Heritage Day 24 September 2018

The NWU libraries recently celebrated Heritage Day.  Mahikeng library staff members dressed up in their traditional attires that showcased the diversity in the library. There was a presentation of different types of food, song, dance and play that represented different cultures in the library. Closing off the activities of the day was a Setswana dance performance by the NWU Cultural Dance Group. These festivities were in line with the national theme: ‘Reclaiming, restoring and celebrating our living heritage’.  There was a display of various artefacts from different cultural groups in the library foyer, accompanied by the library banner to represent unity of the diverse people in the library.  Faculty members from the Setswana Department were also invited to celebrate along with the library staff members.

In the spirit of Heritage Day, Potchefstroom Information Services staff wore African head wraps during the whole week, acknowledging the cultural wealth of our nation.  There was also a book exhibition with titles displaying our rich and diverse heritage.



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 https://nwu-eresearch.github.io/2018-09-19-nwu-library-week/

Adobe Connect sessions link: http://connect.nwu.ac.za/researchweek/


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.


Mahikeng Library book exhibition

On the 27-31 July the NWU LIS Mahikeng had the pleasure of hosting the 2018 book exhibition.


This exhibition demonstrated a true example of embedded librarianship by taking the library to the faculties.  All the activities were organised in each faculty building which meant that the academics and library staff as well as book suppliers had a chance to interact throughout the day for 3 days.  The following suppliers accepted the invitation and took part in the exhibition:  Vuga Book Supplies, Van Schaik, AMS and Best Books. The participation from academics and students was positive throughout the three days, the DVC also paid a visit.  This initiative enhanced patron driven acquisition as not only academics could select books, but an opportunity was provided to students as well.  The overall turnout was impressive.   Feedback was taken from faculty members as well as students, which would be incorporated in future book exhibitions.

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-02 at 12.18.25

Ferdinand Postma Library book launch and celebration of spaces

Celebration of spaces

The NWU LIS celebrated the completion of a 6-year renovation project of the Ferdinand Postma Library and launched a book about the history of the library recently.

During an event on 14 June 2018 in the Ferdinand Postma Library, Ms Neli Kaunda, LIS Director Shared Services, gave an overview of the refurbishment period.  She paid tribute to the LIS staff for their hard work and also conveyed gratitude to PIP for their role and support during this process.

The renovation process started in 2011 under the visionary direction of Dr Tom Larney – previous Director Library Services, Potchefstroom.  The 67-year-old building needed a makeover and spaces had to be repurposed according to current user needs.   After a long period of consultation, planning and going through a budgetary process, the construction started on 2012.  In the years to follow, a research and an honours commons were established in 2014 as dedicated spaces to meet the needs of postgraduates and researchers.  In 2015 the groundfloor received a face-lift, accompanied by an information commons to cater for the needs of undergraduates.  The 2nd floor was renovated in 2017, adding a quiet study area with 232 extra seats and the 1st floor has just been completed.  The role of the library in the research, teaching and learning environment was emphasized by Dr Mathew Moyo, Chief Director Library and Information Service, and valued by Dr Franciska Bothma, Executive Advisor to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.

Book launch

Ferdinand Postma Library HistoryA book about the history of the library:  Ferdinand Postma Library: Keys to the past, gateway to the future, was also launched.  In this book,  Dr Tom Larney documented the library’s history from 1869 – 2018.  Prof Fika J van Rensburg (DVC Potchefstroom Campus) mentioned in the foreword of the book:  “For many years the Ferdinand Postma Library was, and will be for many years to come, a memorable landmark on the campus, symbolising hard word, long hours, learning research and ultimately success.  With its architecture (as the first modern, post-war building of the University), it is still today an important beacon and showpiece of growth and academic development of the University.  It has positioned itself excellently to not only contribute to the information era, but to pioneer library and information services.”

The book is available as e-book on Boloka, the NWU Institutional Repository in Afrikaans and English.

Afr: http://hdl.handle.net/10394/28122
Eng: http://hdl.handle.net/10394/28121

NWU Library Book Launch
Attending the event are Ms Elsa Esterhuizen (former LIS Director Potchefstroom), Dr Mathew Moyo (Chief Director Library and Information Service), Dr Tom Larney (former LIS Director Potchefstroom), Ms Neli Kaunda (LIS Director Shared Services) and Dr Franciska Bothma (Executive Advisor to the DVC for Teaching and Learning).

Gender Awareness Week 2-8 August 2018


The LIS will take part in the Gender Awareness Week, currently hosted by the NWU http://www.nwu.ac.za/gender-awareness-week

The libraries will be running exhibitions of gender resources throughout the week.  Further activities will be presented to create awareness amongst library users:

In Mafikeng Library will be a LCD Screen display of the greatest women in South Africa and another one on the most powerful women in higher education.  They are also arranging an interactive fun activity where users can indicate their top 10 most powerful women of all time in South Africa.  Then they will do a display of the top ten women selected by the users for the whole Women’s Month.

Potchefstroom library will have a word puzzle on a white board near the Book exhibition on Friday 3 August from 8:00 – 12:00.   Users will have to find the names of inspirational SA women.

Vanderbijlpark library will have an exhibition and also ask students to take a photo of themselves with their favourite women of all times.  The photo’s will be displayed afterwards.

Pictures of the activities will be posted on our Blog.

Do take note of the presentations on all the campuses and support those activities in your vicinity.