The NWU Potchefstroom Campus hosted a General Career Day where various companies were present. The LIS was also visible, and a great number of students participated in learning more about various professions, including the Library and Information Science field. They were particularly interested in the Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science offered by the University of South African and the University of Cape Town.
Mr Teboho Morajane, Convenor for Governance, Branches and Interest Groups of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), visited the career tent where he supplied LIASA marketing material for the event. He also took the opportunity to engage with students and inform them about the professional body for Library and Information professionals (LIASA). Students were advised to visit LIASA website for more information about the profession.
Thank you to staff in the Information Commons, especially to Dina Mashiyane who took the lead in the arrangement of this activity, and also to Adri Smit and Malose Langa who assisted during the event.
LIS staff members had the opportunity to attend the annual LIASA Conference from 2 – 6 October at the OR Tambo Conference Centre. As five staff members delivered papers, the NWU LIS had good exposure. Our presenters received positive feedback about their presentations and also about the fact that we were willing to share on this national platform.
The papers that were presented by our staff were representative of issues and trends currently experienced in academic libraries.
Dina Mashiyane, Librarian: Undergraduate Support did a presentation on the redesigning of library spaces to meet the needs of millennials. The traditional noise-restricted library has shifted to a casual environment conducive to social interaction and inevitably higher noise levels. This then breeds a behaviour of socialization which tends to be difficult to manage and may disrupt academic productivity. It seemed that other libraries could identify with this problem.
In a very relevant paper Zine Sapula, Librarian Research Support, unpacked the emerging and alternative LIS roles and functions of the 21st century librarian. Over the years, academic librarians have been known as support staff rather than research enablers. Academic libraries have added new emerging services such as research data management, digital humanities, and scholarly communication in support of digital scholarship.
In the presentation of Carine Basson, Senior Librarian eResources, she showed how the weeding of printed journals contributed to the repurposing of library spaces at the Potchefstroom Library. She explained the weeding process, the difficulties that were experienced and also provided valuable advice. As weeding tends to be a sensitive issue, the presentation was received positively.
Siviwe Bangani, Manager of Information Services (Mahikeng), analysed the usage of the InterLending Services (ILS) for the past five years. This paper established the trends in usage of ILS, language representation of documents requested via ILS, and use of ILS as collection development tool. Very good news is that this paper is currently under review by the South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science for publication. Congratulations to Siviwe and other Mahikeng colleagues who contributed to the paper!
Martha van der Walt, Branch Librarian: Education Sciences did a presentation on library services to distance education students, and how they are dealing with the challenges at the Education Library. The audience agreed that this is a challenge at all libraries due to the profile (barriers, language, skills) of distance students.
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.
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.
NWU libraries staff members attended the NW LIASA Seminar at the Mafikeng Campus on 10 July 2017. The theme of the seminar was: The critical role of advocacy in libraries. The focus of the seminar was to encourage the spirit of ownership and commitment of all stakeholders (Library staff, decision makers and communities). The keynote speakers were Mr. John Tsebe and Mr Harry Motolong. Mr Tsebe is President of African Library and Information Association and Institution (AfLIA). Heis the Former National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of South Africa. Mr. Motolong is Project Manager (Advocacy & Marketing National Library of South Africa) who introduced the IFLA advocacy programme. Mrs Neli Kaunda was the Programme Director for the event.
In addition to the seminar, participants at the seminar celebrated the Librarians Day and LIASA 20 years celebrations. LIASA has reserved the 10th of July as a day when librarians should reflect on the role they play in nation building. This year LIASA was celebrating 20 years of existence since it was launched on 10 July 1997 as the professional body of Library and Information Service in South Africa.
The NWU library staff had the opportunity to meet with the AfLIA president on the 11 of July 2017. Mr. Tsebe spent his day at the NWU Mafikeng Library where he visited different sections in the library and also had a chance to meet with Library staff.