yes. Many people, internet access is very, very slow in Africa as you know and in, in Arusha, so even though we have, some of us have internet at home, accessing the case law at home is very, very difficult. When you are at ICTR is quite – it’s, it's easier because when you use a TRIM database, which is the ICTR judicial database, you kind of open the (_____).
And even then, when the network is very busy, it gets very complicated to download, but using a CD ROM on your computer, (__), it can be easier. And you can also use it at home when you don’t have, where you don’t have internet access. And even at home, the internet access that we have here in Arusha is not very convenient to use at home because, for instance, I can’t work on my DVD project opening documents and updating – it’s completely impossible.
I can only do that and with difficulty in, here in Arusha, in ICTR. At home, I just can’t, but with a DVD or a CD ROM, you can use the documents. You can, you can open them. You can read them. You can print them.
LPN: Can you talk t-, tell me, describe to me what the library was like when you first came on board and became the head of the library here?
The library had already a – I, I actually only built on what was there. My predecessor did a very good job because when he was recruited, he actually set up the library and thanks to the former Registrar who was there, I believe his name was Mr. Okali, he actually gave him funds to tour the world and see major libraries; see how things are run and learn, and then build our library accordingly.
That’s what he did. And we had also some donors who gave a very, you know, a core collection to start the library and we’ve been very, very blessed here that all the Registrars has, has, have been very supportive of the library, so the library actually have a reasonable budget. We had a good collection. When, when, when I joined, we already had a good collection.
I actually just built on them and also added what, what, what I could add with staff’s suggestions, management suggestions and you know new stuff on the market. The library was very good and the former librarian was also the one who initiated the first CD ROM, so I just continued with the project.