oa South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - The uptake and usage of a national higher education libraries statistics database in South Africa

Volume 81, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-8861



This article discusses a preliminary study into the uptake and usage of collective statistics in South Africa with valuable lessons for other African countries and the developing world. It presents the results of a survey conducted among twenty-three South African universities that are members of The Committee of Higher Education Libraries of South Africa (CHELSA), the sponsor of the shared platform for the storage and sharing of library statistics. The purpose of the study was to investigate the extent to which the community of users understands the uses of collected statistics and how it interprets them, as well as how far these interpretations are being used for internal and external management purposes and for advocacy at institutional level. The results of the survey show that there is consensus amongst academic libraries in South Africa that statistics should be collected and made available nationally for various purposes. The survey also shows that the majority of university libraries in the country have started using the shared statistics database platform and that there is room for further development.

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