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- Volume 77, Issue 1, 2011
South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - Volume 77, Issue 1, 2011
Volume 77, Issue 1, 2011
Author Patrick NgulubeSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77 (2011)More Less
The Journal Management Team is currently receiving a lot of manuscripts from authors. This is highly commendable. However, some manuscripts are rejected or published only after a long period because the authors do not familiarise themselves with the "Instructions to Authors" in order to be aware of the scope and aims of the Journal, the referencing style and other related technical matters before handing in their work for consideration. To make matters worse, some manuscripts need extensive language editing before being published and that puts a lot of unnecessary demands and pressures on our time. Prospective contributors are encouraged to familiarise themselves with "Instructions to Authors" to save themselves from the possibility of being rejected and disappointed.
Author Priti JainSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 1 –14 (2011)More Less
The purpose of this small-scale study was to explore how people perceived Personal Knowledge Management (PKM), whether people were aware of the PKM concept, and how PKM can have an impact on organisational knowledge management and productivity. A questionnaire survey with quantitative and qualitative questions was used. The study revealed that a majority (63%) of respondents were not aware of the PKM concept; 33% were aware, while 2% had a vague idea about it. Eighty three (83%) felt that it was important to manage personal knowledge and that PKM could increase individual productivity and organisational performance. The major recommendations included creating awareness about PKM. It should be at the heart of each employee-development programme, alignment of personal and organisational goals and adequate facilities and training in PKM.
Exploring the use of knowledge management practices in an academic library in a changing information environmentSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 15 –25 (2011)More Less
Some academic libraries have significantly developed and are applying some knowledge management (KM) principles and practices in the provision of library services. KM has been implemented in commercial and business environments towards achieving operational advantages. Its principles and tools can help libraries to improve performance and fulfil their mandate. By using a case study approach, the objective of this research was to find out how knowledge is identified, captured, shared and retained in order to enhance performance and improve the quality of service in the Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) library. A web-based questionnaire, some institutional documents, observation and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data. Data was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The findings indicate that the MCNY library practices are not deliberately informed by KM principles, but are amenable to KM principles. It is recommended that KM, with its potential to turn individual knowledge into organisational knowledge, should be used in positioning the MCNY library in a changing information environment.
Author Luyanda DubeSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 26 –36 (2011)More Less
Key to the transformation of the South African higher education landscape has been the introduction and enhancement of quality assurance practices. The implementation of quality assurance mechanisms in the sector has also affected academic libraries, as they are not static, free-standing entities but are part of universities and their academic culture. Evidently, quality assurance is no longer an option, but a critical reality as libraries in general are under immense pressure to prove their worth in competition with other information enterprises, and are also facing budget cuts (Kinnell, Usherwood, & Jones 1999; Tam 2000). Academic libraries, in particular, are facing the extra challenge of striving to align quality initiatives and practices not only with the overall mission and goals of the university, but also with the "fitness for purpose" quality principle by which universities are judged by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). The study utilised questionnaires and document analysis to collect data and targeted officers in academic libraries who deal with quality assurance matters or issues as well as policy or other related documents. The results showed that quality assurance practices in academic libraries vary. They range from active and integrative processes for maintaining and improving quality to those that are feeble and not well developed. However, there is general commitment towards instilling a quality culture, encouraging a best practice, participative approach, continuous improvement and satisfying the needs of the customer. As one of its recommendations, the study highlights the need to enhance the depth and breadth of quality assurance initiatives and to create more avenues for sharing best practices.
The role of an academic library in research : researchers' perspectives at a South African University of TechnologyAuthor Genevieve HartSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 37 –50 (2011)More Less
Academic libraries typically identify research support as a central pillar in their mission. But they need to examine how their mission statements relate to the perspectives of researchers themselves, especially in view of reported changes in researchers' information seeking and sharing in the online environment. By means of a questionnaire survey of 102 full time academic staff at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the project examined how researchers use their institution's library in their research and what their expectations are. For various historical reasons universities of technology lag behind in terms of their research output and in recent years CPUT has prioritised research. This is reflected in the virtual unanimity among the 102 respondents that research is essential to their job despite their heavy teaching loads. Overall, the study finds that most (over 65%) continue to rely on the library for access to print and electronic resources. It finds a heavy emphasis on the traditional functions of an academic library, such as resource and information management. A few gaps emerge between the delivery of library services and researchers' desires. For example, very few attend the library's scheduled database training workshops; yet most see database training as one of the library's key contributions to research. The most pressing desire is to be kept informed of new research in their fields; yet only a minority experience this level of service and less than half express confidence in the discipline knowledge of librarians.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 51 –63 (2011)More Less
This article is based on part of a survey that investigated journal cancellations in university libraries in South Africa. A study population consisting of 17 university libraries in South Africa was surveyed by means of an online questionnaire to establish whether university libraries in South Africa were adequately funded and to gauge the impact of restrictive library budgets on journal cancellations. Interpretation of the results revealed South African university libraries, like most academic and research libraries world wide, have not been adequately funded and as a result have resorted to annual journal cancellations. Recommendations are made about enhancing library budgets to ensure continued access to library periodical collections.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 64 –74 (2011)More Less
The growth in online knowledge resources has transformed information securing practices and effects have been especially pronounced for scientific journals. It has therefore become increasingly necessary to understand researchers' information search and securing preferences. Leading South African researchers were identified and invited to participate in a web- based survey to this end. Results indicate that electronic resources are favoured for journal articles, but not for books, and researchers commonly employ chaining and browsing behaviour to locate relevant journal articles. Full-text journals are favoured by researchers to undertake searches. These are favoured over other bibliographic databases and other federated searches (Google, Google Scholar and MetaLib). Analyses of the coverage of top rated journals by the two top rated full-text databases EBSCOhost and ScienceDirect reveals significantly lower coverage when compared with the coverage of top journals by the citation databases Scopus and Web of Science. Researchers should therefore make greater use of these resources to effectively locate relevant material.
A mental model for successful inter-disciplinary collaboration in curriculum innovation for information literacySource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 75 –84 (2011)More Less
The University of Pretoria introduced a compulsory Information Literacy module to address the need for delivering motivated knowledgeable employees that embrace information and have the skills to find, select and use relevant information accurately, efficiently and effectively in an explosive information age. Low class attendance, an indication of unmotivated students, as well as the limited scholarly application of information literacy skills in consecutive academic years of study have been identified as possible barriers to the application of the desired skills. A collaborative action research project based on Whole Brain principles was introduced to motivate learners through innovative learning material in the module. A deeper understanding of the role of thinking preferences and thinking avoidances is essential in selecting a team that is responsible for the planning, design, development and delivery of learning opportunities and material. This article discusses the Whole Brain Model® as a mental model that underpins the successful collaboration of multidisciplinary teams and enhances innovative curriculum design that addresses alternative approaches to the teaching of Information Literacy.
Author C.S. De BeerSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 85 –93 (2011)More Less
Important work for Information Science and Information Services has been done by two internationally renowned intellectuals, Edgar Morin and Michel Serres. Their relevance relates to the fact that they both accept the challenge of the complex reality of the world. They work out ways to deal with the dynamics of these issues in the most significant way possible. They both have special methods of including information as central to their work, despite their disciplinary backgrounds and engagements. This fact gave me the freedom to expect from their work, given their enthusiasm about the central place of information in society and life, to provide significant insights to us in our own situation. We encounter the problem that our standard, accepted methods cannot really help us here. These methods are still based on "a flat world assumption" as are our policies, strategies and skills - all of which are based on a deterministic approach and a cause-effect strategy. As such, it cannot give account of the words dynamic, restless and complex. This system is simply too movable and fluctuating. There are too many dimensions. We need more, even more than reason alone. We have to move beyond method, beyond mere rationality, in order to cope and get real access and develop understanding. We need to move into another dimension, and onto a totally new level, of reality and into a different dimension or mode of thought - into another domain, the domain of ideas rather than problems. We have to start thinking differently. What I am trying to sketch and that is referred to here, in line with Edgar Morin's suggestions, is noology, or "the science of the knowing mind" with its focus on the fullness and complexity of reality. The mode of thought that can effectively cope with this vast and complex challenge is what Michel Serres calls our "multiple, connective intellection" that can penetrate all the respective areas and establish links between them. If we are serious about these challenges and want to explore this "restless dynamic system" in its full complexity we can hardly do better than look in more detail at the work done by Edgar Morin and Michel Serres.