Where have you been?
So to the question - Where have you been?
Over the past two months plus, I have spent a full month in Lagos, Nigeria at West Africa Theological Seminary. As many of you know, there are technology challenges at WATS. Although it is much improved from my first trip there in November of 2009, the power still goes off unexpectedly - the Internet is unreliable at best - the traffic is as bad as ever - and to top it off, my blog postings were blocked because I was trying to post from Nigeria.
Now, don't get me wrong. It is always a joy to be at WATS. To see and be among friends, & 'family'. To experience and join God in the work He is doing there, and to be a part -in some small way - of that work.
Yet, it is always good to be home!
This latest trip - I have lost count, but think it was number 16 - was a significant one, in that it was both the culmination of nearly 4 years of work, AND the beginning of the next phase of the Internet, Student Records Database, and Library Services for the campus.
West Africa Theological Seminary
E Library Project Update
December 4, 2014
Nearly four years ago a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was established between Asbury Theological Seminary (ATS) in Wilmore, Kentucky and West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS) in Ipaja/Lagos Nigeria.
One of the aspects of that MOU was for ATS to assist with resources and technology in the improvement of Library services to WATS. This is an update on the progress of what we have been calling the E Library Project.
This began nearly 4 years ago with a simple question from Dr. William Udotong to Head Librarian Dr. Paul Tippey:
“Is it possible for WATS to have access to the many Library resources (such as e-books etc.) that are available at ATS“? The answer was a qualified YES.
Fast forward to October 2014…..
This past two months the teams from the US and Nigeria have been on campus at WATS installing the Library AND E-Library servers, laptops and equipment. This is the major FIRST step to WATS having available the resources that were discussed in that meeting 4 years ago.
The equipment and systems necessary for WATS to access these resources are now in place. This has been a long, challenging journey. Many have labored to get us to this point. Many more will be necessary to realize the full access to these resources over the next two years or so.
There are many to thank for their contribution of Time, Talents and Treasure to this project.
In the USA
- Dr. Paul Tippey, Head Librarian ATS - Paul has supported this project from the beginning, and has made one trip to WATS. In addition, he has contributed some equipment to the project.
- Patrick Gardella - Chief Technology Officer ATS. Patrick has been a key person on this project. He has spent many hours configuring the system at Asbury and then traveling to WATS and installing.
- Don Butterworth - Technical Services Manager, Librarian III ATS - Don has loaded a laptop for the WATS Library staff with instructional videos on the Evergreen system, along with instructions and processes for getting the Evergreen system operational at WATS.
- Bob Willis - IT Dept at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church - Marietta, GA. Bob has spent many hours configuring the Laptops for the E Library, and has made two trips to WATS - the latest to work on the installation of the E Library.
- Jim Finch - Smooth Stone Ministries - Alpharetta, GA - Jim has configured and donated the Laptops used in the E Library. Jim has also made one trip to WATS - and financially contributed to the project.
- Dr. Mark Leavell - Project Coordinator for Friends of WATS, - Jonesboro, GA - Mark has been the project coordinator, financially contributed, and he and his wife Marybeth have made numerous trips to WATS - working on this and other projects at the Seminary.
- Dr Ira Pence - Project Volunteer at WATS, Smyrna, GA - Ira has been a tireless contributor to many projects at WATS. He was responsible for constructing the E Library Room on campus during one of his recent trips.
- Michael Kenjie Nukui - Netcom, Member of NBIC, Lagos, Nigeria - Kenjie has been critical to this project. Besides assisting WATS to obtain Internet access at a significant discount to current rates, he has made numerous trips to the campus installing routers, access points and other necessary equipment. Truly, this project would not have been possible without him.
- Emmanuel Oyebanji - IT at WATS - Emmanuel is the on campus IT coordinator. He has worked closely with the team - particularly Kenjie Nukui.
- Dr. William Udotong - WATS Provost - Williams leadership and vision have kept the project on course in the face of significant challenges.
In addition there have been many Friends of WATS in the USA and Nigeria who have contributed financially to this project. Among them are Dalton UMC in Dalton, GA; Trinity UMC in Gainesville, FL; New Covenant UMC in The Villages, FL; Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, GA; Dr and Mrs Mark Leavell in Jonesboro, GA; and Dr and Mrs James Rose in Houston, TX. And deep thanks to Dr. Alan Cellamare, International Director of Friends of WATS for his support and leadership.
We are deeply indebted to all of these who have, are, and will continue to contribute to this project.
And above all, we give Thanks to God for His unfailing guidance and provision.
Here are a few pictures from the installation at WATS.
7982 Hillcrest Trail
Jonesboro, Georgia 30236
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