NWU library staff attended Sabinet Regional Meeting – 25 July 2017

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Carine Basson, Katlego Chiya, Glenda Makate, Njabulo Makhathini, Lezelle Snyman, Martie Esterhuizen, Mietsie Harman and Ishe Muzvondiwa

Staff members from the NWU Library Services attended the Annual Regional Meeting of Sabinet held at the scenic Woodmead Country Club on the 25th of July.

Eric van Lubeek of OCLC Netherlands introduced products and services available with special focus on the new WorldShare Interlibrary Loans System that NWU is going to implement soon. This new system is cloud-based and more patron-centered. Sabinet appealed to the stakeholders who need training on the new ILL to ensure that staff are adequately trained.

Pierre Malan (Director Client Services: Sabinet) discussed how they add value to Information Services through Sabinet Legal, SAMedia, Interlending (Worldshare) and SAePublications journal platform.

Some impressions from staff:

“The meeting was informative in seeing what other services are available through Sabinet, a great place to network with fellow librarians.”

“It was good to meet our colleagues and get together as a profession. It is important to be informed and updated with the latest developments on different platforms.”

Investing in Digital Humanities Research

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Kirchner van Deventer, a Faculty Librarian at Education Sciences recently attended the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School. Part of NWU Library Services strategic agenda is to develop our capacity for Digital Humanities projects and the research potential that can stem from it. With support from the NWU Research Unit for Languages and Literature in the South African Context, Kirchner attended the Summer School’s Introduction to Digital Humanities lecture series. The lectures included:

Digitization for Research: Creating Tools for Active Scholarship
An Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative
Reborn Digital: text, transmission, technology
Reproducible Research in the Humanities
An Introduction to Databases
Introduction to Visualization for Digital Humanities

The most important things he learned from the Summer School included that Digital Humanities has enormous research potential for a vast range of disciplines and is not just limited to linguistics or literary studies, but can benefit other social and humanities disciplines as well. It is the role of academic librarians to encourage their respective faculties to develop their understanding of what Digital Humanities scholarship entails and to further provide technical support and training in the use of tools that have been developed for Digital Humanities research.

AfLIA President visits North-West University

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.

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Some NWU LIS staff members took a group photo with Mr John Tsebe (front row second left) and Senior Director: NWU LIS, Dr Mathew Moyo (front row far left)

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.

Siviwe Bangani

VTC Library celebrates Mandela Day

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.

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“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!

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Potchefstroom Libraries celebrate Mandela Day

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.

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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!

Undergraduate Open Day 2017

The Library was part of the NWU Open Day activities on Saturday 6th May 2017.

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Librarian for undergraduate support, Dina Mashiyane welcomes visitors to the Information Commons.

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.

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Prospective students, Carol Mohibidu, Siobhan Titus and Latifa Filander busy with online registration. They are from Vryburg.

Career Day (Potchefstroom)

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.

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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.

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DHASA 2017

Two staff members of the Library Services, Potchefstroom Campus attended the Inaugural Conference of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) in Stellenbosch from 17 – 20 January 2017.

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Ziné Sapula and Anneke Coetzee attended the two-day pre-conference workshops and tutorials (17 & 18 Jan), and two days of peer-reviewed oral and poster presentations (19 & 20 Jan).

The pre-conference workshops included a workshop on how to create a digital edition, with an introduction to markup, XML and TEI guidelines. Another workshop introduced ways to improve the user experience in DH interfaces using Google Analytics. Workshop no. 3 gave an introduction to CATMA (Computer Aided Text Markup and Analysis), a tool developed at the University of Hamburg and currently used by over 60 research projects worldwide.

Topics included in the oral and poster presentations included Language, Literature, Visual Arts, Theatre Studies, Language Technologies, Library Studies, Philosophy, Software / Computation.

Anneke delivered a presentation with the title: Digital special collections in the Ferdinand Postma Library (North-West University).

Firstcoast donates scanning voucher

During the 2016 EduWeek the Library Services (PC) received a voucher for the scanning of historical documents from Firstcoast Technologies, a company specialising in office optimisation and electronic document technologies.

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The Library decided to use the opportunity to enhance a current project, namely the digitisation of Die Wapad, a local student newspaper . Due to the large format of the bound volumes digitisation thereof is not an easy task. Die Wapad is one of a number of digitisation projects being done in-house at the library.

Firstcoast has just delivered the digitised copies in pdf format, and the Library is grateful for their contribution to the project.

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Marius de Beer (Academic Support Services) and Mark Gamanya (Firstcoast)

Amazing Race in the Library

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On 22 September the 2nd year Criminal Law students competed in an Amazing Race.  Students were given a scenario where they had to identify the charge and find and answer.  They had to check in at different places in a short period of time to find information.

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One of the places they checked in was the Tarentaal training room in the Ferdinand Postma Library where they searched for sources to motivate their answer.   They were divided in 10 groups and 2 students per group were nominated to visit the library.  The team spirit was very high and the race was great fun for everyone.

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Article written by Christine Bronkhorst