LIASA Conference 8 – 12 October 2018


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.

NWU LIS staff attending the LIASA Conference.  Ishe Muzvondiwa, Danny Moloto, Glenda Makate, Siviwe Bangani (our own Librarian of the Year) and Boitumelo Masilo.


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
siviwe-banganiThere 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.


Staff News

New appointments
Manager: Library Systems

lindsay-reidMr Lindsay Reid was appointed as Manager: Library Systems from 1 November 2018.   Lindsay’s career in various libraries has led to considerable experience in librarianship, customer services, management and administration of libraries, as well as a passion for new trends and developments in information and communication technology.  His previous employment as Systems Operator was with several companies, such as Volkswagen Group SA and SPAR Eastern Cape .  He also worked as Library Systems Manager at the University of Fort Hare Library.  His last position was with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as Branch Librarian (Missionvale Campus Library) since 2014 – 31 October 2018.   He has recently obtained a Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Fort Hare.

We welcome Lindsay to the LIS team, and wish him success in his new role!

Library Assistant: Journal Section (Potchefstroom)

nkosana_mofokengMr Nkosana Mofokeng was appointed as Library Assistant: Journal section in the Potchefstroom Library from 1 October 2018.  He has already been in the library for 7 years, working as a Shelving Assistant.
We congratulate Nkosana in his new position and wish him all the best.

Staff News

New appointment

We welcome Gloria Ramaboea to the NWU LIS team.

Gloria was appointed as Librarian: Undergraduate Support in the Information Commons, Potchefstroom from 1 October 2018.   She obtained her BInf ED degree in 2000, and  BInf Hons in 2014 from UNISA.   She gained experience in several types of libraries, mostly academic libraries.  For the past five years she has worked as a Subject Librarian at the University of Limpopo.

We wish her the best in her new position!

Librarian of the Year 2018

Photo-for-LIASA-Siviwe-243x300Good news!  Siviwe Bangani, Manager: Information Services (Mahikeng) was nominated as South African Librarian of the Year at the recent LIASA Conference in Cape Town.

Over the years he has been involved in several activities that include the mentoring of up and coming young librarians, community engagement as well as writing and publishing.  He is a passionate writer who has presented conference papers and posters at several conferences.  He has also published eight articles in DHET approved journals, including the Journal of Academic Librarianship, Scientometrics, Information Discovery and Delivery, Library Review, International Information and Library Review and Mousaion.  He also published an isiXhosa novel in 2007 and his second novel is still being considered by a publisher.

He has co-ordinated a number of Community Engagement projects and has initiated successful school library resuscitation projects. He is also known as a great mentor by working with NRF interns in the past few years.

The Librarian of the Year award is granted annually to a role model for the Library and Information Services community.  This accolade is awarded by peers in recognition of the achievements and accomplishments of inspiring and exceptional librarians.   The NWU LIS is proud to have a Librarian of the Year as staff member.  We congratulate Siviwe with this achievement and wish him great success with his future endeavours!

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Heritage Day 24 September 2018

The NWU libraries recently celebrated Heritage Day.  Mahikeng library staff members dressed up in their traditional attires that showcased the diversity in the library. There was a presentation of different types of food, song, dance and play that represented different cultures in the library. Closing off the activities of the day was a Setswana dance performance by the NWU Cultural Dance Group. These festivities were in line with the national theme: ‘Reclaiming, restoring and celebrating our living heritage’.  There was a display of various artefacts from different cultural groups in the library foyer, accompanied by the library banner to represent unity of the diverse people in the library.  Faculty members from the Setswana Department were also invited to celebrate along with the library staff members.

In the spirit of Heritage Day, Potchefstroom Information Services staff wore African head wraps during the whole week, acknowledging the cultural wealth of our nation.  There was also a book exhibition with titles displaying our rich and diverse heritage.


Siviwe Bangani – Librarian of the Year 2018 National Finalist

librarian-of-the-yearCongratulations to Siviwe Bangani, Manager Information Services at the Mafikeng library who is the North-West finalist for 2018.

The Librarian of the Year will be announced at a social function on 11 October at the LIASA Conference.  We are all holding thumbs to have a NWU LIS staff member as Librarian of the Year!

We are proud of you, Siviwe.  Good luck!


Read more at:

National Book Week (3 – 9 September 2018) & International Literacy Day (8 September 2018)

National Book Week is a reading promotion campaign that was initiated by the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture.

International Literacy Day is an initiative of the United Nations to create awareness of literacy challenges across the globe.  The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and created a highlight for National Book Week this year.

NWU Library & Information Services created awareness and promoted reading with exhibitions in the libraries of fiction and children’s books from our collections. Some fun events also took place.


The NWU Mahikeng Library had a colourful display of the children’s collection to commemorate national book week and international literacy day. There was an interactive activity where patrons used colouring pens to colour  the pictures on display; and a slideshow on the library monitor encouraging users to check out children’s books and read to children, the hashtag from the national book week theme,  #ourstories, was used. There was great participation from the users on the colouring activity as well as the children’s collection. We had a visit from Dr Wessels and Dr Erasmus, senior lecturers from the department of Education: foundation phase, they were very impressed and expressed heartfelt gratitude for the much needed and relevant collection, as well as the display.



An exhibition of fiction books and children’s books was set up on the ground floor of the Ferdinand Postma Library for National Book Week. International literacy day was celebrated on Friday, 7 September.  Library patrons took part in an activity, Expand your vocabulary, during which they could win small prizes.  This created a lot of excitement.



During National Book Week, VC Library patrons, were startled by the quaint appearance of *Bibliophile* the Library bookworm. *Bibliophile * believes that books have the power to teach, inspire, and connect people. *Bibliophile * encouraged the patrons to read a book, or at least a magazine or newspaper during National Book Week. They were reminded that books and stories are part of the wealth and culture of communities.

*Bibliophile * were accompanied by little squirmy wormy book ambassadors, scattering short messages or quotes on books and reading. The little squirmy wormy book ambassadors, jibed the Library patrons (tongue-in-cheek), that the best safeguard against collection infestation, is good reading habits. They absolutely love the starch components in book cloth, and would easily create tunnels and holes, whilst grazing through underutilized Library books.

Library patrons committing themselves to the pledge #READ during National Book Week, each received an edible little squirmy wormy ambassador (80), from *Bibliophile * guardian, Louise Harmse.

Many students also grasped the opportunity to take a picture with *Bibliophile *.


Casual Day – Be an Everyday Hero

IMG_8649The NWU LIS supported Casual Day on Friday 7 September 2018.  Each staff member received a sticker to wear on this day, to show that the LIS cares for people with disabilities.

The theme for this year is to be an Everyday Hero.  Some staff members dressed up as their everyday hero or favourite superhero to support the theme of the day.

Casual Day 2018 wants to send the following message:

  • Heroes care about other people
  • Heroes can put themselves in someone else’s shoes
  • Heroes use their skills and talents to do good themselves, rather than waiting for someone else to do it
  • Heroes don’t give up. They keep going even after setbacks and frustrations
  • Heroes strive to be all they can, despite shortfalls
  • Heroes never stop working to make the world a better place for everyone
  • Heroes are defined by their strength of character

Now, more than ever, South Africa needs people to dig deep inside themselves, find the hero within and BE AN EVERYDAY HERO for people with disabilities.


Spring Day @ Vanderbijlpark Library

spring-day.jpgIn South Africa, Spring Day is celebrated on the 1st day of September.  As Spring surfaces to drive out the last gloomy traces of winter, no time were wasted at the Vanderbijlpark Library to welcome the new season.  New seedlings for veggies and herbs were picked and planted in the containers on the balcony of the tea room. Cultivating such a vegetable garden, is an antidote to the growing sedentary indoor working environment – prevalent to technology driven Libraries. The joy of physical activity to produce something tangible, is not only good for the body, but also for the spirit.

Growing this vegetable garden on the balcony, serves as a social magnet for visitors booking the seminar and tea room. The green outdoor setting helps staff to relax during lunch and tea breaks.

Although the Vegetable Garden Project was initiated by the (GCI) Green Campus Initiative on the Vanderbijlpark Campus, Louise Harmse continues to drive this project.  The home-grown vegetables and herbs are available for picking by Library staff and visitors.