LibQUAL 2016 Action Plan


The Library conducted its 4th LibQUAL survey during the second semester of 2016. The full 2016 LibQUAL Survey report is available. A total of 1042 users participated in the survey. Users had the opportunity to make comments on how they experience the Library Services.

These comments provided valuable information about areas where users feel improvements could be made. Of the 991 comments that respondents left, more than 500 were compliments. We are grateful to each and every participant.

The Library decided on the following action plan to address the concerns of our users.

The users have spoken!

Innovative Users Group – SA 2016

Every year institutions that use software from Innovative Interfaces (III) – a vendor specialising in library related software – have the opportunity to participate in user group conferences held all over the world. Staff members from the NWU Library Services attended this year’s South African conference, the IUG-SA, which was hosted by the Vaal University of Technology and held at the Emerald resort and casino in Vanderbijlpark from the 23rd to the 25th of November.


The theme of the conference was “III inside out: share your expertise”, and as such presentations focused on how institutions use their systems to optimally support functions in the library. Carine Basson represented how the NWU Library Services uses the system to determine overlap between subscription packages in order to identify options with the most value.


This conference also gives III and other vendors an opportunity to demonstrate and introduce new products to the library community, and allows members to network with colleagues in an informal setting. The 2017 IUG-SA will be hosted by TUT.

Potch Campus LibQUAL Winners

After the recent LibQUAL survey, the following Potchefstroom Campus users received prizes from the Library as token of appreciation for their participation:


Academic staff:
Prof Marique Aucamp (Pharmacy)

Mabel Mabalane (winner of 1st prize- external hard drive)( PhD Education)
Mariza Breytenbach (Languages)
Funiwe Dlamini (LLM)

Refilwe Ratshefola (BCom HR)
Daleen Botha (Chemical Engineering)
David Moya (Electrical Engineering)
Suné Jonker (Chemical Engineering)

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

Open Access Week: 24 – 28 October 2016

The Library Services recently took part in Open Access Week.  For the first time an NWU event was run as part of an international event that gave our students and staff one message over 3 campuses.

The programme has been put together by members from the NWU Library Services, Institutional IT department, eResearch Initiative, Technology Transfer and Innovation Support Office as well as the Research Support Office. International awareness was created that the NWU is engaging in Open Science activities.

Staff members from the Library Services gave on overview of the NWU Institutional Respository – the journey, how the IR contributes to Open Access, a future perspective and trends in self-archiving in Institutions of Higher Learning.  Mathew Buys from ORCID explained the advantages for researchers to have a persistent and unique identifier – ORCID iD and Wimpie de Klerk (IT Services) gave a demonstration of the NWU-ORCID integration.  Staff from the Law Faculty, Potchefstroom Campus shared the success story on their internationally accredited open access journal:  Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal.  Ina Smith from ASSAf did a presentation on how to increase the visibility, usage and impact of research, and Open access to NRF-funded research outputs, and how to deposit workflows for data and publications was highlighted by Lazarus Matizirofa from the NRF.  Benico van der Westhuizen (Engineer) shared on how to educate, empower and enrich yourself with Open Source software.  Raspberry Pi Hackathons were held over two days, these sessions were quite popular.  Link to the full programme as well as some papers:


The presentations were shared over all three campuses via Adobe Connect.

You just have to browse around Google, listen to conversations within the DST, NRF, European Commission, and the rest of the world to realise Open Science is the only way in which academia is going to persist and continue to get access to local and international funding.

Article written by: Louise Vos and Anelda van der Walt

Libraries in Action: Transformation and Development towards 2030


Martin Nokoane of the Library Services (PC) attended the 17th Annual LIASA Conference which was held at the Durban ICC, from the 10- 14 October 2016.  The theme of the conference was Libraries in Action: Transformation and Development towards 2030.

Not only was Martin attending the conference, he also delivered a paper on the topic:  New role for librarians: empowering the community by responding to the social responsibility plea.  The paper showcased what was done in 2016 by the NWU Library Services on Potchefstroom Campus in relation to community engagement in our area, thereby making the library visible to the community.  Through community engagement the university stop to function as a silo and align itself to the South African slogan: “together we can do more”.

The conference was very informative and LIASA was challenged to also play a role to find solutions to the #fees must fall campaign.

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

Amazing Race in the Library


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.


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.


Article written by Christine Bronkhorst

Reinventing African Libraries Conference


About 10 of the NWU Library Services staff members attended this very informative conference at the University of Johannesburg.

20 September 2016:  the focus was on IT in African libraries, coping with shrinking budgets and reinvention and decolonisation of African libraries.  Colin Carter argues that technology is an important driver of user expectations.  In turn, libraries are driven by user expectations and 21st century users expect their libraries to provide “just-in-time” information wherever they are. Through using technology like “MyLibrary App”, users can access the library wherever they are. Glen Truran (SANLiC) talked about declining library budgets. He highlighted that academic libraries in South Africa have had their budgets slashed in real terms. This has resulted in the cancellation of journals in the past few years. Some of his suggestions for dealing with declining budgets are: elimination of print spent on journals, use of agents only when benefits of their involvement justify 5% saving, using usage statistics to request for more budget from the authorities, and benchmarking with other similar institutions.

21 September 2016: papers and discussions were about next generation librarianship in African libraries, the research support agenda and a show and tell session where valuable ideas were shared amongst academic librarians. Ms Natalia Molebatsi talked about usage of the online campus radio at UNISA to promote library services. She argues that radio may help bridge the gap between the oral heritage of African users and the library. In fact Madireng Jane Monyela argues that the libraries themselves should play some background classical music in their entrances and some study rooms to accommodate users who prefer music while studying. Another interesting idea was that of a virtual book expo organised by UJ in the past two years.

The guest speakers on the consecutive days entertained and invigorated delegates with information on Strategic Scenarios (Clem Sunter) and the Power of the Mind (Robin Banks).

The opportunity to share experiences and solutions with colleagues in academic libraries across the country was priceless and the professional way in which the team of UJ Library staff organised the conference and treated delegates was inspiring.

Article written by Erika Rood and Siviwe Bangani