The North-West University Library and Information Services had the honour of being visited by the African Library and Information Association and Institution (AfLIA) president, Mr John Tsebe, on 11 July 2017. John Kgwale Tsebe became the first black national librarian in South Africa in 2004. In 2013, he was elected the first AfLIA president, a body whose vision is to be “the trusted voice of the African library and information community in Africa’s development”. As the president of AfLIA, John is involved in several projects to promote librarianship in several African countries. John retired as a National Librarian of South Africa in 2014 but is set to continue in the role of president of AfLIA until 2019. Currently, he also teaches at the University of Limpopo.
During his visit, Mr John Tsebe shared some of his experiences in various roles as a university librarian at the University of Limpopo, National Librarian of South Africa, Professor of Librarianship, and AfLIA president. Through to his character, Mr Tsebe could not miss the chance of touring our library and he was impressed by the level of discipline shown by our users and the NWU LIS facilities.
Vanderbijlpark Library participated in the Mandela day celebration by reaching out to Mathwala’s Children’s home in Vanderbijlpark, about 3 to 4 kilometers away from the campus. Mathwala Children`s home accommodates 32 children, 10 are girls from 9 months to 12 years and 22 boys from 2 years to 21 years. The library staff has donated non perishable food, toiletries, clothing and 20 liters of paint. We also painted the room that is going to be used by the children as a study unit because the University promotes academic excellence. The Mathwala’s orphanage home appreciated our presence in celebrating with them the 67 minutes of the Mandela day, the center was filled with love and joy and we were openly welcomed by the home.
“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” Nelson Mandela
A special gratitude of thanks to all the staff who contributed not only their funds but their time to go make a difference at the orphanage, also those staff who were left behind and continued with their duties of serving students at the library.
Long live the spirit of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela!
The NWU Libraries (Potchefstroom) reached out to Ons Hulde Old Age Home in honour of Mandela Day. Ons Hulde is only minutes away from the campus and takes care for about 70 frail and disabled elderly residents with needs on different levels. They are struggling financially as the cost to take care of residents, is far more than the subsidy they receive.
Due to generous donations from library staff, the library could hand over warm blankets, clothes, wool and toiletries. Some staff gave their time and knitted blankets and scarves, another staff member baked some high energy biscuits. On Saturday morning, seven staff members gave new life to a neglected patio by painting cement pots and tables and donating plants.
This outreach provided the staff with the opportunity to give a little of our time and much of our heart to commemorate Mr Mandela’s legacy.
A huge thank you to all the staff who contributed!
NWU libraries staff members attended the NW LIASA Seminar at the Mafikeng Campus on 10 July 2017. The theme of the seminar was: The critical role of advocacy in libraries. The focus of the seminar was to encourage the spirit of ownership and commitment of all stakeholders (Library staff, decision makers and communities). The keynote speakers were Mr. John Tsebe and Mr Harry Motolong. Mr Tsebe is President of African Library and Information Association and Institution (AfLIA). Heis the Former National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of South Africa. Mr. Motolong is Project Manager (Advocacy & Marketing National Library of South Africa) who introduced the IFLA advocacy programme. Mrs Neli Kaunda was the Programme Director for the event.
In addition to the seminar, participants at the seminar celebrated the Librarians Day and LIASA 20 years celebrations. LIASA has reserved the 10th of July as a day when librarians should reflect on the role they play in nation building. This year LIASA was celebrating 20 years of existence since it was launched on 10 July 1997 as the professional body of Library and Information Service in South Africa.
The NWU library staff had the opportunity to meet with the AfLIA president on the 11 of July 2017. Mr. Tsebe spent his day at the NWU Mafikeng Library where he visited different sections in the library and also had a chance to meet with Library staff.
On 14 June 2017 Ms Zine Sapula and Mr Louw Venter attended a UniVen eScience benchmarking visit to speak about the role that NWU libraries are playing to support and enable research in eScience enabled institution. Ms Sapula gave a presentation which touched on the trends in the library environment, current practices at the NWU libraries, reskilling of librarians and the library as research enabler and partner in eScience.
The format of the event was a round table discussion with attendees asking questions during the presentation. Questions of interest were:
Where are the overlaps between the Library and the Research Office?
What is the work-flow for getting items (ETDs) to the Library (for repository)?
How does NWU library support Postgraduate students?
How many computers does the library have for Postgraduate students?
How does the library provide access to e-resources to off-campus students? Are there any passwords?
The biennial conference hosted by SANLiC (South African Library & Information Consortium) was attended by 4 Staff members of the NWU Library and Information Services.
The theme of the conference was: Disruption in the Library, the Laboratory, the Classroom. The focus of the conference was on how the Open Access movement is gaining momentum over the subscription model as the benefits to society of opening access to research outputs and educational materials become increasingly self-evident. Increasingly, research and academic institutions, either by choice or force of circumstance, are walking away from publisher deals based on the subscription model.
Against this backdrop, the South African higher education sector is in crisis and disruption. The conference assisted library and information practitioners in making sense of developments, honing skills and developing strategies to deal with the disruption.
Presentations were given on the advancement of the Open Access movement, licensing and negotiation principles, and knowing and evaluating the library’s electronic collection.
More than 30 vendors and publishers had exhibitions and some presentations were given on developments being done by them. The conference was therefore also geared to networking with publishers and vendors.
A pre-conference workshop was also attended by Dr Mathew Moyo (Senior Director: Library and Information Services), Prof Lucas Venter (Director: Institutional Office of Research Support) and Mrs Anelda van der Walt (NWU eResearch Initiative). This was a closed workshop for directors and research decision makers. The title of the workshop was: OA2020 – initiative for the large-scale transformation of the subscription system (Leveraging the power of institutional budgets and research outputs to secure the economic benefits of Open Access)
The social highlight of the conference was the gala dinner where the guest speaker was Dr Adriana Marais. Adriana is a quantum biophysicist and is best known as one of the 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to move to the red planet in 2026. She shared some insights as a researcher and inspired delegates and reminded the conference why, despite the disruption, it is an exciting time in the four billion year history of life on Earth to be alive!
The Library took part in the Undergraduate Open Day on Saturday 13 May 2017. Library staff working at a tent did a presentation regarding library services. Other staff members gave prospective students a tour within the library and explained how the library operates. At the library entrance they had some sweets, library pamphlets and lanyards that were given to the learners as token of appreciation.
A big thank you to the following staff who contributed to the success of the day: Glenda Makate, Katlego Chiya, Nthabiseng Maseko, Tiny Moripa, Thoko Tswaile, Siyabonga Sithole and Hendra Pretorius.
The Library was part of the NWU Open Day activities on Saturday 6th May 2017.
Prospective students had the opportunity to do online registrations in the Library. As this was the only registration facility on campus, it was a very busy morning for staff members of Information Services in the library. Prospective first years and their parents had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the library services offered to undergraduates. They were very impressed with the library and available facilities.
The NWU (PC) had a General Career Day on 10 May. The Library took part in raising awareness of different career paths in the field of Library & Information Sciences. A number of students showed interest in the Postgraduate Diploma in Library & Information Science as offered by Unisa.
This was also an opportunity to reach out to the students in terms of informing them of the services and facilities offered by the Library Services.
The annual Innovative User Group (IUG) conference was held in Maryland USA from the 2nd to the 5th of April 2017. This conference brings together users of Innovative Interfaces (a vendor for specialist Library Management systems) to share and learn from each other through presentations, Birds of a feather sessions and personal networking. During the conference staff from Innovative also present on what is current and future developments for their Library systems while interacting with users of their systems on ground level.
At this – the 25th IUG conference – as many as 12 concurrent sessions covering different modules and topics related to the Innovative systems were presented, and attendees could choose sessions based on their interests. The systems administrator for the NWU Library Services attended the conference and focused mainly on the areas of system development and administration.
The conference had a total attendance of more than 800 library professionals from 16 countries with more than 160 sessions.