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- Volume 76, Issue 2, 2010
South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - Volume 76, Issue 2, 2010
Volume 76, Issue 2, 2010
Author Patrick NgulubeSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76 (2010)More Less
This issue presents ten articles, which deal with a variety of subjects, including the utilisation of community library services, Miles Blackwell's contribution to South African librarianship, reading and information needs and interests of gays and lesbians, information seeking behaviour of undergraduate students in the humanities in universities in Nigeria, service quality determinants for customer satisfaction in university libraries in Sri Lanka, use of information technology to support information and knowledge management by lawyers in context, the training needs of general library workers in the South African public library sector, profiling of students using an institutional information portal, use of Internet resources in Africa, and the research output of academics in science and engineering faculties in southern Nigeria.
New vision, new goals, new markets? Reflections on a South African case study of community library servicesAuthor Genevieve HartSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 81 –90 (2010)More Less
The article reflects on a case study of a group of six school-based dual use libraries in rural South Africa - focusing specifically on their community role. Its starting point is the library and information services (LIS) Transformation Charter's vision of public libraries that play a meaningful role in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. The study employed a mix of data gathering methodologies - interviews, observation and analysis of documents. The key question that emerges from the study relates to the rather low usage of the libraries by the adults in the surrounding villages. All six libraries claim to provide "access" but it is not clear what they provide access to. The study suggests that a sharper focus on their community information services is required. More leadership, staff education and focused programming might enable the libraries to fulfil their exciting potential.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 91 –97 (2010)More Less
The contribution of BH Blackwell (BHB), and specifically of Miles Blackwell, to the development of libraries and librarians in South Africa is explored based on available literature sources and personal reminiscences. This article tells how Miles was true to his personal values and how he demonstrated his integrity in the exercise of his office. Miles integrated in his mind the history of the "firm" of BHB and the times that it lived though with his sense of his responsibility to his customers. He was prepared to stand up against enormous political pressure from his peers in Europe and North America, and perhaps his fellow board members in BHB, to make sure that the channels of published information flow remained open to his customers in South Africa. The value of books and information was what he believed in. His service to his customers in South Africa reflected the self-sacrificing service ethic that he understood to be the essence of the family firm of which he had the great privilege of leading. He contributed to the development of the new, post-apartheid South Africa by ensuring that the people who needed the enlightened word to become part of the global society, benefited by what he had done.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 98 –108 (2010)More Less
The article reports on an investigation of the provision of gay and lesbian literature and of information services to gays and lesbians in Cape Town's public libraries. Although by definition public libraries serve all members of a community, the international literature suggests that they neglect the reading and information needs and interests of gays and lesbians. The progressive South African Constitution views the rights of gays and lesbians as human rights; yet homophobia is prevalent. Using a questionnaire, the study explored attitudes and practices of 69 senior librarians, responsible for collection development, across all six of Cape Town's library districts. The situation was found to be "spotty" with only 26 respondents believing that their library service is meeting the needs of gays and lesbians. The survey found contradictions between stated beliefs and behaviours. Thus, although most agree that LGBT rights to information and equal services are human rights, only 55% consider LGBT people in their selection procedures and very little material is acquired. Information services are thin with, for example, only 10% of the libraries in the survey providing LGBT related information in their community information files.
Information seeking behaviour of undergraduate students in the humanities in three universities in NigeriaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 109 –117 (2010)More Less
The purpose of this study is to establish the information needs, sources, and the information searching strategies of undergraduate students. The study adopted a descriptive survey method. The study covers 100-400 level undergraduate students in history in the humanities in three universities in the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria. A sample size of 259 was used for the study. Random sampling technique was used in selecting the sampled respondents. The study opted the use of questionnaires, interviews and observation methods. It emerged that the undergraduate students use sources such as textbooks, journals, Internet, and rely heavily on human resources for information. The study also revealed that undergraduate students use search strategies such as starting, chaining, browsing, differentiating, monitoring and extracting. There is a significant difference between male and female students in the sources they use in obtaining information in the humanities and in their search strategies. Findings will enable library administrators and university management to see the need to integrate information literacy courses into the school curriculum. Also to enable librarians to intensify their efforts to educate students about the information environment rather than simply providing the knowledge of how to use specific tools.
Using focus groups to investigate service quality determinants for customer satisfaction in selected university libraries in Sri LankaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 118 –128 (2010)More Less
This study aimed at establishing service quality determinants which may affect customer satisfaction in university libraries in Sri Lanka. Using the literature, 113 service quality determinants were identified. These were then reviewed by eight focus groups in four different universities. Forty of the determinants were perceived to be applicable to their context. The participants also added 14 quality requirements which they thought were not provided for in the list. Finally, the content and face validity of the 54 determinants were evaluated by a panel of experts who ultimately reduced them to 50. This study recommends the use of the identified quality determinants by library administrators and policymakers in the higher education sector in Sri Lanka to gauge the levels of customer satisfaction and assure quality of service.
Utilisation of information technology to support information and knowledge management by lawyers in Polokwane CityAuthor Solomon BopapeSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 129 –140 (2010)More Less
A revolution in information and communication technology is taking place in the world. With this technological revolution, information and knowledge are also considered as crucial assets for every organization. Law firms are regarded as one of the industries which are information and knowledge-intensive. The utilization of information technology can play an essential role in supporting information and knowledge management in law firms. An investigation into the extent to which lawyers or law firms in Polokwane city utilize information technology to support information and knowledge management was conducted through a survey questionnaire based on the Technology Acceptance Model. The findings of this research showed that lawyers utilise information technology systems or applications that are common, such as word processing, e-mail, client billing and online databases for searching legal information. Other information and knowledge management tools, such as Intranets, extranets and web portals, were the least and non-utilised applications by these lawyers. The main reason for non-utilization of such systems may be linked to non- exposure to information technology and unfamiliarity with information and knowledge management tools. It is, therefore, recommended that legal schools should include, in their curriculum, modules on the application and role of information technology in the legal practice. Recommendations for future research related to this subject are also provided.
Training needs of general library workers part 2 : challenges facing the public library sector in South AfricaAuthor Hester W.J. MeyerSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 141 –152 (2010)More Less
This article, the second of two, deals with the training needs of general library workers in the South African public library sector. The first appear in this Journal 76(1). This one considers the types of tasks that general library workers perform, the skills required, and the standards and expectations within the working environment. Data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire directed at supervisory staff of provincial and municipal libraries. Interviews conducted with supervisors and a careful study of job descriptions was compared to the results of the survey to ensure validity. The findings revealed that supervisory staff members who used to offer in-service training to general library workers now increasingly have trouble with new entrants who are not "work-ready". The results show a preference for a learning programme - either formal or non-formal - with a strong vocational component. A need for closer relations between practitioners and educators to negotiate logistics in terms of the completion of the practical component of the programme is envisioned.
Profiling students using an institutional information portal : a descriptive study of the Bachelor of Arts degree students, University of South AfricaAuthor Omwoyo Bosire OnyanchaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 153 –167 (2010)More Less
Using data mining techniques, this study examines the Bachelor of Arts (General) degree's data available in the University of South Africa's institutional information and analysis portal (IP) maintained by the Department of Information and Strategic Analysis (DISA). The purpose of this was to draw a demographic profile of the students and demonstrate the potential use of an IP in monitoring and evaluating the performance of individual qualifications as far as registrations, cancellations and graduation rates are concerned. Data were analysed in order to determine the students' age, gender, occupational, home language and geographic distributions and the relationships between the "incoming", "re-entering", "degree completed" and "graduation" headcounts. It was observed, among other findings, that the BA(G) degree attracts students with diverse characteristics; there is a general continued decline in the number of students registering as well as completing the qualification; the number of students cancelling registrations in BA(G) has continued to grow since 2005; and that there is a significant positive correlation between (a) the "incoming" and "graduation" headcounts; (b) "incoming" and "degree completed" headcounts; (c) "degree completed" and "graduation" headcounts; and (d) "graduation" and "total registration" headcounts. Other findings as well as conclusions and recommendations are offered.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 168 –180 (2010)More Less
In this study, data on web links collected from 15 African countries, three with the highest Internet penetration in each of North, West, Central, East, and South regions were used to study the number and origins of links to Africa. The sample has a ratio of one Internet user per 12 persons. Altogether, all African countries generated a total of 124,047,702 Web pages and 30,546,967 inlinks to the pages, an average of about 0.25 links per page. But the sample constituted which 28% of all the countries in the region generated 98,629,700 pages and 21,272,500 inlinks, an average of about 0.21 inlinks per page. South Africa ranked highest in web pages and web links per population and also received the highest number of inlinks from other African countries and the G8. However, Kenya linked other African countries more than the others did. Population size does not relate to number of web pages, self-inlinks, and inlinks or penetration, but relates positively with number of Internet users. Among others, a major step in boosting use of Internet resources in Africa will be in developing policies that will encourage African countries to use information developed by other African countries.
Analysis of research output of academics in science and engineering in Southern Nigerian universities : an imperative studyAuthor Victoria N. OkaforSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 76, pp 181 –190 (2010)More Less
The study was carried out to determine the research output of academics in science and engineering faculties in southern Nigeria using bibliometric analysis. Descriptive survey method was used for the study. Through stratified random sampling six federal universities were selected out of 13 for the study. Two hundred and ninety-one academic staff with the rank of lecturer 11 and above were used for study. The research output considered in this study was counting of journal articles and supervision of postgraduate students. The mean of journal articles (publication output) varies from the two faculties. Science faculties produced more articles with grand mean of 10.02 while those in engineering had a grand mean of 7.58. The null hypothesis shows that there is a significance difference in the mean productivity of academics in science and engineering faculties. Academics in the field of botany published more journal articles than the others in sciences with a mean of 15.2, followed by zoology with 12.6, while computer science published the least. On the other hand academics in petroleum/chemical engineering published the highest in engineering with mean of 11.8, while electrical/electronic engineering published the least with mean of 5.9 journal articles. The study recommended that there is need for government and governmental agencies like NUC and ETF to lay emphasizes on purchase of equipment and research materials like reagents in areas of science. There is need to provide conducive research environment in other to enable academics in science and engineering to carry out effective research in terms of reducing workload by employing more qualified personnel in that field and also equip the library with books, journals, e-journal, internet facilities.