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


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