Author workshop for researchers


The Mafikeng Library hosted an author workshop for researchers on 3 May 2019. The workshop was hosted in the library conference room and was facilitated by Emerald Group Publishing and WWIS (on behalf of Web of Science). The presenters were Mr Sibu Zondi (Emerald) and Ms Zanele Magoba-Nomvete (WWIS). The purpose of the workshop was to share knowledge of publishing with 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, bibliometrics, EndNote online 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 such workshops and requested more workshops of this nature in the future.

Glenda Makate
Senior Librarian: Information Services (Mahikeng)

LIS Indaba 2018 – 1 & 2 November


Senior staff of the NWU Library and Information Service gathered recently at the Botanical Gardens in Potchefstroom, for a two day Indaba.  The purpose was to reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019 in the context of the University’s direction and the LIS vision, mission and the six strategic goals.

prof-ronnie-lotriet.pngProf Ronnie Lotriet,  MBA Program Manager at the NWU Business School, set the scene with a session:  Effective strategic management going forward.  He stressed the need for the LIS to focus on services that can make a meaningful impact on the core business of the university.  We need to move services closer to user communities (Faculties) and become even more visible as an integrated support team in connection with stakeholders.  We need to tell what is unique about us, get regular feedback from users and tap into collective wisdom of staff.

We need to raise the bar with the following practices:

  • build trust, have honest conversations about challenges
  • don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good – some evidence is better than no evidence
  • asking the right questions is more important than having the right answers
  • persistence and repetition are key to changing behavior
  • celebrate or reward success

Some derailers in the process can be:  overly critical of others, negativity and inflexibility.

He recommended that we need to do a brainstorming session and do a SWOT analysis to determine our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (the previous SWOT analysis was only done in 2015 before restructuring).  This analysis will inform our strategy going forward. He emphasised that a strategic plan paints the bigger picture – it’s a directional document which should last 3-5 years.  It should be complemented by an operational plan which focuses on shorter term goals, ranging from 3 to 12 months detailing who should do what, why, how, by when. He congratulated the LIS with progress up to now, and for the initiative to have this session.

Representatives of People and Culture gave informative sessions on Performance Management and Staff Development, followed by a productive question and answer session.

Also on the first day, there was an opportunity to reflect on 2018 regarding Research Support, Library Systems, Client Services, Shared Services, Outreach, Projects and Quality.  In these reflections there were opportunities to feature highlights as well as challenges experienced during the year.


The 2nd day was all about planning.  Dr Moyo indicated that we need to be aware of what is trending in the LIS environment:

  • community involvement
  • we need to focus on all user groups
  • reinvent library spaces and services (with mentioning of coming technology commons in all libraries)
  • we need to know more about library users
  • create an image of the library (challenge wrong perceptions)
  • focus on emerging technologies (makerspaces, self-service and social media)

With the challenge to deliver action plans for 2019, there was an opportunity for group discussions where after representatives focused on activities within the strategic goals which need to be addressed.  This will form part of the LIS Annual Plan for 2019. The draft LIS plan which was developed, was the main outcome of the Indaba.


Scopus Academy – University of Cape Town 8 October 2018


Three LIS staff members: Ishe Muzvondiwa, Glenda Makate and Danny Moloto who attended the LIASA Conference, also had the opportunity to be part of the first Scopus Academy, presented at the University of Cape Town on 8 October.  The Academy aims to elevate the skills of librarians and research support professionals who support research grant and rating applications, research information management and journal evaluation.

The SA Scopus Academy was the first of its kind in South Africa and Africa as a whole.  Mrs Joyce Olivier (Director of Research NRF) remarked that it was a historic and ground-breaking event on African soil. She stressed the need to involve and incorporate the Research Offices of different academic institutions in the next Scopus Academy. The majority of the attendees were librarians.  She described the peer review process, the concept of benchmarking, NRF rating as well as the NRF’s publication practices.

logo-scopus.pngAttention was given to Scopus author profiles – document counts, citation analysis, h-index and author profile corrections.  As the NRF requires an ORCID iD when submitting funded research outputs, librarians were encouraged to assist researchers to register for ORCID and integrate the researcher’s ORCID with their Scopus Author ID.  With just a few steps, all their publications will be added to their ORCID profile.


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

Adobe Connect sessions link:


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.