New appointment

A warm welcome to Carren Serame who started as Library Assistant in Information Services (Potchefstroom) on 01 October 2021. Carren will be responsible for the general inquiries at the Information Desk and for support at the Information Commons. She was previously employed as Senior Administrative Assistant at the Center for Teaching and Learning (NWU).

She holds Higher Certificates in Archives and Records Management as well as Agile Project Management, obtained from Unisa and UCT respectively, and is currently registered for a Bachelor in Information Science at Unisa.

Carren, we wish you all the best in your new position!

New appointment

The NWU LIS welcomes Mr Shirley Magagule, who assumed duties as an assistant librarian on the 01 September 2021 at Loan Services (Potchefstroom). Shirley has experience in the circulation section, gained from the University of Limpopo and University of Mpumalanga. He holds a BA degree in Communication and a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Studies, both obtained from the University of Limpopo. He is currently registered for a Honours degree in Information Studies at University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Shirley is a proud registered member of LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa).

Shirley, welcome aboard.

Staff news

We welcome Maggie Melk-Sindwa to the Information Services Team (Potchefstroom) in her new position as Faculty Librarian from 1 September 2021.

Maggie is well-known in the NWU LIS as she worked in Loan Services from 2009 – 2014. She then accepted a position as Assistant Information Specialist at the University of Pretoria where she gained valuable experience in the Music Library. After her return to the NWU LIS in August 2019, she was the Personal Assistant to the Chief Director LIS, Dr Moyo. Maggie holds a Honours degree in Development and Management, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Library & Information Science.

Maggie, we wish you all the best in your new position!

The LIS celebrates Women’s Month

We respect other’s rights

The library on Mahikeng campus took the time to celebrate women in South Africa. The 9th of August signifies a significant day dedicated to women in South Africa. A physical book display has been put in the library to create awareness of women, gender and violence issues. Women globally especially in Africa have an important role to play in uplifting their communities and the economy. Women have always made sure that they keep fires burning in the family by providing for the needs of their children and entire community.

There is a Sepedi saying that says “Mmago ngwana o swara thipa ka bogaleng” literally meaning:
A mother holds a knife by its cutting edge”.

This proverb reveals that a mother will do anything to the extent of taking risks to protect the welfare her children.

We should all note that gender issues are not only focused on women alone but on the relationship between men and women and society at large. Gender equality means that as men and women, we all have equal power and equal opportunities. Empowered women and girls contribute to the welfare of their families, communities, and countries. If we are to achieve gender equality, women’s empowerment should be an important aspect that we all should focus on.

Let us continue to respect and empower everyone.

At Potchefstroom a display was done to shed light on the gender disparities in our communities and workplaces, calling everyone to strive for gender equality and accepting others for who they are. As we bring awareness to gender issues, we also celebrate our fearless women, imbhokodo!! this women’s month.

Imbhokodo is a Zulu word for “a rock”, meaning:
You strike a woman, you strike a rock.

The Library on the Vanderbijlpark Campus had an exhibition on Gender Based Violence and acknowledged the women who contributed to the fight against women’s rights and freedom. They acknowledged female authors who contributed academically. Even before COVID-19 hit, violence against women and girls had reached pandemic proportions. Globally, 27% of women aged 15 to 49 years were abused by an intimate partner in the past year. Meanwhile, less than 40 per cent of women who experienced violence reported it or seek help.

Staff gathered and celebrated Women’s Day in style – they dressed up in black and ladies wore African head wraps. They were joined by Servest staff ( LIS cleaners) and security from the Library.


Staff news

Glenda Makate has resigned at the end of August 2021.

Glenda joined the NWU LIS in 2013 at the Library on Vanderbijlpark Campus. She became Librarian for Law, Social Work, Languages, Accounting and IT in 2014.

In 2018 she moved to Mahikeng in the position of Senior Librarian Information Services. She facilitated information literacy, research support, marketing and collection development. She was one of the co-founders of Bokamoso literature club at the Mahikeng campus and coordinated author workshops for postgraduates and academics. She co-authored articles in international and national accredited journals and also presented papers at LIASA and ICIL 2019.

She was on maternity leave at the time of her departure and is blessed with a baby boy.

Glenda, may you find fulfillment in your new appointment at the Health Sciences Library, University of Pretoria!

SANLiC Conference 2021

A number of LIS staff had the opportunity to attend the recent virtual SANLiC Conference, #SANLIC2021. The advantage of virtual attendance was that about 330 attendees, national and international, could attend this year. Physical attendance of the conference amounted to only about 150 attendees in the past.

The primary objective of this conference was to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and information in support of scholarly electronic resource management among member institutions.

Keynote speaker

On day one, Prof Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria was the keynote speaker. In his presentation about sustainability in the Higher Education Sector, he mentioned that Universities face a threat in this age of ongoing disruptions. It does not have to be so, as opportunities beckon of universities to re-imagine themselves as drivers of impactful and transformative change. Attendees reacted very positively to his statement that Academic libraries are among the unsung heroes of the pandemic.

Prof Tawana Kupe

Exploring digital disruption (COVID-19)

As the first few presentations focused on understanding the impact of COVID-19, some highlights of these presentations will be shared.

Mr Abdullah Verachia, a Golbal Future Strategist from the Gordon Institute of Business Science, delivered an interesting presentation on the post pandemic bloom – how will the next 10 years be impacted by the events of today; how will the future of work look like; and what does adaptibility look like in a post COVID world?

He concluded with this slide on what Covid had taught him:

Two Years, two disasters was the title of a presentation by two staff members of Cape Town University Libraries – Jillian Clark & Caroline Dean. They first focused on the unanticipated outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the switch from physical to virtual operations. The shift to virtual resulted in a greater demand for access to online material.

Then, in April 2021, UCT was rocked by a second disaster: the fire that destroyed the Jagger Library’s African Studies Collection. The presentation focused on the work done by the Acquisitions Department in response to two disasters and the responsive and supportive role that the publishers and vendors played through generous remote access to databases, journals and e-books. Caroline Dean ended the presentation with what they’ve learnt during the disasters – BE KIND to one another.

Prof Ruth Hoskins (UKZN) discussed the influence of COVID-19 in meeting library users’ online information needs. Many academic libraries had to embrace the concept of the digital library and the adoption of Library 2.0 tools to support the information needs of their users. She focused on the challenges of providing a remote online service and the accessibility of online resources for users, and also strategies to improve service delivery.

There was ample time for lively discussions, and attendees had access to a comment box where they could share their opinions or chat with one another.

Full conference programme at

In total, there were 27 presentations on the following themes:

  • Exploring digital disruption (COVID-19)
  • Informing, measuring and demonstrating value
  • Building trusted relationships
  • Open scholarship and the library
  • Tools, skills & competencies for e-resource librarians.

Please have a look at the conference programme. The complete presentations are available on the conference web page – unfortunately only to staff members who attended. But you are most welcome to contact Carine or me, should you be interested in some of the topics.

Virtual attendance

Joining this conference was very exciting and showed that virtual attendance can be meaningful and has great advantages in terms of accessibility, ease of attending and no cost attached in terms of travel or accommodation. The only downside is that it lacks the intimacy of a physical gathering, and also the networking opportunities. It seems however, that virtual events are going to dictate the conference landscape in the unforeseeable future.

Our exhibition was the winner!
Like with real conferences, universities and vendors had the opportunity to have exhibitions – but this time in the form of a virtual stand. The LIS took the opportunity to make our library visible, but especially to create awareness about the International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) that we will be hosting in 2022. Much to our surprise, our exhibition was voted number one by the organizers! The banner in the stand linked to the ICIL 2022 web page.

Thank you to our webmaster, Elize van Eldik for her assistance in creating this web page within a short time frame. On the stand, there was also room to portray our brochures for the different user groups, and we added the

I believe all staff members enjoyed this conference, as it was well organized, stimulating and has given us food for thought.


Appointment of the Manager: Information Resources

Mr Ntobeko Sikhakhane has been appointed as Manager: Information Resources from 1 August 2021. He holds a Bachelor degree in Information Science (UNISA) obtained in 2010 and enrolled for the Master of Philosophy (Library and Information Studies) at DUT in 2020. Other qualifications include the Certificate in Local Government Administration and Management (UNISA) in 2006, a Certificate in Management Principles for First-Line Managers (UNISA) obtained in 2015 and also a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies at UCT.

His previous work experience includes the following:
He held a position as Senior Librarian and Acting Chief Librarian at Drakenstein Municipality (Paarl) from Dec. 2016 to 31 July 2021.

His main duties were:
•Operations and general management duties
•Financial Management
•Project Management and Implementation
•Quality and Risk Management
•Stakeholder Relations
•People Management (including development and capacity building)

He had an appointment as Librarian, Sol Plaatje Municipality, Kimberley, April 2012 – Nov. 2016 where he provided research and reference services, participated in collection development, people management, manage customer service, cataloguing and classification. He also held a Research Librarian and Archivist position at Engen Petroleum Ltd, Durban where he conducted amongst other duties, maintaining the library and archive collection, classification and digitization of records, handling technical inquiries, subscriptions management, people and financial management. He presented papers at conferences and seminars with the recent paper in 2019 at the Public Libraries Seminar, Cape Town: on “Emerging Technologies: Investigating library user trends with reference to technology”.

We welcome him in the NWU library family and wish him well in his position.

Resignation and Acting Manager

Mr Lindsay Reid resigned as Manager: Library Systems on 30 June 2021. He joined the NWU LIS in November 2018. We wish him the best in his new position at the NMMU.

Mr Lizwi Njani has been appointed as Acting Manager: Library Systems from 1st July 2021. He holds BCom Honours in Information Systems from the University of Fort Hare. He is currently appointed as Business Analyst in NWU IT Academic Support Services and is based in the Library Systems section. His previous experience includes, working as a Developer at IT: Business Systems Development and Support.

We wish him well in the new portfolio.

The LIS commemorates Youth Day

National Youth Day is meant to commemorate the events of the 1976 uprisings and to honor those who fought and lost their lives during the uprisings. But it is also a reminder of the progress our country has made regarding equality and equal opportunity for all our youth.

In the library on Potchefstroom Campus, an exhibition was held to highlight issues that the current youth are facing, and staff engaged with students about the events of June 16. During interaction with students who were interested in the display, students were invited to asked library-related questions. Staff assisted them and used a tablet to do the searches as they watched.

In the library on Mahikeng Campus, staff decided to reflect on two distinct periods in the lives of our young people. They divided the time-lines as: the struggle of 16 June 1976, and the 2021 youth. The students were reminded that each generation has unique challenges to address and a mandate to achieve. This can only be achieved through working together as a community. What the youth of South Africa can do on this day, is to educate one another and learn from the events that took place on June 16. In addition, you can also spend this day helping underprivileged children in schools or orphanages in our country donating resources that will aid their education and improve the lives of our future leaders.

Education is seen as the most viable option to change the destination of our youth. Our friendly library staff is always available to help our youth to achieve their dreams.

Dream on young people! Dream On!

Teboho Morajane – Faculty Librarian (Mahikeng)
Banele Khoza – Librarian Undergraduate Support (Potchefstroom)

LIS Webinar

Research Visibility: Driving Open Access (with Open Research Data) without violating the Copyright law, POPIA, and Code of Ethics

The Library and Information Service hosted a successful webinar titled Research Visibility: Driving Open Access (with Open Research Data) without violating the Copyright law, POPIA, and Code of Ethics, on 12 May 2021. The webinar was facilitated by Prof Jako Olivier (the UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and Open Educational Resources hosted at the NWU), and well attended by a number of NWU staff as well as other and non-members of the North-West University.

Prof Olivier provided a brief background on the concept of Open Access with emphasis on engaged scholarship, by opening research and educational knowledge output to the public. Prof Olivier highlighted the social responsibility of the NWU as institution of higher learning that shares its research outputs with the members of the public through the Institutional Repository (BOLOKA).

The keynote speaker, Prof Caroline B. Ncube (Research Chair in Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development) at the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town, gave a presentation on how researchers can control and improve their online presence and visibility of their research. A four-step guide was presented that identified points such assessing one’s current online presence, improving output and visibility. Applicable concepts such copyright, POPIA, and research ethics were also discussed.

Prof Ncube ended with encouraging words and confirmed that it is researchers’ social responsibility to ensure that their research work is openly accessible to the society at large, and making social impact.

Mr Tiyani Mabunda
LIS Director: Open Scholarship