Siviwe Bangani – Librarian of the Year 2018 National Finalist

librarian-of-the-yearCongratulations to Siviwe Bangani, Manager Information Services at the Mafikeng library who is the North-West finalist for 2018.

The Librarian of the Year will be announced at a social function on 11 October at the LIASA Conference.  We are all holding thumbs to have a NWU LIS staff member as Librarian of the Year!

We are proud of you, Siviwe.  Good luck!


Read more at:


National Book Week (3 – 9 September 2018) & International Literacy Day (8 September 2018)

National Book Week is a reading promotion campaign that was initiated by the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture.

International Literacy Day is an initiative of the United Nations to create awareness of literacy challenges across the globe.  The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and created a highlight for National Book Week this year.

NWU Library & Information Services created awareness and promoted reading with exhibitions in the libraries of fiction and children’s books from our collections. Some fun events also took place.


The NWU Mahikeng Library had a colourful display of the children’s collection to commemorate national book week and international literacy day. There was an interactive activity where patrons used colouring pens to colour  the pictures on display; and a slideshow on the library monitor encouraging users to check out children’s books and read to children, the hashtag from the national book week theme,  #ourstories, was used. There was great participation from the users on the colouring activity as well as the children’s collection. We had a visit from Dr Wessels and Dr Erasmus, senior lecturers from the department of Education: foundation phase, they were very impressed and expressed heartfelt gratitude for the much needed and relevant collection, as well as the display.



An exhibition of fiction books and children’s books was set up on the ground floor of the Ferdinand Postma Library for National Book Week. International literacy day was celebrated on Friday, 7 September.  Library patrons took part in an activity, Expand your vocabulary, during which they could win small prizes.  This created a lot of excitement.



During National Book Week, VC Library patrons, were startled by the quaint appearance of *Bibliophile* the Library bookworm. *Bibliophile * believes that books have the power to teach, inspire, and connect people. *Bibliophile * encouraged the patrons to read a book, or at least a magazine or newspaper during National Book Week. They were reminded that books and stories are part of the wealth and culture of communities.

*Bibliophile * were accompanied by little squirmy wormy book ambassadors, scattering short messages or quotes on books and reading. The little squirmy wormy book ambassadors, jibed the Library patrons (tongue-in-cheek), that the best safeguard against collection infestation, is good reading habits. They absolutely love the starch components in book cloth, and would easily create tunnels and holes, whilst grazing through underutilized Library books.

Library patrons committing themselves to the pledge #READ during National Book Week, each received an edible little squirmy wormy ambassador (80), from *Bibliophile * guardian, Louise Harmse.

Many students also grasped the opportunity to take a picture with *Bibliophile *.


Casual Day – Be an Everyday Hero

IMG_8649The NWU LIS supported Casual Day on Friday 7 September 2018.  Each staff member received a sticker to wear on this day, to show that the LIS cares for people with disabilities.

The theme for this year is to be an Everyday Hero.  Some staff members dressed up as their everyday hero or favourite superhero to support the theme of the day.

Casual Day 2018 wants to send the following message:

  • Heroes care about other people
  • Heroes can put themselves in someone else’s shoes
  • Heroes use their skills and talents to do good themselves, rather than waiting for someone else to do it
  • Heroes don’t give up. They keep going even after setbacks and frustrations
  • Heroes strive to be all they can, despite shortfalls
  • Heroes never stop working to make the world a better place for everyone
  • Heroes are defined by their strength of character

Now, more than ever, South Africa needs people to dig deep inside themselves, find the hero within and BE AN EVERYDAY HERO for people with disabilities.


Spring Day @ Vanderbijlpark Library

spring-day.jpgIn South Africa, Spring Day is celebrated on the 1st day of September.  As Spring surfaces to drive out the last gloomy traces of winter, no time were wasted at the Vanderbijlpark Library to welcome the new season.  New seedlings for veggies and herbs were picked and planted in the containers on the balcony of the tea room. Cultivating such a vegetable garden, is an antidote to the growing sedentary indoor working environment – prevalent to technology driven Libraries. The joy of physical activity to produce something tangible, is not only good for the body, but also for the spirit.

Growing this vegetable garden on the balcony, serves as a social magnet for visitors booking the seminar and tea room. The green outdoor setting helps staff to relax during lunch and tea breaks.

Although the Vegetable Garden Project was initiated by the (GCI) Green Campus Initiative on the Vanderbijlpark Campus, Louise Harmse continues to drive this project.  The home-grown vegetables and herbs are available for picking by Library staff and visitors.


Research Week 2018


NWU Library Research Week will take  place on 17-21 September 2018 at all our campus libraries (Mafikeng, Vaal and Potchefstroom) 

Brief background: This is a young researchers program initiative developed by NWU Library research support in 2016. 

Aim: To develop and enhance the research skills of researchers in particular young researchers, honours, M & D’s students.

Format: Workshops and presentations

Have a look at our activities and register. Make sure to check the location of the event when you register. Please note you may be able to connect with other presentations not in your campus via Adobe connect link, only hands on sessions will not be shared remotely.

Data carpentry workshop will form part of the  Research week. Please register for this here

Adobe Connect sessions link:


CHELSA Academic Library Standards Workshop

chelsa3-4 September 2018 – DUT Hotel School, Durban

At a recent CHELSA workshop in Durban, Library Directors and representatives of academic libraries discussed the necessity for development of national library standards in South Africa.  The NWU LIS was represented by Dr Mathew Moyo and Louise Vos.

Ms Ujala Satgoor, Director of Library Services (Rhodes University Library), facilitated the workshop.  She is currently the Chair of CHELSA (Committee of Higher Education Libraries in South Africa).  She and Ms Lucille Webster, Director of Library Services (DUT) delivered presentions on the need for standards in academic libraries, the areas of importance, as well as international trends and standards in academic libraries internationally.

Why do we need standards?

  • To create efficiencies in terms of time and costs;
  • To provide a uniformity of product;
  • To encourage interoperability;
  • To promote the exchange of data;
  • For the ease with which library users can move from one library to another without having to learn entirely new skills in bibliographic research.

The task team had a look at the ACRL (American College and Research Libraries) 2018 Top Trends in Academic Libraries, also at a snapshot of available international library standards –  especially the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education of the ACRL (2018) and the PAARL standards of the Philippines.  After an open discussion, the following areas of importance / principles were identified for academic libraries in South Africa:

  • Governance
  • Infrastructure
  • Broadening Access
  • Funding
  • Human Resources
  • Collections
  • Collaborations and Partnerships
  • Educational Role
  • Services
  • Quality Assurance
  • Standards Framework

Task members were assigned with the responsibility to develop standards, performance indicators and outcomes for these principles.   The aim for completion of the first draft for Library Standards in Academic Libraries will be 31 January 2019.

CHELSA task team for Academic Library Standards

21st century academic library…

will be the one that has found new ways of meeting its stakeholders’ needs

IGBIS Workshop 2018


Six members of the NWU LIS Information Resources (cataloguing and periodical staff) attended an IGBIS workshop at the Centurion Lake Hotel on 16 and 17 August 2018. IGBIS is the LIASA Interest Group for Bibliographic Standards.

The theme of the workshop was: Resource description: unlocking developing trends and smart technologies.

The two-day workshop provided valuable networking and problem-solving opportunities for professionals from academic, public and special libraries.  Topics that were discussed:

  • An introduction to NACO and Authority control;
  • Training in new ISBD punctuation in MARC records;
  • Creating NACO authority records;
  • The use of relator codes in cataloguing;
  • What MarcEdit can do for you;
  • WorldShare Record Manager and Collection Manager;
  • Quality assurance;
  • Metadata futures;
  • Why relator codes are important in bibliographic records.

The committee assured IGBIS members that they will continue to provide training to the cataloguing community. Young cataloguers and first time presenters were also encouraged to present papers at the coming workshop. The cataloguers who attended, describe the opportunity as two days out of the office to sharpen their cataloguing skills, and an investment in their careers.

LIS involvement in Gender Awareness Week 2-8 August 2018


The NWU Mahikeng Library participated in Gender Awareness Week with the aim of recognizing women who have played a role in liberating themselves and those around them.  An on-screen display was used to identify women from various spheres such as Education, Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Literature and Royalty. This was accompanied by a book display to showcase female authors and other prominent figures. The display board was populated with female inventors, past and present.

An interactive activity for the patrons was developed to ensure engagement with the display.  The feedback was positive as they identified prominent women of their choice. The display will continue until the end of women’s month (August).

‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’  – You strike a woman, you strike a rock



Potchefstroom library participated in Gender Awareness Week and involved the users in some activities.  A book exhibition on gender related resources were on display for the week as well as an on-screen display of the Gender Awareness Week program and posters.

On Friday 3 August, students had fun completing a word puzzle of inspirational South African women and popped a balloon for a surprise Coffee in a Cone voucher at Ferdi’s.



During Gender Awareness Week the Vanderbijlpark Library had an exhibition depicting the theme of the week.  Students were asked to take pictures or selfies with books of their idols and share it with library staff.


The Library also hosted a discussion organized by Nthabiseng Maseko (LIS). Both male and female students had the opportunity to engage with each other on the topic of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).

The programme started with a short video explaining what intimate partner violence is.  The facilitator, Ms Retlotlilwe Pooe (Student Counseling and Development), explained how intimate partner violence unfolds to a point where it escalates to assault and even murder.  When asking the students what they thought the causes of IPV were, some mentioned societal beliefs and how people were raised.  Others blamed feminism and said that it causes women to compete with men, but then they still expect of men to provide for them when they are in a relationship.

Students were then asked to come up with solutions.  They agreed that education and disclosure is very important.  People need to become aware of such destructive behavior. One female student said:  “We need to unlearn certain behaviours in order to respect our significant other and to value each other’s lives.”

Students then decided to start a hashtag #itaffectsusall on Facebook. Some felt it was not enough – they decided to form groups in their respective residences where they will have similar discussions on a monthly basis. At the end of the programme, members were elected to serve on a committee to take the message further.


Author workshop for researchers

The NWU Mafikeng Library hosted an author workshop for researchers on 14 August 2018. The workshop was hosted in the library conference room and was also accessible from Potchefstroom and Vanderbijlpark campus via Adobe Connect. The workshop was facilitated by Emerald Group Publishing and WWIS (on behalf of Web of Science).  The speakers were Mr Sibu Zondi (Emerald) and Ms Zanele Magoba (WWIS).

The purpose of the workshop was to share knowledge of publishing to emerging researchers.  Among the areas covered were the publishing process, ethics of publishing, choosing a journal to publish, the importance of publishing in quality journals as well as the impact of research. The workshop was well attended and interaction of NWU researchers were quiet impressive. The researchers commended the library for hosting this workshop and requested more workshops of this nature in the future.