Mr Sakhile Victor Mngomezulu has been appointed as Librarian: Scholarly Communications from 1 April 2021. He is based in the Research Commons in the library on Mafikeng campus, and will report to the Director Open Scholarship. He will work closely with Faculty Librarians and other staff on research matters. Sakhile holds a Degree NQF 8 from the University of Limpopo in Information Studies. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Information Science with the University of South Africa. He started working as a Library Intern at the University of South Africa (Main Campus). He then moved on to work as a Librarian at the Management College of Southern Africa. He was then appointed as an Information Specialist at the Varsity college(IIE) providing research support to postgraduate students.
Sakhile, welcome to the NWU LIS team – we wish you all the best in your new position!
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We congratulate Mr Nestus Venter on his appointment as Senior Librarian at the Natural Sciences Library (Potchefstroom).
Nestus completed his BBibl degree in 1995 and started as Library Assistant at the Potchefstroom Community Library in 1996, where he provided information services to the general public. Nestus started his career with the North-West University LIS in 2005 when he accepted a position at the Education Sciences Library. He provided specialist information services and information retrieval services to students, researchers and faculty. He completed an Honours degree in Psychology in 2008. In 2012 he moved to the Ferdinand Postma Library where he assisted in coordinating circulation activities. Early in 2014 he became Faculty Librarian for the Psychosocial Health Sciences, a position he held to date. In 2016 he finished his Masters in Information Technology (MIT) at the University of Pretoria.
Nestus, we wish you all the best in your new position!
Ms Dina Mashiyane has resigned. Her last working day will be 19 March 2021.
Dina was appointed as Librarian Undergraduate Support in 2017 where she was responsible for coordinating all the activities and training of undergraduate students in the Information Commons at the library on Potchefstroom campus. She later moved to the library on Mahikeng campus as Faculty Librarian for Education and Health Sciences. In this role, she facilitated information literacy, research support, marketing and advocacy, embedded librarianship, collection development and community engagement. She was one of the co-founders of Bokamoso Literature Club and coordinated Knowledge Sharing workshops for Mahikeng library staff members. She has published in both international and national accredited journals of which five were co-authored, one-single authored and also a book chapter. She has also presented papers at LIASA conferences and ICIL.
Dina, thank you for valuable contributions to the NWU LIS – we will miss you!
Nontobeko Mahlalela has been appointed as Librarian: Research Support from 1 March 2021. She is based in the Research and Honours Commons in the library on Potchefstroom campus, and will report to the Director Open Scholarship. She will work closely with Faculty Librarians and other staff on research matters. Nonto received her Honours in Information Science in 2017. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Information Science. She has worked as Librarian at the National Health Laboratory Service from 2013, supporting medical doctors and medical scientists in the field of research.
Nonto, welcome to the NWU LIS team – we wish you all the best in your new position!
The LIS celebrated the official opening of the new spaces at the library on Mahikeng Campus during a virtual event on 4 March 2021.
Mr Tiyani Mabunda, Director Open Scholarship provided an overview of the project and mentioned that after the opening of the Research Commons for postgraduate students in December 2017, attention was given to the critical needs of undergraduate students on this campus. The planning process started in 2018 to establish a Teaching and Learning Commons in the library that would add value to undergraduate teaching and learning.
After an extensive planning process with Facilities, it was decided that the entire lower ground floor would be repurposed and developed into an inviting Teaching and Learning Commons, focused on the needs of undergraduates. There are 119 computer workstations in the Commons, with five IT equipped rooms for collaboration, a hands-on training facility and room for a Technology Commons. This facility will be equipped by CTL and will be operational in June.
Attention was also given to the establishment of a Law Library on the 1st floor. The 24hr area, now linked to the T&L Commons was refurbished and has 178 seating spaces with four rooms for collaboration. The Information Resources section was renovated and two staff offices were added.
In her address, Ms Amo Mohajane, Curator of the NWU Art gallery mentioned that art works from Alumni Fine Art students from Mahikeng were discovered on the campus in 2019. With the assistance of Prof Balfour and other stakeholders like the LIS, the art works were framed and a great number of them found their way to the new library spaces. She confirmed the necessity of collaboration.
In a message from the Mahikeng campus student community, Mr Thabang Tlale (SCC Chairperson) and Lele Dlamini (SCC Academic Affairs Officer) expressed their excitement about the new spaces, and mentioned that the 24hr study area especially provides in a great need amongst students.
The LIS is grateful that Prof Marilyn Setlalentoa, DVC: Community Engagement and Mahikeng Campus Operations could attend the event. In her address, Prof Marilyn confirmed that it is the intention of the NWU to prepare its students for life and the world of work. NWU students have diverse social, cultural and educational backgrounds, and the University acknowledges its responsibility to provide students with an enabling teaching and learning environment. Especially the students of Mahikeng Campus have very specific needs, and the new Teaching and Learning Commons can indeed be seen as an enabling learning environment to provide in these needs.
Dr Mathew Moyo, Chief Director Library and Information Services mentioned that the project posed some challenges, with the nationwide lockdown starting just a few weeks before completion of the project. He feels grateful that, with the opening of the new Teaching and Learning Commons on Mahikeng campus, the LIS now has completed a full circle, having similar facilities on the Vanderbijlpark and Potchefstroom Campuses.
Dr Moyo gave recognition to Prof Robert Balfour, DVC Teaching and Learning for his unwavering support and financial assistance. He also mentioned the team from Facilities, with special mentioning of the Construction Coordinator, Mr Fanie Fourie for his dedication to the project. He acknowledged the hard work done by LIS staff involved in the project, and thanked the Mahikeng LIS staff for their patience and sacrifices during the project.
After the official ceremony, Prof Marilyn cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new spaces.
Mr Tiyani T Mabunda was appointed Director Open Scholarship for all three Campuses from 1 February 2021. He is based at the Mahikeng Campus where he oversees the LIS operations. He joins us from the University of Johannesburg where he served in different roles for a number of years. Mr Mabunda worked as a Manager responsible for E-Research services and Scholarly Communication. Prior to that he worked as a Team Leader for Circulation and Access Services, and also as an Information Librarian. The LIS wishes to extend a hearty welcome to Mr Mabunda.
We wish you many successful years in the NWU LIS team!
Acting Manager: Information Resources The appointment of the Manager Information Resources is still in progress. Thank you to Benford Rabatseta who will still be acting in this role until further notice from People and Culture.
Ms Maphefo Maake was appointed as Manager Information Services at our Mafikeng Campus from 1 January 2021. She worked at Mintek where she was responsible for the provision of information service to researchers, library collection management, information and knowledge management, supervision and quality management. She started her career in Information Services in 1996 at the University of Johannesburg.
The LIS wishes to extend a hearty welcome to Maphefo. We wish you many successful years in the NWU LIS team!
Our dear colleague, Anriëtte Pretorius, retired in December 2020 after 44 years of dedicated service to the NWU Library and Information Service. Her contribution to the organization and running of the collections, databases and excellent service delivery cannot be underestimated. She was known as an informed professional who did not shy away from challenges and change – she was an inspiration and force to be reckoned with and will be sorely missed by colleagues and patrons alike.
Anriëtte started her library career in 1977 as a Cataloguer at the Ferdinand Postma Library in Potchefstroom. Many of the books in our collection passed through her hands.
In August of 1984 she accepted the position of Branch Librarian at the Natural Sciences Library. She trained and supported numerous new researchers, lecturers and students over the span of more than 30 years. The book and journal collections were well managed, and with her exceptional knowledge of different subject fields, she recommended new resources and software as needed by users. She was a pioneer in the ordering and establishment of e-collections for different subject fields. She built strong relationships with the Faculties of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Health Sciences and they will miss her expertise and unwavering support.
We wish Anriëtte a happy and healthy retirement. With her creativity we know that she will find lots to do with the time on her hands.
During a virtual meeting on 9 December 2020, the LIS had the opportunity to reflect on 2020 – an extraordinary and challenging year. The LIS is grateful that Prof Robert Balfour, DVC for Teaching and Learning could also join the event.
In his address, Prof Balfour remarked that our state of readiness is reflective of our state of functionality. Covid-19 made areas of vulnerability much more evident, but due to the LIS areas of strength, we excelled. The users were not able to visit the physical library, but the LIS was ready to step up, ready to serve and ready to change. He congratulated the staff for their ability to function collegially amidst great stress. We stuck together and we made it work.
Dr Moyo, Chief Director of the LIS had a word of thanks for the LIS staff. He mentioned that the LIS always had a focus on the physical and online library. With the onset of the pandemic, it was easy to migrate to online only. Statistics show that users made optimal use of the online resources and LibGuides during the lockdown. We are grateful for the staff who provided services during difficult circumstances. The LIS is also thankful for the support and ethics of care from the University Management.
Unfortunately, the LIS had to say goodbye to some colleagues during 2020.
Two senior staff members from the library on Mafikeng Campus have resigned:
Ms Manare Tshenye (Senior Manager Campus Operations) and
Mr Siviwe Bangani (Manager Information Services)
and Faculty Librarians:
Mr Katlego Chiya
Ms Boitumelo Masilo
Two staff members went on retirement:
Ms Maniza Ndwande after a service of 39 years
Ms Anriëtte Pretorius, Senior Librarian at the Natural Sciences Branch Library, who has served the NWU LIS for 44 years
New appointments during 2020
Welcome and congratulations to the following colleagues
Dr Moyo concluded to thank the Library Systems Section for their hard work and support, with special mentioning of Mr Lucas van den Heever who reached out to all staff members to ensure connectivity and IT support where needed.
In the year ahead the necessary skills and resources are essential. Faculty Librarians will have to reach out to academic staff, making them aware of electronic resources – especially to from part of prescribed material.
Closing remarks were done by Ms Neli Kaunda, Director Shared Services. She announced that every LIS staff member is entitled to a voucher that can be obtained at the Brand Store on each campus.
Ms Boitumelo Masilo has resigned and will leave us at the end of October to take up another position at the Sol Plaatje University.
Boitumelo joined the NWU LIS in October 2017 as Faculty Librarian, Information Services at Mahikeng. In this position she supported students, researchers and academic staff in the faculties of Humanities, Law and Theology. She was active in many projects of the library. She has a passion for reading and was co-founder of the Bokamoso literature club at Mahikeng Campus Library. She was very involved in marketing and outreach initiatives. She co-authored 3 papers which were published in accredited journals, and contributed to the LIASA-In-Touch magazine on a regular basis.
Boitumelo, your presence and contributions will be missed – we wish you all the best in your new position!