The opening of the conference was graced by the presence of Mr Nathi Mthethwa – Minister of Arts and Culture, who expressed his support for libraries. He paid tribute the libraries for their role in information dissemination and community development contributing to the African Union Agenda 2063. During the conference, there were various inspiring papers that were presented by librarians from different sectors and institutions. The networking opportunities offered by a conference of this nature cannot be overstated. Throughout the LIASA 2018 Conference there was a mixed bag of events. This word cloud shows the prominent words, nouns, verbs and phrases which dominated the conference.
Two LIS staff members made the NWU visible and delivered a presentation and poster at the conference.
Mafikeng colleagues Glenda Makate and Boitumelo Masilo presented a paper and poster. The title of the presention was Are some more official than others? Languages represented in the collection of North West University Library and Information Service. This presentation was part of research that sought to establish and analyze the languages represented by books held by the North-West University libraries and to further establish the strategies used by the libraries to develop, preserve and promote African languages in support of the university’s language policy. The paper revealed that, despite the best efforts of the library, English is absolutely dominant in the collections of NWU LIS followed by Afrikaans. Afrikaans, however, also showed signs of decline. Setswana and Sesotho remain marginalised.
The poster was titled: The practical role of LibGuides in collection development: The case of North-West University. In conducting this study, they identified books listed in all LibGuides in the country and selected titles that we did not have in NWU libraries to be purchased. After receiving books purchased from LibGuides, they analyzed their usage in terms of checkout and the group that uses them the most, as well as publishers that supplied the most. From this information they designed a poster with the information presented as graphs. This poster and study was well received by academic librarians because they had an understanding of the work that went into compiling it, as well as the implications of the study in collection development methods in the library. Colleagues were overall impressed with the poster.
Mr Siviwe Bangani assisted with the compilation of the presentation and poster – both were developed into papers and were sent to peer-reviewed DHET approved journals for possible publication.
Librarian of the Year award
There was a feeling of great honour and pride when Siviwe Bangani, Manager for Information Services (Mafikeng), was announced as LIASA Librarian of the Year for 2018.