Wednesday, 3 December 2008

UJ Library: End-year function

Who does not love end-year functions? It marks the end of the academic year and the start of the long summer holiday, Christmas shopping and the New 2009!
The library staff did enjoy their time off from work and have the most fun out of it.

Dancing competition

Small talk ladies?

The tables were nicely arranged

Meet the Social team
Congratulation for organising this event.

To all library staff have a good holiday and Happy New Year!

Faculty Acknowledge Blogs Contribute to Scholarly Communication

By (Eric Schnell) on communications

One of my more recent hot topics is the need for librarians to expand how we define our own scholarly communications to keep up with changes in the practice of librarianship. A new report by the Ithaka Group being distributed by ARL explores how (non-librarian) faculty / scholars are making use of digital scholarly resources in the course of research. In the report entitled Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication, authors Nancy Maron and Kirby Smith detail the various digital resources that expands the definition of what is a scholarly resource. Such resources include electronic-only data, e-journals, and blogs.

The report states that blogs are “being put to interesting use by scholars” and contribute to scholarship by providing a forum for discussion. Faculty acknowledge that blog postings allow scholars to share research findings and open up a dialog that can help to further shape and refine their ideas. Blogs can add a layer of commentary to published literature and can give frequent updates of researchers’ opinions rather than just facts and can also attract well established, well known writers in specific disciplines.

While any scholar can use digital communications tools to post their ideas and share them with others, old traditions of establishing scholarly legitimacy through credentialing, peer review, and citation metrics still remain paramount. Although there have been many innovations such as open peer-review, many scholars still choose not to take advantage of these new innovations and continue to publish traditional articles.Issues of informality and not having a traditional peer-review process are still keeping blogs and scholarly social networks from being accepted as creditable scholarly communication. Still, blogs still can offer faculty / scholars the lowest cost model for quickly communicating their ideas and to receive quick feedback.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

IQity Blog

I'm introducing you to IQity Blog. The main focus of this blog is on Education Technology.
This week the IQity bloggers are attending the National School Boards Association: NSBA's T+L Conference in Seattle and you can follow through their posts the latest news from the presenters.
The IQity Blog latest post are:

P.S.: Link to this blog is available through "Useful Blogs".

Monday, 20 October 2008

IFLA Report, May 2008: Access to Libraries and Information

Access to libraries and information: Towards a fairer world (IFLA/FAIFE World Report V. 7)
This is the 4th in a series of reports from IFLA/FAIFE on the state of intellectual freedom around the world. In this report, representatives from 116 countries provide information about intellectual freedom issues in their country. An encouraging sign is that this report contains reports from a number of countries that were not represented in prior reports.
In addition to providing basic statistical information related to libraries, including details about Internet access, the report provides information at the country level about anti terrorism legislation, freedom of information laws, violations of freedom of access to information as well as violations of freedom of expression. In addition to the country reports, several commissioned articles are part of the report as well. These provide extended background information on topics related to intellectual freedom, such as censorship in Arab countries, the USA Patriot Act and its impact on libraries, and the role of libraries in fighting corruption in Russia (Current Cites)

Library Management Systems Study: March 2008

Although published earlier this year, this report is just beginning to get attention outside the United Kingdom. While some would say that there is little new in this report, the value of this report is that it provides an additional perspective; one that confirmations what we see happening in North America is, in fact, a global phenomenon.
In the report, we find that like the US and Canadian LMS markets, the UK market is dominated by four vendors with relatively little product differentiation among the various systems. Libraries are slow to adapt ERMS (Electronic Resource Management Systems) and remain unconvinced of the value of federated search products. Additionally, libraries are not using the information they gather about user preferences in ways that help enhance the position of the library as their patron's first choice for resource discovery.
Finally, local OPACs are losing ground as preferred information discovery systems with the end result being the potential for the traditional LMS to become just a back-end system to other, more global and encompassing, resource discovery systems (Current Cites)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Elsevier Library Connect Newsletter: 6:3 August 2008

This Elsevier "Library Connect" issue theme is "e-Learning".

"If anyone knows eLearning, it’s Generation Y, right? We thought it only fitting to launch Library Connect’s new Next Gen section in this issue, since next-gen’ers can practically eLearn with their eyes closed."

* Spotlight
Hear from Next Gen librarians as they discuss their experiences with eLearning.
eLearning: Libraries increasingly help steer the ship, By Erika Bennett, Reference Librarian, Harold Abel School of Psychology, Capella University, USA
eLearning has traveled a long distance in a very short time. One can’t deny that, so far this Millennium, its impact has been enormous. In 2007, the Sloan Consortium reported that 3.5 million American college students (20%) were enrolled in an online course. The rise in online enrollments from 2005 to 2006 alone was 10%.

eLearning 2.0, By Guofu Qian, Systems Librarian, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies Library, China.
What is eLearning 2.0? This term refers to ways of thinking about eLearning which have been inspired by the emergence of Web 2.0. In my opinion, eLearning 2.0 is an eLearning environment based on Web 2.0 technologies. The most important characteristic of eLearning 2.0 is collective intelligence, which is also a core characteristic of Web 2.0.In the world of eLearning 2.0, eLearners can share their knowledge and experience by creating blog, wiki, photo, video and audio content freely and easily. This function gives eLearners an opportunity to become eTeachers, and vice versa. The bottom line? Web 2.0 technology makes all sorts of eLearning platforms easy-to-use.

* Also in this issue
Tsinghua University Library case study: Developing a virtual learning environment By Lin Jia and Wang Yuan, Tsinghua University Library, China
" eLearning can help students become active learners, and libraries should play a greater role in this process of transformation."
- Dr. Bakary Diallo explains how the African Virtual University is furthering higher education through hybrid offerings, Interview by Risa Blumlein, Library Marketing Intern, Elsevier, USA
"Coupled with frequent power outages, digital illiteracy, poor connectivity in some areas, lack of computer and telephone access, high operational costs of telephones and unfavorable ICT policies, the AVU (African Virtual University) had to refocus its strategy as one that would take cognizance of the different levels of technological and educational development throughout the African continent."

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Current Awareness Articles

Selected links to various materials received by e-mail (Aug-17 Sep 2008) from D. Nicholson, WITS, Copyright Services Librarian ( see below her e-mail, if you would like to subscribe to her e-mail alert):
WWW/References/Resources/Search Engines/Directories/Google
The biggest World Wide Web university’s database
Google to bring internet to Africa
WAN Communique on the Proposed Google-Yahoo Deal
World Wide Web Reference (very good, list with useful links)
Student Research Resources (very good, list with links)
Quick Reference Research (very good) (Search Engine)
CompletePlanet (Deep Web Directory)
The ‘Deep Web’: Surfacing Hidden Value
Open Access/Open Source
- Institutional Repositories (IR)
Publishers allowing the depositing of their published version/PDF in Institutional Repositories
Open Access repositories begin to reap benefits for South African Science as CSIR research goes global
How Open Repositories Enable Universities to Manage, Measure and Maximise their Research Assets
Seven Academic Open-Access Repositories Compared
Many publishers do allow authors to deposit their works in institutional repositories. See: Sherpa/Romeo -
Directory of Open Access Repositories
Directory of Open Access Journal growth rate nearly doubles in the past year
Open Access anxiety in the publish or perish world
Open, closed or ajar? Content access and interactions
Newfound Press Business Plan, 2008-2011 (Open Access publishing)
Open Access – FAQs
Open Access in South Africa
Open access and the last-mile problem for knowledge
Scholarly Publishing
Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography
CreateChange – Digital Scholarship
Researchers benefit from Sharing
Bringing down the barriers (digital scholarship)
Increasing Impact of Scholarly Journal Articles: Practical Strategies Librarians Can Share
Peer reviewing: privilege and responsibility
World Library & Information Congress (IFLA) – Quebec 2008 - Papers
Law/ Intellectual Property/ Copyright
Laws for Using Photos You Take at Your Library ((USA)
Access To Knowledge Conference Begins Addressing New Challenges With New Ideas
(ACA2K) African Copyright and Access to Knowledge Project Blog
The impact of copyright on access to public information in African countries: a perspective from Uganda and South Africa
African Copyright and Access to Knowledge Alliance (see Blog)
If you know of any persons who may benefit from this information, please ask them to email with their name, name of institution/organization and contact details.

Open Access Day - October 14, 2008

Celebrate Open Access Day on 14 October 2008.
Visit Open Access Day web page on:

What Is Open Access?
Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge. Encouraging the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, the Open Access movement is gaining ever more momentum around the world as research funders and policy makers put their weight behind it.

Why Does Open Access Matter?
"Open Access helps scientists make the discoveries we need to improve health, provides the opportunity for their work to be more easily read and cited, enables integration of research with other resources, helps funding bodies evaluate the research they have funded, and ensures that the digital record of medicine can be preserved." Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust London, UK

"Universities, who support and produce research, can’t keep up with inflating journal prices and are forced to cut subscriptions. With Open Access, instead of cutting off access to information to professors and students, we are able to provide that knowledge without increasing the college’s costs." Diane J. Graves, University Librarian Trinity University (Texas)

"The critical aspect of Open Access for me is that increased discoverability and browseability will lead to greater efficiency of conducting research. Any savings in efficiency translate quite directly into savings for taxpayers and time savings for researchers. That ultimately means more discoveries, sooner, for less money." André Brown, Ph.D. Student University of Pennsylvania
How UJ Library can acknowledge this day?
- During the week of 13th of October we can promote Open Access Journals, Books and Institutional Repositories portals;
- Make promotional brochures
- Use the library and subject web pages , blogs as platforms
- Have a lecturer on the importance of Open Access
Useful links:
- Creative Commons: Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."
- Directory of Open Access Repositories: OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. Each OpenDOAR repository has been visited by project staff to check the information that is recorded here. This in-depth approach does not rely on automated analysis and gives a quality-controlled list of repositories.
- Directory of Open Access Journals: Welcome to the Directory of Open Access Journals. This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. We aim to cover all subjects and languages. There are now 3651 journals in the directory.
- Open Students (very good)

SAOUG AGM & "Wireless Africa" talk: September 2008

On 10th of September 2008 in CSIR, Pretoria the South African Online User Group (SAOUG) had its AGM and talk "Wireless Africa: Towards Sustainable Development in Rural Villages" by Kobus Roux.
The presentation is available on:
The new chair for SAOUG is Madelein Van Heerden from CSIR. Congratulations!
Three new members were included in the committee.
Pavlinka Kovatcheva from University of Johannesburg Library was also re-elected.
End of the year workshop!!!!!
You are cordially invited to Southern African Online User Group (SAOUG) end of year meeting
Stress management Workshop and Lunch
Date: Tuesday 11 November 2008
Venue: 13 5th street, Foxwood House, Houghton
Time: 08:30-late afternoon
Cost: R100.00 for members; R750.00 for non-members
For additional information and booking contact Christa Fourie:
Visit SAOUG web page for more information:

GAELIC Newsletter: September 2008

The GAELIC September Newsletter is quite informative. These are the main topics:
Welcome to Carole Willis who joined FOTIM as the new GAELIC Programme Manager Contact details for, 011 786 4185

The GAELIC Governing Board members have for some time been aware that the structure of GAELIC requires a facelift, and so after much discussion the new structure was accepted at their meeting in July. Although the goals of GAELIC will remain the same, the plan is to move away from a focus group structure and concentrate more on our strategic objectives.
INNOPAC Project group

View the Structure Diagram on:

In light of the new structure that has been decided by the Board, the Focus Group structure will no longer be in effect. The emphasis will change from these specialised group areas to the 3 major objective areas of the new strategic plan. Some of the groups will automatically fit into an objective area while others might find that their previous focus areas are now split over 2 objectives. Some groups will find that they have been "put on ice" for the time being as their focus is not currently relevant.
Read the September 2008 Focus Group update on:
In support of the new approach, 3 teams have been formed. They each comprise the following member structure:
- Members of Focus Groups who have expertise in that particular Objective
- Members of the GGB to champion the team;
- A Convener (at the level of Library Director) to guide each group.

Strategic Objective 1: Innopac Project Workshop
Investigate and implement a joint integrated Millennium system This area is the most functional at the current time and the members of the Innopac Project Team have just finished presenting the results of the system survey that was conducted. Results of this survey will be sent to individual institutions for viewing in the near future.In July a very successful workshop was held to assess the results of this survey and to discuss the way forward. Some of the questions that were posed include…who is responsible for training? What is the role of the user group? How to ensure ownership of the processes? Read more on:
Strategic Objective 2: Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
Build capacity through identification and provision of training needs and services for the optimal utilization of resources,Virtual Learning Environment:
- Is Higher education keeping up with the expectations of our students?
- Students are increasingly 'transliterate', communicating across a range of technologies. Can academics keep up?
Read more about this challenge in UK Higher Education: Grappling with the digital divide:
And where are the GAELIC libraries in this problem? Well if you support the VLE Survey that was sent out earlier in the year and is about to be sent out again with a slightly amended approach, we will be able to assess this situation within our member institutions.
P.S. Dr Anette van Vuren is Operational Manager in VLE group
Strategic Objective 3:
Improve cost efficiency through joint procurement and resources sharing
P.S. Hannie Sander is Convenor of this group

- IUG-SA 2008, Theme: "Innovate or mummify"
Don't forget to diarise the 12th-14th November as these are the dates when the annual IUG-SA is happening on the NNMU North Campus in Port Elizabete. The theme of the conference is "Innovate or mummify" or how to maximize the Millennium products to make the most of the library system. Some of the subjects under consideration are Statistics, using Macro's and templates, Millennium ILL, Collection Development & reporting tools, Cataloguing challenges of FRBR, Copyright management and course packs, New releases and System enhancement requests to name just a few. Please note the cut off date for early bird registration has been extended until 30th September. For more details and registration go to:
- Don't forget the Directors Symposium happening on the 12th November.
Under discussion: What is expected of the library in the research environment? eResearch and the challenges facing libraries to deliver.
Well IFLA has come and gone again and for those lucky people who went to Canada this year we hope you came back inspired and motivated and ready to share your new insights with the rest of us. Next year the event takes place in Milan, Italy and of note is that a proudly South African Librarian is to head IFLA next year. Ellen Tise of Stellenbosch University is the incoming president for 2009.Read about it in Library Journal:
Visit GAELIC website for more information:

Researchers' use of academic libraries and their services

Researchers' use of academic libraries and their services: UK experience

This study was designed to provide an up-to-date and forward-looking view of how researchers interact with academic libraries in the UK. Harnessing empirical data and qualitative insights from over 2250 researchers (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical sciences and Life Sciences) and 300 librarians, the RIN (Research Information network) and CURL (Consortium of Research Libraries) hope that the results will be useful in informing the debate about the future development of academic libraries and the services they provide to researchers.
Some of the results are:
The rise of e-research, interdisciplinary work, cross-institution collaborations, and the expectation of massive increases in the quantity of research output in digital form all pose new challenges. These challenges are about how libraries should serve the needs of researchers as users of information sources of many different kinds, but also about how to deal with the information outputs that researchers are creating.
* Pressure Points
- The majority of researchers in all disciplines have adapted readily to the widespread availability of digital content, accessible directly from their desktops.
- But while nearly all researchers think funding the library should be a high or top priority for their institution, librarians indicate that it is not always easy to secure top-level support.
- Limited funding emphasises the tension between competing demands for library resources: many researchers perceive that libraries give greater priority to support for teaching and learning rather than to research, something that many librarians acknowledge.
* A sense of Place
- There has been a sharp fall over the past five years in the number of researchers who visit their institution’s library regularly. This is most pronounced in the sciences, but in all disciplines there is clear evidence of declining attendance.
- Researchers are choosing to access digital information from their desktops, primarily from their office but also from their homes.
- Only in the arts and humanities do a significant majority of researchers put a high value on the services provided in library buildings.
- More must be done to facilitate the use of other libraries’ offerings and to promote the use of reciprocal access schemes for both printed and digital content.
* Researcher Behaviour
- Most researchers use digital finding aids to locate both digital and print-based resources.
- Print finding aids are used by very few researchers, and these are mainly in the arts and humanities.
- This highlights the need for libraries to ensure that they provide online high-quality meta data for their holdings, and that they address cataloguing backlogs.
* New ways of working
- As users of digital information, researchers place a very high value on electronic journals, but a much lower value as yet on libraries’ provision of other kinds of digital resources.
- There is an urgent need for librarians and the research community to work together to clarify the roles and responsibilities of key players – at national as well as institutional level - in managing these outputs.
* New ways of providing
- A significant part of the study focuses on the roles librarians play in support of the research process, and the related expectations of researchers. Both groups expect that libraries will have a key role as custodians and managers of digital resources.
- Multi-institutional developments such as Virtual Research Environments will continue to grow.
* Visibility, sharing, openness
- Feedback from researchers is very positive, but many information resources that could be useful to researchers remain under-used currently, mainly because they exist only in hard copy or are inadequately catalogued.
- Researchers’ awareness of new developments in scholarly communications, particularly issues to do with open access to research outputs, is low.
* Library-research community relations and the future promotion of library services
- For librarians, liaison with the research community presents a number of problems, arising from the transience of many of the individual relationships that can be formed, the increasing tendency for researchers to use library services remotely, and researcher independence.
- There are significant differences between researchers and librarians in attitudes, perceptions and awareness of key issues. Many believe that communication channels need to be improved but achieving this is not easy.
- There is a danger that the role of libraries may be diluted as researchers, particularly younger ones, turn to the social networking space to share research-based information.
- The successful research library of the future needs to forge a stronger brand identity within the institution.

For more information on RIN visit:

Friday, 5 September 2008

Reference in Transition: a scenario for the future librarians

I found this article through iLibrarian blog. Stephen Abram has written an exciting piece on the fate of reference with Evolution to Revolution to Chaos? Reference in Transition in September issue of Searcher Magazine.
He talks about the biggest challenge the libraries need to face and provides a scenario for the future of the reference - the information commons, the learning commons, the embedded librarians, the remote librarians, etc. He says that "we have to change our own personal behaviors and styles to adapt and reach beyond merely adding websites, technologies, and content to our toolkits. For this change, we have to place ourselves in all of the spaces inhabited by our users. We have to introduce complementary in-person and virtual contact. We have to be everywhere they are, since that’s the user expectation, and adapt to the tools that match their needs — IM, texting, smartphones, social networks, and the rest. And we’re seeing strong resistance from many of our colleagues. Can we do it? Remember, the dinosaurs didn’t go extinct because the climate changed. They disappeared because they couldn’t adapt quickly enough to the changes happening around them!"
"Reference and research services, the front line of library service, are dealing with a far-less-predictable future. The asynchronous, asymmetrical threats facing us are very real hydra monsters challenging our roles in many ways, all having some truth. The fate of reference has come into clearer focus in Web 2.0/Library 2.0 discussions and debates. The emphasis has moved from understanding and learning the technology to understanding end-user behaviors in context. Policies have moved from serving library management needs and library workers’ preferences to where end-user needs trump librarian insights and personal search preferences. If this attitude hadn’t changed, we’d be in real trouble now — although, admittedly, you still occasionally encounter dinosaur tracks and hear the roar of distant mastodons. A plethora of new end-user research — from usability through personas and from hit analyses to ethnographic and behavioral studies — focus on workplace needs, scholarly behavior, learning styles, and entertainment and demonstrate a material shift in the library user firmament."

Google Chrome Browser now live

On 2nd of September 2008 Google has released a new product: Google Chrome Browser. So far there are mixed reviews and experiences. Google on Google Chrome - comic book step-by-step guide was released to help people learn more about the browser. In competition to Firefox & Explorer, this product is coming strong on the market. Use these links to learn more about this browser and what competitors and public has to say about it.
* Review: Google Chrome lacks polish under the hood
Read more on: CNET News - 3387 related articles »; InformationWeek - 125 related articles » & PC World - 40 related articles »

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Elsevier Library Connect Newsletter: Vol.6, no. 2, 2008

This "Library Connect" issue explores how libraries and publishers are seeking to understand and serve upcoming generations — in particular Millennials, the generation born from about 1979 to 1994. This generation includes Net natives — people who’ve always known the digital world and embrace its latest offerings.
- Commons, chat and collaboration: How we’re connecting with Millennials at Murdoch University Library
- The future of the undergraduate library: Asking questions with too many answers and too many opportunities
- Millennial disconnects with publishers and libraries
- Undergrads’ research habits, motivators and attitudes:What studies tell us:

The 2006 study revealed key findings:
1: Today’s undergrads are achievement-oriented
- Of students interviewed, only 40% proactively conducted course-related research, but 100% engaged in online study daily or a few times per week.
- “The mean frequency was 4 or 5 times per week and the mean duration was 1.5 hours per search session, implying about 6.7 hours per week spent searching [for course-related information].”
2: Today’s undergrads are selective and like to control their time
- 100% of students interviewed in 2006 used Google and listed it in their top three starting points. Recent research (CIBER, 2008) commissioned by the British Library and JISC states that search engines have become the primary brand Millennials associate with the Internet and are ubiquitously used by this generation.
- But all students interviewed by Elsevier also used their university library websites or catalogs, and they didn’t feel overly positive towards Google.
3: Today’s undergrads are practical
When asked what constitutes a good source of information, students interviewed in 2006 gave the following answers, listed by popularity:
> Recommended by friends
> Its reputation
> Prior personal experience
> Ease of use
> Provides links to other reliable sources

4: Today’s undergrads spend time in libraries
- Regarding their use of the university library, 100% of 2006 interviewees reported visiting the library and 80% reported doing so more than once a week. The majority reported consulting librarians but “only to retrieve books or for inter library loans” and did not consider them a source of recommendations for information sources
5: Today's undergrads are social but prefer to do research at home
Of students interviewed in 2006, 60% preferred to do research from home. When asked to rank their reasons for being on campus, after “to attend a seminar or lecture and studying for exams,” the second and third most popular reasons given were socializing with friends and playing sports.
In conclusion, the research illustrated that today’s undergrads may exhibit a different persona than preceding generations, yet are displaying rather traditional information-seeking behavior. Just as social applications like Facebook don’t make people genuinely more social, the availability of tools such as Google doesn't make today’s undergrads more adept researchers or equip them to skip the very real and challenging work required to earn a degree.
More interesting articles:
* How we're moving to a primarily digital library
* How we’re redesigning academic libraries to keep them as the center of campus
* How we're transforming our library spaces and mindset
* Librarians Speak Up:How is your library innovating to support Millennials?
* Looking to help researchers stay connected?
Try TopCited ( and 2collab (
* Q: Why does Elsevier request transfer of copyright?

If you have missed Elsevier "Library Connect" previous issues got to:

Sunday, 8 June 2008

What's new @ JSTOR

The latest (4th June, 2008) from JSTOR Publishers:
* The first journal to be released on the new JSTOR platform is available now, The Willson Bulletin, Life Sciences Collection; Release content: Vol.1-116, 1889-2004 (full-text through the UJ Databases)
* Platform updates during the week of 9th June:
- The "Page of First Match" will be restored. Selecting this option will once again take users to the first page upon which a search term appears, rather than the first page of the article.
- The ability to jump to search term locations by page will be restored. Users will see the "Your search term occurs on ..." indicator at the top of each article page.
- Tumbnail images on the "Images in JSTOR" tab will be restored.
- An error that caused dificulties with the Adobe Reader Find and Search functionality in downloaded PDFs will be corrected.
- Several bugs with searching Author names, Phrase searching, Wildcard searching, and Fuzzy searching will be corrected.
* Future updates:
- PDFs with OCR errors: Approximately 5-10% of PDF versions of articles in the JSTOR archives are currently missing supporting OCR coordinates and await reprocessing on the new platform.
- Terms & Conditions pop-up boxes
- EZPoxy Reminder

Information Resources: Options and Opportunities for end-user

Bianca Saporiti, Ovid's Regional Sales Manager was invited to the UJ Library to present a talk on "Information Resources: Options and Opportunities Available for the End-user Today". Librarians and lecturers from the UJ Humanities Departments were present on Friday, 6th of June.
What a better way to start a presentation if not to look back at where the Universities has started:
* Kant, the German 18th century philosopher who established the tradition of critical analysis, influenced thought so extensively that he is regarded as the founder of the University of Reason. Critical thought - consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation
* Humboldt and the German Idealists gave us the modern university, replacing the University of Reason with the University of Culture – an institution whose purpose was jointly teaching and intense research. Culture meaning the patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. The purpose of the University of Culture was to form ‘citizens’, provide them with national self-knowledge, i.e. national culture.
* Internationally the University of Culture has given way to the University of Excellence – with each of its various parts functioning excellently and all divisions of the university being asked to demonstrate their excellence. Excellence is demonstrated by ratings or rankings which are overseen by university management. The University of Excellence is connected with professionalisation –the professional is judged by his/her peers. The purpose of the University of Excellence is to provide ‘cultural literacy’, common information to its students.
Over the past two decades global culture and society has moved from the Gutenberg galaxy – read print - into the world of cyberspace. Academia is now caught up in the fast-changing and dynamic world where e-information and e-learning is altering and evolving not only the role of the university, but its professionals/professors and how they impart knowledge to the students.
Most university students, aka the users - don’t care where their information comes from as long as it is useful and easy to get to. The appeal of the open web is its simple, integrated ‘one search’ solution. Users have increasingly become ‘googlized’ in their pursuit of easy and ‘good enough’ information rather than searching out traditional and authoritative references as suggested and/or recommended by instructors/professors.
The primary mission of an academic library is the provision of content for research and teaching. Academic libraries make resource decisions with an eye to optimizing access to content that is relevant to the curricula of their particular institutions thus, aiding and abetting the core efforts of the faculty to educate. The introduction of e-resources in the mainstream of the learning culture in universities has exposed end-users to more sources of information than ever before.
The information resources and tools the Academic Libraries provide to their users are :
- Library catalogue, OPAC
- Print books and e-books
- Print journals and e-journals
- Abstract & Index Databases, e-only access
- Full text Databases – e-only
- Open Access full text – both e-books and e-journals
- Course reserve packs
- Federated search engines for single access point to all e-information
Some points of discussion were:
* Researchers have developed an intense demand for published information.
* There is too much information for faculty and researchers to chose from.
* Demand for information has become more urgent – younger generation of researchers reared and nurtured by the Internet.
* The scale of international, multidisciplinary research dictates greater cooperation amongst researchers, the result of which is a greater exchange of ideas, and published papers.
* Fragmentation in disciplines has resulted in an increase of interest in specialised sub-discipline monograms.
What we had to say?
From the discussion it came out that students need to be trained on the importance of the library and the sources of information which are made available to them; The Library need to adapt and change to the needs of its users; The Library need to teach students how to evaluate information from the Internet and how to find through the Library peer-review sources. The Faculties needs also be introduced to the latest developments in the library and its resources. Collaboration between Faculty and Library should be a common practice.
P.S. Thank to Ronel Smit for organising this interesting presentation.

Institutional Repositories: The way forward for Libraries?

At the SAOUG conference, there were number of papers on Institutional Repositories (IR). In post dated 6th of June I have some information on IR papers. I have found some additional information "googling" - links to interesting articles and presentations, upcoming workshop on IR, direct links to South African repositories, etc. It is time for us to learn more as it is a reality at UJ and we all will be involved one way or another.

* University of Johannesburg
- UJ Electronic Thesis and Dissertations Database:
- UJ Institutional Repositories:
* South Africa

Friday, 6 June 2008

SAOUG: Day 2, 5th June 2008

The SAOUG Conference Day 2, 5th June.
Yet another day of interesting presentations from fellow librarians and of course, the Keynote speaker Geoff Hoy from TENET. How librarians view the IT Techies and how they view us - the librarians. Make you think of the stereotypes we all fall victims to. Times change, so we are. Some of us become 2.0 librarians and use these tools to better the services in the library and get closer to the so called "google generation". But the librarians need to start working in partnership with their IT departments, as there are many pitfalls for which we are not trained.
Number of presenters talked about the Open Source Institutional Repositories. World-wide the paradigm is to make research collections available online and improving the access to information, which is of great value for research. Since the facilitation of access to information is a primary function of academic or research libraries, they can take the initiative to implement a digital research repository in order to manage, organise, preserve, distribute and offer access to research conducted by the members of the institution. If an institution supports open access, wants to increase the usage and visibility of research conducted at that institution and want to preserve all research output digitally, an institutional repository (IR) is the answer.
In SA there are currently 12 repositories. How to get started with creating IR?
- Analise the need of your organization (survey-questionnaire; presentations to researchers)
- Compile a plan & proposal
- Evaluate various IR software (DSpace, etc.)
- Develop, Design & Install your repository (management approval)
- Test your repository
- Market and promote your repository
- Develop policies and procedures (preservation, copyright, etc.)
- Sell the idea to the academics ( demonstrations; how easy is to submit material to repository)
- Provide training
- Register your repository
- Communicate, collaborate & share with others; start populating; make it more visible.
Other interesting development comes from CSIR. They are busy building a "Knowledge commons" suite of physical and virtual knowledge spaces. This spaces will be conductive to learning and knowledge transfer through planned sharing - which will enable better practices within the CSIR. What is knowledge commons - tacit knowledge sharing, person-to-person contact, collaboration across organisation boundaries.
A new initiative at this conference was "speed vending". All delegates were divided in groups and allocated to different vendors for a specify time, then the groups moved to the next vendor. The vendors were given exposure and opportunity to market their products and services to a large number of delegates.
At the afternoon session some of the points discussed were:
- E-scholarship strategy (web portals, digitised collections and self-generated e-publications); UPSpace
- Digital scholarship and the role of the University library - The influence of modern information technology in education and research have resulted in digital or e-scholarship. The key focus areas at UP library are: e-Research; e-Learning; e-Resources; Open Scholarship; Digitisation; Web/Library 2.0; Repositories and the Library Web.
- African Journals OnLine (AJOL). Africa needs access to its own scholarly publications, and must also contribute to the international academic community. Primary due to difficulties accessing them, African published research papers have been under-utilised, under-valued and under-cited in the International and African research arenas. The Higher Education needs to provide both the "Y" generation and "non-computer literate" with access to information.
At the closing of the SAOUG Conference, the Chair Dr. Glenda Myers provided a summary of the conference papers and thanked all participating vendors, delegates and the committee for their help to make a success of this conference. Future workshops and groups will reflect the needs specified by the delegates at the "round table topic discussions" held on 4th June.
We have been entertain and inspired at the end by Christof Appel, Fewture Consulting.
Thank you SAOUG, SLIS & OSALL for the interesting and well organised conference. We learned a few new tips; We learned that we are not far from the mark in providing services to clients; We learned that if you can do it we can do it to; we learned that change can be good; We all interacted and share experiences and thoughts, made new friends and connections.