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- Volume 75, Issue 2, 2009
South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - Volume 75, Issue 2, 2009
Volume 75, Issue 2, 2009
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75 (2009)More Less
Author Patrick NgulubeSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75 (2009)More Less
The previous issue did not have an editorial due to an oversight at the printers. We wish to extend our apologies to our readers. There were also several other omissions in that issue, for which the printers have apologised.
This issue contains contributions on the use of mixed methods research in library and information services (LIS) research in South Africa, natural sciences research outputs in South Africa, with special reference to research projects such as theses and dissertations, transformation in the library and information sector in South Africa, Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) membership among LIS workers in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF) and LIS education and training in South Africa, a case study on the adoption on e-learning in school librarianship at the University of the Western Cape, the perceptions and expectations of undergraduate students of the quality of service at Chancellor College Library in Malawi, a model to predict customer satisfaction with service quality in Sri Lankan university libraries, the challenges facing the Nigerian university libraries in meeting users' service demands in this 21st century, a general contribution on the 12th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics held in Brazil, and concludes with a book review.
Utilisation and prevalence of mixed methods research in library and information research in South Africa 2002-2008Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 105 –116 (2009)More Less
This article explores the use of mixed methods research (MMR) in library and information science (LIS) research in South Africa from 2000 to 2008. The authors contrast the mixed methods research debate in the general methodological literature to how this method was practiced within the LIS scientific community. They reviewed 613 research articles published in six peer-reviewed LIS journals in South Africa, finding the research methods in these journals to be surveys drawing on positivistic assumptions and cross-sectional designs, and historical research based on constructivist knowledge claims. Mixed methods approaches that the authors identified in the methodological literature have had little impact on LIS research in South Africa. Given these limitations, the authors argue for greater methodological pluralism in conducting research in LIS and recommend the use of mixed methods research.
Capacitating national research : a review of South African natural sciences research projects, theses and dissertations, 1986-2006Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 117 –130 (2009)More Less
The paper examines selected natural sciences research output in South Africa, with special reference to research projects, theses and dissertations in order to determine the trends and nature of capacitation of national research in the selected disciplines in the country. Relevant data was extracted from the South African Bibliographic and Information Network (SABINET)-hosted Current and Completed Research (C&CR) database using subject codes as well as subject keywords. The study reveals that the trends of capacitating national research in natural sciences in South Africa follows a mixed pattern of growth, biology is the most researched subject / discipline, co-supervision of research projects in South Africa is minimal, universities are the main centres for capacitating national research, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research is visible, research capacity building is largely at the level of Masters degree and English language is the most commonly used language of capacitation of national research. In conclusion, we argue, among other recommendations, that there is a need to convert the completed research projects (that is, technical reports, dissertations, theses and so on) into publishable research articles for wider dissemination of research findings.
Author Gavin DavisSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 131 –137 (2009)More Less
The paper examines the current state of libraries in South Africa. It draws on the state's role in the provision of library services since South Africa became a democracy in 1994. There seems to be a worrisome aspect that the place of public libraries within local and provincial governments is in a state of uncertainty. Hence the urgency with which the National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS) is approaching the problem by having appointed a technical team to develop broad legislative and policy guidelines for the transformation of the library and information services (LIS) sector. The focus of the paper is rather on an argument for a rethink of the role of libraries and librarians within the local and provincial context. It is the author's contention that the services of a library should contribute towards the quality of life, that is, the library should play a role in education, the promotion of moral values, the eradication of illiteracy, the alleviation of poverty and assisting in the quest for knowledge and the promotion of democracy in society. The whole notion of democracy needs to be deconstructed. Certain objectives need to be set in order to attain this aim of the library, namely, the library should foster and provide certain facilities for the development of individuals and groups at all levels of education, for example, a study area and an activity room or auditorium; the library should be accessible to the user to fulfil his / her information needs, in the quickest possible time; the library should be a main centre for the promotion and appreciation of all arts so that cultural life can be enriched; the library should play a positive part in the encouragement of active usage of leisure and recreation time. This calls for a well informed and empowered library professional. Although the concept of library professional is used somewhat loosely here, library workers in general should not be excluded when library services are rendered.
Membership of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) among library and information science workers in KwaZulu-NatalSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 138 –147 (2009)More Less
A study was undertaken in 2007 among library and information service (LIS) workers in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to investigate LIASA membership trends. The objectives of the study were to investigate : 1) the extent to which workers in library and information services in KwaZulu-Natal are members of LIASA; and 2) the reasons for non-membership, if there are substantial numbers of LIS workers who are not members. The purpose of this paper is to report on the main findings of this study. The study surveyed three types of library services in KwaZulu-Natal, namely, academic, public and special libraries with 330 LIS workers participating in the study. A census was done of LIS workers in special libraries and in academic libraries of public higher education institutions in KZN. Simple random sampling was used to select public libraries in KZN for participation in the study. All staff in the selected sample of public libraries were surveyed. A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather the required data from the target population. It was established that a significant number of LIS workers in all three types of libraries surveyed in KZN are not members of LIASA for various reasons. LIASA has been unable to draw significant membership from the support staff category in LIS services despite its constitution claiming to embrace all LIS workers. The study recommends that LIASA market itself more aggressively to increase membership levels particularly in the public library sector and among support staff in all LIS services. It also recommends that LIASA should consider involving itself in the industrial concerns of the LIS sector.
The Higher Education Qualifications Framework and the changing environment of LIS education and training in South Africa : some observationsAuthor Mabel K. Minishi-MajanjaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 148 –158 (2009)More Less
Technological, economic and other changes continually reshape the library and information science landscape. In South Africa, the Library and Information Science (LIS) education and training sector is caught up in developments that include new directions in higher education such as the new Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF). This paper provides some observations on the implications of the HEQF on LIS education and training, amid other changes that influence the discipline. While establishing common parameters and criteria for designing qualifications, the HEQF poses challenges to the LIS education needs and practices including names, levels and articulation of qualifications, as well as titles of posts and hierarchies in the workplace. The paper further expounds on the other challenges that need to be simultaneously tackled while reshaping the future. At this critical juncture, the education and training for the information professions in South Africa requires a mixture of ardent focus on understanding the market forces on the one hand, so as to attract students and produce employable graduates and on the other hand a dogged determination to uphold a noble profession in spite of encroaching competition.
Author Sandy ZinnSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 159 –169 (2009)More Less
E-learning has come of age in South African higher education but scepticism, caution and an inadequate reward system for innovative teaching methods have resulted in a slow uptake by academics. Within this milieu the author pioneered a course in the ACE School Librarianship programme. The study describes the e-learning experiences of the course participants gleaned from questionnaire responses to questions related to experiences of ICTs, the Internet and online learning, ability to navigate the e-learning environment, utilization of elements of the learning management system and implementation of course ideas in their respective schools and personal lives. The study also provides an opportunity for the author to reflect on her pioneering experiences with e-learning and how she would approach it differently next time. The main lessons learned were that 1) the e-learning environment is not necessarily intuitive and participants need opportunities to digest novel features such as the discussion forum; 2) several of the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning that appear in the research literature are identified in this study; and 3) setting up an e-learning course is best achieved incrementally.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 170 –178 (2009)More Less
This paper discusses the perceptions and expectations of undergraduate students of the quality of service at Chancellor College Library, University of Malawi. A LibQUAL+ instrument was used to assess the students' perceptions and expectations of the quality of service. The minimum expectation of service that the students would accept was also examined. Using a self-administered questionnaire and an interview schedule it was found that Chancellor College Library did not perform well in all the LibQUAL dimensions of service quality namely : affect of service, library as place and information control. Undergraduate students of the Chancellor College had higher expectations of service quality than the perceived quality of service both for desired expectations and minimum expectations leading to negative adequacy and superiority gaps.
A theoretical model to predict customer satisfaction in relation to service quality in selected university libraries in Sri LankaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 179 –194 (2009)More Less
University library administrators in Sri Lanka have begun to search for alternative ways to satisfy their clientele on the basis of service quality. This article aims at providing a theoretical model to facilitate the identification of service quality attributes and domains that may be used to predict customer satisfaction from a service quality perspective. The effectiveness of existing service quality models such as LibQUAL, SERVQUAL and SERVPREF have been questioned. In that regard, this study developed a theoretical model for academic libraries in Sri Lanka based on the disconfirmation and performance-only paradigms. These perspectives were considered by researchers to be the core mechanism to develop service quality / customer satisfaction models. The attributes and domain identification of service quality was carried out with a stratified sample of 263 participants selected from postgraduate and undergraduate students and academic staff members from the faculties of Arts in four universities in Sri Lanka. The study established that responsiveness, supportiveness, building environment, collection and access, furniture and facilities, technology, Web services and service delivery were quality domains which can be used to predict customer satisfaction. The theoretical model is unique in its domain structure compared to the existing models. The model needs to be statistically tested to make it valid and parsimonious.
Nigerian university libraries and the challenges of users' service demands in the 21st Century : what university administrators should knowAuthor Amanze O. UnaghaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 195 –200 (2009)More Less
The article focuses on the challenges facing Nigerian university libraries in meeting users' service demands in the 21st century and the role of university administrators in assisting them in this regard. It identifies these challenges as non-application of technology to service delivery, increase in student intake with its attendant effect on the available limited resources, inefficient reference service, and competition from other service providers. The article recommends amongst others that knowledge and application of technology in service delivery in libraries is unavoidable in this century, quality service delivery in terms of selection and acquisition of appropriate materials should not be taken lightly, knowledge of human beings and human relationship is important, especially in reference service, library user education should be undertaken by library staff, staff training should be a continuous exercise, and university libraries should transform themselves into one-stop shopping centres for all information retrievals in the face of competition. The article concludes with lessons for Nigerian university administrators and advises that the administrators should fund the university libraries adequately and allow the university librarians to administer the fund without undue interference.
12th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics - Brazil : general contributions - reportAuthor Daisy JacobsSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 201 –204 (2009)More Less
That society benefits from domestic and international science is undisputed - scientific development not only feeds improvements in health care, agriculture and higher education, but also raises public awareness and spurs technological developments and innovations, thereby encouraging sustainable production and economic competitiveness. But how can we monitor and gauge this complex process towards attaining a better quality of life and help bridge the divide between developing and developed countries? This calls for a bird's-eye view of science, a view based on a wide range of measurements of science, using as many indicators and reliable sources of information as possible. National governments, like that of South Africa, as well as intergovernmental agencies such as UNESCO and WHO, routinely collect comparative statistical information about how well countries are performing in science. The qualitative and quantitative evaluation of scientific production is also a common need in the entire research world in order to measure the rise and fall of research outputs (Jacobs, 2006). Most of the time, statistics relate to 'inputs', especially expenditures and human resources. There are still very few comprehensive information sources and reliable statistics dealing with research outputs and impacts on society. Essentially, "metrics" such as Informetrics, bibliometrics scientometrics and webometrics all deal with indicators based on the output of scientific publications (Tijssen, 2005). All these terms are inter-related and at times quite confusing (Ocholla, 2007). The term "informetrics" (informetrie) was coined by Nacke (1979) and is the study of quantitative aspects of information (Tague-Sutcliffe, 1992). This includes the production, dissemination and use of all forms of information, regardless of its form or origin. As such, informetrics encompasses the fields of scientometrics, which studies quantitative aspects of science; webometrics, which looks into quantitative aspects of the World Wide Web; and bibliometrics, which deals with the quantitative aspects of recorded information.
Navigating information literacy : your information society survival toolkit, Theo Bothma, Erica Cosijn, Ina Fourie and Cecilia Penzhorn : book reviewAuthor Peter G. UnderwoodSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 75, pp 205 –206 (2009)More Less
The first edition of this work was published in 2006 under the title Navigating information literacy. The change of title and the short gap between editions mark a significant development in the field : from becoming a phenomenon to be explored, information literacy has become an essential component of the life skills we should acquire and strive to keep up-to-date. That said, the temptation for the writer or lecturer is to concentrate on the technology and its myriad wonders at the expense of encouraging the development of deeper understanding. Fortunately, the authors (all from the Department of Information Science of the University of Pretoria) have avoided this danger and have produced a text that will explain and inform whilst developing a foundation of principles. In this way, they have provided some "future proofing" : having acquired and put into practice the concepts in this book, the reader will be able to understand the significance of newer technologies, able to relate them to what has already been learned and understand how the newer technologies can be applied.