NWU launches figshare pilot


The NWU Library and Information Service in conjunction with IT services and the Research Office as part of eResearch initiative is running a 6 month pilot of the figshare platform which started at the beginning of April 2018. NWU figshare pilot platform may be accessed here : https://nwu.figshare.com

figshare – a data repository platform – is being piloted by several universities in South Africa to determine its fit within research workflows and suitability for housing all types of data generated during the research process. Datasets uploaded to figshare is given a persistent DOI and can be made available to anyone or have restricted access. The platform supports in-browser previews of over a thousand filetypes and tracks access metrics of all items loaded onto it.

Participation in the pilot is limited, but interested researchers can contact Zine Sapula for more information.


Potchefstroom Library


Lungile Dlamini was appointed as Temp Librarian in the Cataloguing department in the Potchefstroom Library from 1 April – 30 June 2018.

She has also worked as an Intern in the Cataloguing Department in the Mahikeng Library.  Before joining the NWU LIS, Lungile was a volunteer at Magudu Primary School as an Administrative Officer.

NWU LIS celebrated South African Library Week


The Ferdinand Postma library celebrated the annual South African library week from 19-24 March 2018 with the theme “Libraries: heart of the community. This national celebration was sponsored by the Library and Information Association of South Africa(LIASA) and observed in libraries across the country.  A number of activities were organised with the very essence of promoting the library’s role as the heart of the university and raising awareness of the facilities, resources and spaces available to the university community as a whole.

As part of the celebrations, all NWU libraries had a “fine-free week” during which all overdue library materials could be returned without fines being imposed.  Coloring posters gave both students and staff the opportunity to add color to Library Week in creating colorful art-pieces.

All libraries also used the opportunity to market their self-check machines.  The idea was to engage the students in using the machine and create their library pins which are essential in facilitating the management of their lending activities and privileges.  Users participated eagerly as they could win prizes.

At Mafikeng Library they had a contest to guess a book title.  They used images that suggest book titles and displayed them at the foyer for users to guess the book titles. The initial plan was to do it for one day, but it was so popular that it was repeated for a second day. Users  suggested that they would like to see more of this activity.  Mafika, the campus mascot stop by, participated and took some pictures with the participants at the foyer.

At Potchefstroom, Van Schaik’s bookstore had a book exhibition of the “Dummy Collection” and a photo booth.  This activity generated a great deal of fun, buzz and excitement with students winning prizes.   There was a week-long book display on human rights in celebration of “Human Rights Day”.

Vanderbijlpark staff gave training sessions in the use of the library catalogue as well as databases.  Attendees received notepads, pens and rulers.  Staff members also went to Suncrest High School to arrange the quite disorganized library.  They managed to create a reference collection and to establish one section functioning as library,  and the other section to keep the school textbooks.   They further assist in cleaning up the library.  A big thank you to Glenda, Katlego, Tiny, Thandi, Nthabiseng and Siyabonga – they really walked the extra mile!

Potchefstroom Library

alta_vandenbergWe wish to congratulate Alta van den Berg for being appointed as Senior Librarian: Cataloguing with immediate effect.  She has already been in the Cataloguing department for 7 years.  Before joining the NWU, Alta worked at the Potchefstroom Community Library for 20 years.   On behalf of LIS Management, we wish her success in this new role.

Farewell to Jubrie

jubrie-oosthuizenJubrie Oosthuizen will be dearly missed as she leaves the library form 1 March. She started her career in the Ferdinand Postma Library in 1976;  promoted to Head: Acquisitions in 1980. Since 2000 she served as the Head: Acquisitions and Processing, and lately as Manager: Information Resources. She is grateful for having seen many changes in the library environment, such as : The development from a card catalogue to the online catalogue that is in use today. Also the various formats in which information was being made available to users: first printed catalogues, then microfiche, CDRom and now the electronic format.  For 42 years working in the library has been a very stimulating career and all the wonderful colleagues who shared her life is something that she will always cherish. She wishes everyone the best and a very fulfilling career.

Another step for self-service – Selfcheck at the Ferdinand Postma Library


To relieve pressure at the Loans desk and enhance service to library users the Ferdinand Postma Library has acquired a Selfcheck machine which can be found on the ground floor of the library at the new books area. This Selfcheck machine will allow library users to quickly borrow or return books, as well as to check the status of their library record without the need to go to the Loans desk. Library users can also watch the Selfcheck machine for library announcements and news!

To make use of the Selfcheck system registered library users will need their NWU cards and Library PINs (to create/change your PIN you can visit the Loans desk or your Library record online). Instructions on use is displayed on the machine and users are guided through every step with easy to understand animations.

Other self-services offered by the Library include online room bookings, online renewals of Library material and borrowing of eBooks. There are also Selfcheck facilities at both the Vaal Triangle and Mahikeng libraries.

Research Enablers + One@NWU


The Research Enablers event took place on 31 January 2018 at the Vanderbijlpark Library.  The aim of Research Enablers is to collaborate across disciplines at the NWU and to ask the question on how we are enabling research in our environment today.

Martin Dreyer did a presentation on the platform ONE@NWU – a one stop portal for NWU researchers and users still in process.  All available services and resources will be listed alphabetically and will then link to the documents.  It is a user friendly way to get what you need easily.  A small informal working group were convened to populate the portal with some services.  Everybody gave their input – it was a very effective session.  Martin also informed us about Nextcloud and how to get access to it.

Research Support Librarian, Zine Sapula did a presentation on Research Data Management: Progress and Lessons Learned at NWU.  Figshare and Creative Commons were discussed.

Staff were excited about the changing landscape of research and the role we can play.


Workshop on effective techniques for promoting library services and resources

Library staff from Mafikeng attended a workshop on the 2nd of February 2018 presented by Zanele Magoba from World Wide Information Services (WWIS). She discussed important issues that affect libraries and librarians worldwide; the fact that librarians need to embrace change as practitioners of this profession. In a surprising turn of events, Zanele pointed out that the ever-changing technology may cause librarians to be demotivated. She pointed out that librarians should change their attitudes, empower themselves with the relevant technology skills as well as finding ways to organise the influx of information to what is mostly relevant to us.  Ms Magoba presented a graph of a study that was conducted to determine the reasons behind the reluctance of users to use the library.  Librarians need to be more customer focussed in dealing with the users.

Staff were orientated on the various tools on Web of Science as well as EndNote online.

It was an exciting workshop that left staff with a lot to think about in terms of ways to better our profession, as well as our services. A big thank you to Ms Magoba and WWIS for this eye opening session and the “goodie bags” which were received.


NWU Mafikeng campus library taking the world of academic research by storm!!

The Mafikeng campus is proud to announce the publication of three scholarly articles by the library staff members. It is indeed inspiring and motivating to see the colleagues flying the NWU flag high in the research community.

Details of published articles:





All these journals are accredited by the DHET and indexed by both Scopus and Web-of-Science. The later still appears under its old title: Interlending and Document Supply. Full papers are available on pre-prints of the respective journals.

Congratulations to the colleagues!  We certainly look forward to more publications from all NWU library staff members.