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:



CHELSA Academic Library Standards Workshop

chelsa3-4 September 2018 – DUT Hotel School, Durban

At a recent CHELSA workshop in Durban, Library Directors and representatives of academic libraries discussed the necessity for development of national library standards in South Africa.  The NWU LIS was represented by Dr Mathew Moyo and Louise Vos.

Ms Ujala Satgoor, Director of Library Services (Rhodes University Library), facilitated the workshop.  She is currently the Chair of CHELSA (Committee of Higher Education Libraries in South Africa).  She and Ms Lucille Webster, Director of Library Services (DUT) delivered presentions on the need for standards in academic libraries, the areas of importance, as well as international trends and standards in academic libraries internationally.

Why do we need standards?

  • To create efficiencies in terms of time and costs;
  • To provide a uniformity of product;
  • To encourage interoperability;
  • To promote the exchange of data;
  • For the ease with which library users can move from one library to another without having to learn entirely new skills in bibliographic research.

The task team had a look at the ACRL (American College and Research Libraries) 2018 Top Trends in Academic Libraries, also at a snapshot of available international library standards –  especially the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education of the ACRL (2018) and the PAARL standards of the Philippines.  After an open discussion, the following areas of importance / principles were identified for academic libraries in South Africa:

  • Governance
  • Infrastructure
  • Broadening Access
  • Funding
  • Human Resources
  • Collections
  • Collaborations and Partnerships
  • Educational Role
  • Services
  • Quality Assurance
  • Standards Framework

Task members were assigned with the responsibility to develop standards, performance indicators and outcomes for these principles.   The aim for completion of the first draft for Library Standards in Academic Libraries will be 31 January 2019.

CHELSA task team for Academic Library Standards

21st century academic library…

will be the one that has found new ways of meeting its stakeholders’ needs

IGBIS Workshop 2018


Six members of the NWU LIS Information Resources (cataloguing and periodical staff) attended an IGBIS workshop at the Centurion Lake Hotel on 16 and 17 August 2018. IGBIS is the LIASA Interest Group for Bibliographic Standards.

The theme of the workshop was: Resource description: unlocking developing trends and smart technologies.

The two-day workshop provided valuable networking and problem-solving opportunities for professionals from academic, public and special libraries.  Topics that were discussed:

  • An introduction to NACO and Authority control;
  • Training in new ISBD punctuation in MARC records;
  • Creating NACO authority records;
  • The use of relator codes in cataloguing;
  • What MarcEdit can do for you;
  • WorldShare Record Manager and Collection Manager;
  • Quality assurance;
  • Metadata futures;
  • Why relator codes are important in bibliographic records.

The committee assured IGBIS members that they will continue to provide training to the cataloguing community. Young cataloguers and first time presenters were also encouraged to present papers at the coming workshop. The cataloguers who attended, describe the opportunity as two days out of the office to sharpen their cataloguing skills, and an investment in their careers.

Author workshop for researchers

The NWU Mafikeng Library hosted an author workshop for researchers on 14 August 2018. The workshop was hosted in the library conference room and was also accessible from Potchefstroom and Vanderbijlpark campus via Adobe Connect. The workshop was facilitated by Emerald Group Publishing and WWIS (on behalf of Web of Science).  The speakers were Mr Sibu Zondi (Emerald) and Ms Zanele Magoba (WWIS).

The purpose of the workshop was to share knowledge of publishing to 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 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 this workshop and requested more workshops of this nature in the future.


Research Enablers + One@NWU


The Research Enablers event took place on 31 January 2018 at the Vanderbijlpark Library.  The aim of Research Enablers is to collaborate across disciplines at the NWU and to ask the question on how we are enabling research in our environment today.

Martin Dreyer did a presentation on the platform ONE@NWU – a one stop portal for NWU researchers and users still in process.  All available services and resources will be listed alphabetically and will then link to the documents.  It is a user friendly way to get what you need easily.  A small informal working group were convened to populate the portal with some services.  Everybody gave their input – it was a very effective session.  Martin also informed us about Nextcloud and how to get access to it.

Research Support Librarian, Zine Sapula did a presentation on Research Data Management: Progress and Lessons Learned at NWU.  Figshare and Creative Commons were discussed.

Staff were excited about the changing landscape of research and the role we can play.


Workshop on effective techniques for promoting library services and resources

Library staff from Mafikeng attended a workshop on the 2nd of February 2018 presented by Zanele Magoba from World Wide Information Services (WWIS). She discussed important issues that affect libraries and librarians worldwide; the fact that librarians need to embrace change as practitioners of this profession. In a surprising turn of events, Zanele pointed out that the ever-changing technology may cause librarians to be demotivated. She pointed out that librarians should change their attitudes, empower themselves with the relevant technology skills as well as finding ways to organise the influx of information to what is mostly relevant to us.  Ms Magoba presented a graph of a study that was conducted to determine the reasons behind the reluctance of users to use the library.  Librarians need to be more customer focussed in dealing with the users.

Staff were orientated on the various tools on Web of Science as well as EndNote online.

It was an exciting workshop that left staff with a lot to think about in terms of ways to better our profession, as well as our services. A big thank you to Ms Magoba and WWIS for this eye opening session and the “goodie bags” which were received.


Institutional Repository Workshop

Kabelo Kakole, Librarian: Institutional Repository attended a DATAD-R Workshop for IR Managers in Pretoria on 11 – 14 September. The training was provided by Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF).

This training focused on the IR Management from IT side (Technical) and IR Content Management (User interface).

Mr Kakole focused on the IR Content management where the following subjects where covered

  • Introduction to DSpace a IR management software
  • Creating IR communities, collections and user groups; assigning workflow roles
  • Content preparation and upload and item mapping
  • Content editing, harvesting, embargoes and copyright and licensing.


Ms Ina Smith from ASSAF gave a presentation on how to make your IR a trusted Repository. In her presentation she mentioned that the IR managers should consider having the IR Policies uploaded in the IR home page, there should be a list of contactable persons for both content management and IT/Technical management of the IR. She further advised that we should try by all means to limit our DSpace customization at a minimum according to international standards to allow harvesters to recognize all fields in the meta-data. Visibility of the IR is the most important factor and plays a vital role in the IR rankings. It was discussed that to maximize IR visibility; it should registered in as many directories as possible e.g. OpenDOAR, ROAR etc. The NWU IR is already registered in few international directories and there is hope that our IR will be visible enough.

Dr Leti Kleyn from University of Pretoria gave presentation on how to better market you IR. In her presentation she also put the emphasis on registering the OA IR with directories and harvesters, Market your IR traditional by hosting events and online via social media and other platforms. The IR Rankings issue was brought up and it came out that DSpace 5.5 has hick-ups with the harvesting command line and that impacts on the visibility of the IR. The time to upgrade your IR should also be taken into consideration as to when do you run the IR upgrade. It was mentioned that you should always run the IR upgrade immediately after the release of IR rankings because after the upgrade a lot might have changed in your IR; so there will be enough time for the IR to pick up until the next ranking results are released.  Dr Kleyn as touched on the UP IR road map where she presented their IR workflow and parties involved in the IR tasks.

The NWU IR is currently going great in terms of rich metadata, interoperability, compatible and harvestable by other Open Access initiatives.

Theology Librarians Workshop, Kenya

Hester Lombard, Branch Librarian at Theology, attended the NetACT Multi-School Library Resource Project Planning workshop from 2-7 July at Scott Christian University, Machakos, Kenya.  The librarian workshop was held simultaneously with the NetACT annual general meeting.  NetACT (Network for African Congregational Theology) assist their member institutions with developing congregational theology, leadership and governance.  The management of NetACT identified access to information at the African universities as a problem, and arranged this library workshop for 16 Theology librarians.  Six of the attendees were South Africans, and the other librarians were from other countries in Africa.  During the workshop a web portal was developed to provide theology students of universities who are members of NetACT, with information.


Library staff attended a Marketing Course

Six staff members from the three campus libraries attended a UKS Marketing Course on 31 October and 1 November. The following topics were discussed:

  • what is library marketing?
  • why do you need to market your library?
  • library displays and publications as marketing and promotional tools
  • social media as marketing and promotional tools
  • understanding library customer needs and expectations
  • principles of customer research
  • basic principles of developing a marketing plan
  • know your library
  • mission statement of your library
  • relationship building
  • assessment of promotional activities and tools


Staff members received practical assignments. They had to design or present a poster and also had to be a one person display reflecting a specific service or event in the library.

There were ample discussions – it was a good opportunity to get a broader scope on library marketing matters, especially the intricacy of making it work over three campuses.

Article written by Louise Vos

Library IT Network Enhancement Workshop

Since the introduction of technology in libraries, the academic libraries have evolved and adapted to the drastic technological change. It is not a secret that academic libraries have long enjoyed their status as “the heart of a university”. Furthermore, employers view higher education institutions as producers of a commodity – student learning. Sabinet in collaboration with TENET have been the host to an insightful workshop that looks to share ideas with Library IT staff on issues to do with absorbing and strengthening current paradigms including Institutional Repositories (IR), Research Data Management (RDM), Digital Curation and Management (DCM) ensuring that our future leaders have stress-free access to digital materials.

On the 29-31 August a Library IT Network event was held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park of which three NWU employees attended the event. This event focused on a number of IT issues in the libraries even though the main focus was on the above mentioned subject i.e. IR, RDM and DCM.


On the 29th at 18h00 it was the opening of the event by Mr Geoff Hoy from TENET who shared an insightful experience on the topic “What’s up at the library”. Even though he is not a librarian, he shared an informative experience on how technology has become a major drive behind many library services and convenient it is to use technological devices to reach out to remote library clients.

On the 30th the event opened with Dr Leti Kleyn sharing the University of Pretoria’s experience with regards to DSpace: an operational overview.  Some of the issues that were covered addressed some technical challenges on DSpace and that there might be a need to explore other options. Johannes Cronje from CPUT followed on a topic “Why I do not use the library”. The presentation was delivered remotely from the comfort of his office via VidyoDesktop (a video conference app.). The topic seemed contradictory to the content of the presentation because the presenter instead of objecting, he just confirmed how he easily access the library services remotely sitting at his desk, which moved a number of librarians in the audience which also proves how advanced the Library IT has gone. The library environment is now so sophisticated that one can receive services remotely e.g. Theses, Journals, eBooks, renewal of material, updates about the happenings in the library etc. (The joy of Library IT usage).

Closing the day on the 30th it was an UnConferencing session where a number of issues were covered and one that commonly stood out was the experience and challenges that most of the Universities encounter when working on the IR. Due to technical challenges faced on the IR, a consortium was proposed but concerns were raised like, Institutions being on different IR softwares and versions; budget issues to sponsor the consortium and events to share challenges and experiences over a certain milestone; and of cause the biggest challenge also discussed was a lack IR (DSpace) experts in the country to support the institutions. However, this matter will still be looked at to come with a beneficial solution to all participating institutions in this event.

The event proved how technology has shaped a number of things especially in the Library environment that, instead of using card catalogues we now use integrated online catalogue, you can renew your own books online other than walking to the library building, access to University Theses and Dissertations is made available online too, journals, eBooks etc., making room reservations and computers bookings, all of that is done by one click and the library will be there. The focus on IR, RDM and DCM is significantly making waves in empowering academic institutions to move towards best practices in creating a trusted IR, managing research data and digitally curating and managing digital content.

Reported by: Kabelo Kakole, Sabelo Chizwina & Vuyo Ngayeka