Potchefstroom colleague passed away

Dear Colleagues
antoinette-coetseeIt is with sadness that we inform you that Antoinette Coetsee passed away early this morning after a long battle with cancer.
For 30 years she was part of the “library family” in the Cataloguing Department.  We will remember her as someone who always had a big smile for everyone – even during times when she really suffered, she did not talk about her illness, but rather reached out to others.  She had utmost dedication to her work, despite not being well.  She will be dearly missed.
Our sincere condolences to her family, especially to her husband Jaco and 2 children, Anika and Phillip.

NWU Open Access Week 2017


The NWU Library & Information Service and LIASA North-West celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Open Access Week.  In line with this year’s theme:  “Open in order to…”, the Libraries aimed to raise awareness and promote Open Access to the academic and research community.

The launch of Open Access Week was on Monday 23 October at Mahikeng Library with Dr Reggie Raju from UCT Libraries and Ms Denise Nicholson from WITS Library attending as guest speakers.  Dr Raju presented on the topic “Open in order to promote social justice”.  His presentation focused on how open access can be used to promote social justice in the African context.  His emphasis was on ensuring that research output from African public universities reach as many people as possible with no access or fee restrictions as part of these universities’ contribution to social justice.

Ms Denise Nicholson presented on the topic “Open access and copyright”.  As part of her presentation, Denise mentioned that currently there are discussions to amend the Copyright Act. The new act will introduce the concept of “fair use” which is meant to allow some level of copying of published documents for academic purposes.  Denise also touched on the predatory publishing which elicited a lot of engagement with the researchers attending the session.

Open Access launch
Hendra Pretorius, LIS Director Client Services welcomes guests at the launch of NWU Open Access Week.

On Wednesday 25 October at the Potchefstroom Library, Kabelo Kakole (Librarian Institutional Repository) gave a presentation on predatory publishing and warned that it can dent your credibility.   He gave advice on how to spot a predatory journal and illustrated the characteristics of good scholarly publishing vs predatory publishing. The extent of predatory publishing in South Africa is alarming.  Researchers need to take note of certain criteria when choosing a journal.  During a follow-up session Zine Sapula (Librarian Research Support) provided a hands-on session on how to create a data management plan for grant proposals.

The final sessions of Open Access Week at Vanderbijlpark Library on Friday 27 October, showed that eResearch is becoming a game changer in the pace and depth of research.  Prof Jaco Hoffman & Prof Vera Roos’s presentation was based on the we-DELIVER project from the Tirelo Bosha programme – this is a public service improvement programme and partnership between the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and the Belgian Development Agency. The aim of the project is to:

  • involve staff and students across the three sites of the NWU
  • obtain information about older persons’ phone usage
  • determine their needs for services and resources in three pilot communities
  • develop an app and website (ICT) to promote access to information
  • develop a training manual for local government officials
  • involve NGOs and local governments in using ICT.

Prof Johann Tempelhoff presented: “As fluid as water! The South African Water History Archival Repository (SAWHAR)” and highlighted the digitisation of the Water Collection and their experiences on the project, working towards an open access water research platform. Solutions of the 1960s which are valuable in our current situation are often forgotten.  This unique selection has information on water research comprising of more than 30,000 documents.  Once the inventory is complete, the scanning process will commence.  Currently they only scan upon request and keep the soft copies for online storage.

Requests can be made via the website:
http://collections.nwu.ac.za/dbtw-wpd/textbases/sawhar/waterlit.html or through completing a request form and sending it via email to: waterlitcollection@gmail.com.

Open access requires active participation of library and information professionals.  NWU Libraries have taken steps to foster a culture of improved and open access to further advancement of the dynamic and ground-breaking research conducted by our academic staff.

Institutional Repository Workshop

Kabelo Kakole, Librarian: Institutional Repository attended a DATAD-R Workshop for IR Managers in Pretoria on 11 – 14 September. The training was provided by Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF).

This training focused on the IR Management from IT side (Technical) and IR Content Management (User interface).

Mr Kakole focused on the IR Content management where the following subjects where covered

  • Introduction to DSpace a IR management software
  • Creating IR communities, collections and user groups; assigning workflow roles
  • Content preparation and upload and item mapping
  • Content editing, harvesting, embargoes and copyright and licensing.


Ms Ina Smith from ASSAF gave a presentation on how to make your IR a trusted Repository. In her presentation she mentioned that the IR managers should consider having the IR Policies uploaded in the IR home page, there should be a list of contactable persons for both content management and IT/Technical management of the IR. She further advised that we should try by all means to limit our DSpace customization at a minimum according to international standards to allow harvesters to recognize all fields in the meta-data. Visibility of the IR is the most important factor and plays a vital role in the IR rankings. It was discussed that to maximize IR visibility; it should registered in as many directories as possible e.g. OpenDOAR, ROAR etc. The NWU IR is already registered in few international directories and there is hope that our IR will be visible enough.

Dr Leti Kleyn from University of Pretoria gave presentation on how to better market you IR. In her presentation she also put the emphasis on registering the OA IR with directories and harvesters, Market your IR traditional by hosting events and online via social media and other platforms. The IR Rankings issue was brought up and it came out that DSpace 5.5 has hick-ups with the harvesting command line and that impacts on the visibility of the IR. The time to upgrade your IR should also be taken into consideration as to when do you run the IR upgrade. It was mentioned that you should always run the IR upgrade immediately after the release of IR rankings because after the upgrade a lot might have changed in your IR; so there will be enough time for the IR to pick up until the next ranking results are released.  Dr Kleyn as touched on the UP IR road map where she presented their IR workflow and parties involved in the IR tasks.

The NWU IR is currently going great in terms of rich metadata, interoperability, compatible and harvestable by other Open Access initiatives.

LIASA Conference 2017

LIS staff members had the opportunity to attend the annual LIASA Conference from 2 – 6 October at the OR Tambo Conference Centre.  As five staff members delivered papers, the NWU LIS had good exposure.  Our presenters received positive feedback about their presentations and also about the fact that we were willing to share on this national platform.

The papers that were presented by our staff were representative of issues and trends currently experienced in academic libraries.

dina-mashiyaneDina Mashiyane, Librarian: Undergraduate Support did a presentation on the redesigning of library spaces to meet the needs of millennials.  The traditional noise-restricted library has shifted to a casual environment conducive to social interaction and inevitably higher noise levels.  This then breeds a behaviour of socialization which tends to be difficult to manage and may disrupt academic productivity.  It seemed that other libraries could identify with this problem.

zine-sapulaIn a very relevant paper Zine Sapula, Librarian Research Support, unpacked the emerging and alternative LIS roles and functions of the 21st century librarian.  Over the years, academic librarians have been known as support staff rather than research enablers.  Academic libraries have added new emerging services such as research data management, digital humanities, and scholarly communication in support of digital scholarship.

carine_bassonIn the presentation of Carine Basson, Senior Librarian eResources, she showed how the weeding of printed journals contributed to the repurposing of library spaces at the Potchefstroom Library.   She explained the weeding process, the difficulties that were experienced and also provided valuable advice.  As weeding tends to be a sensitive issue, the presentation was received positively.

siviwe-banganiSiviwe Bangani, Manager of Information Services (Mahikeng), analysed the usage of the InterLending Services (ILS) for the past five years.  This paper established the trends in usage of ILS, language representation of documents requested via ILS, and use of ILS as collection development tool.  Very good news is that this paper is currently under review by the South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science for publication.  Congratulations to Siviwe and other Mahikeng colleagues who contributed to the paper!

martha-vanderwaltMartha van der Walt, Branch Librarian: Education Sciences did a presentation on library services to distance education students, and how they are dealing with the challenges at the Education Library. The audience agreed that this is a challenge at all libraries due to the profile (barriers, language, skills) of distance students.

Some members of the LIS attending the LIASA conference:  Sakhele Magodla, Hendra Pretorius, Martin Nokoane and Martha van der Walt.


Academic paper published by NWU Library Staff


The latest academic paper to be published by NWU Library staff members is on the use of Social Media at the NWU Library during the #FeesMustFall Campaign.

Published by the “Library Review”, the article is titled ”A university library’s use of social media during a time of crisis”. The purpose of the paper is to highlight how NWU Library used Facebook and Twitter to inform, educate and communicate with library users during the students’ protests, #FeesMustFall Campaign.

The paper provides insights that the teaching and learning (educational) aspect still lags behind on social media usage in libraries. Given the period in question, the expectation would have been a higher percentage of posts that could be categorized as educational.

The link to the online first version of the article has been provided to the authors at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/LR-12-2016-0105 (to access the abstract)

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/LR-12-2016-0105 (to access the fulltext. Limited to the first 50 people at the moment)

Staff News

Congratulations to the following staff members who were appointed recently. We welcome them as part of the Library and Information Service team:

boitumelo-masilo Boitumelo Masilo was appointed as Faculty Librarian: Humanities and Theology from 1 October 2017.
james-kolodi James Kolodi was appointed as Shelver: Loan Services from 1 October 2017.
helah_vander_walt Helah van der Waldt was recently appointed on temporary basis at the Theology Library due to operational requirements (from mid September – 31 October 2017).

The following staff member resigned, we are going to miss you!

sabelo-chizwina.jpg Mahikeng Library bid farewell to Sabelo Chizwina end of September 2017. With his extensive experience he has been an invaluable asset to Information Services. His desire to assist library users and fellow staff members has made him well admired and respected by all. The NWU LIS wishes him well in his future plans.


International Literacy Day at Vanderbijlpark

The Vanderbijlpark Library celebrated International Literacy Day on 8 September 2017 by getting students to use their search talents to do a book hunt and word puzzle.

Book Hunt:

From 10:00 – 13:00 students who visited the Library took part in the book hunt by collecting a list of books from the library staff. They had to use their knowledge of the Library search system to find as many books that were on the list as possible. The top six with the most books ‘collected’ won a prize! The theme for this year was Literacy in a Digital World, and with this theme in mind, the hunt brought together the use of both digital and physical smarts.


  • The list contained a set of titles of books, as well as the author.
  • The student needed to use the Library search system in order to find the call number of the book.
  • The next part involved a little exercise, as the student had to find the book on the shelf.
  •  Once the book is found (do not take the book off the shelf). They had to take a selfie, pointing to the correct book (The funnier the photo the better!)
  • Once the time is up, they had to ‘hand in’ their evidence to see if they managed to find all the books!
  • The top six students who found the most books won a prize!

Word Puzzle

The Library staff draw up 2 boards with letters and students had to form words using those letters.  They had to come up with a minimum of 15 words in one minute.    The students were then awarded with a price (pen/sweets/bookmark/note pad -small).

There were two boards that contained only library terms.  Students had to circle the words on the board that the library staff call on.  They then had to find five words in one minute in order to be awarded. Glenda,Tiny, Siyabonga, Pearsley and Daniel assisted with the drawing board.

The students enjoyed the activities and some of them requested that the library need to do it more often.


Ferdinand Postma Library: Second floor renovation

Progress of construction on 2nd floor.

The project is progressing according to plan.  We apologise for the noise in the library! We have liaised with the contractors to do the “noisy work” immediately at the start of the project and not during the final exams in October/November.  Therefore bear with us please.


Progress report:

  • Book shelves were covered with PVC sheeting
  • Cables of electrical, data, telephone, fire and other equipment were removed
  • The large journal counter was dismantled
  • 90% of the dry walls were removed
  • Old carpets and vinyl flooring were removed
  • Wall tiles of 3 bathrooms on the second floor were removed – this created the loud and continuous banging noise…  they will start with the floor tiles today (15/9)
  • All the plumbing was disconnected & removed

International Literacy Day (08 September 2017)

North-West University Library Potchefstroom celebrated International Literacy Day with a fun activity for the students. This gave the students an opportunity to learn about the library’s facilities and resources. A scavenger hunt was planned and QR codes were incorporated to raise awareness of digital literacy in accordance with this year’s theme of International Literacy Day: Literacy in a digital world. Students who participated in the event were very enthusiastic and mentioned that they learnt more about the library as this was not just as fun activity, but one that had a literacy value.


The prizes up for the taking were sponsored by Wiley.    In collaboration with the Faculty of Law, the scavenger hunt was also incorporated to the Amazing Race activity for the 2nd year Criminal law students.


Students taking a selfie with Meisie Makauza in the Education Sciences Library
Dina Mashiyane handing over some Wiley book prizes
Law students taking part in the scavenger hunt