Mousaion - Volume 26, Issue 1, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 26, Issue 1, 2008
Author Peter Johan LorSource: Mousaion 26, pp 1 –15 (2008)More Less
Over several decades various monographs have appeared that include the words "international librarianship" in their titles, but most of these are compilations of chapters by various authors, describing library conditions in particular foreign countries or regions. Most have done little to systematise or develop a conceptual framework for international librarianship. In this article an attempt is made to fill this gap. Varying uses of the word "international" and the relationship between international and comparative librarianship are examined, before the motivations or rationales of writers on international librarianship are categorised: exoticism, philanthropy, extending national influence, promoting international understanding, internationalism, cooperation, innovation, advancing knowledge, and self-understanding. The possibilities of librarians in different countries learning from one another are critically examined. It is proposed that international librarianship, as a field of study or an academic sub-discipline, refers to, in a narrower sense, the systematic study of similarities and differences between countries, and their causes; international relations and influences; and international cooperation and the role of international organisations, insofar as these relate to libraries and librarianship. Themes that should be covered in a syllabus or basic text on international librarianship are listed.
Interventions in community library services for HIV / AIDS awareness : a case study in the Bojanala regionSource: Mousaion 26, pp 16 –45 (2008)More Less
This article reports on a study undertaken to determine interventions that community libraries can engage in to improve HIV / AIDS awareness. The research focused specifically on the interventions that are currently undertaken to promote HIV / AIDS awareness among the community of the Bojanala region in the North West Province of South Africa. The study consists of the examination of the social role and responsibility of the community library regarding HIV / AIDS awareness; an international and national literature review on the type of interventions that community libraries can embark upon to promote HIV / AIDS awareness amongst community members of all age groups; an investigation - by means of interviews with librarians / library workers in the Bojanala region - on what interventions are currently undertaken to promote HIV / AIDS awareness among the community of the Bojanala region; and recommendations regarding the types of interventions that community libraries in South Africa may provide to assist in enhancing HIV / AIDS awareness. The recommendations that emerge from the research could be implemented in any community library in any given country with a high HIV / AIDS prevalence rate.
A co-link analysis of institutions of higher learning in Eastern and Southern Africa : preliminary findingsSource: Mousaion 26, pp 46 –70 (2008)More Less
This paper presents the preliminary findings of a co-link analysis of 95 (out of a total of 142) institutions of higher education in eastern and southern Africa. Data was collected using a uniform search strategy, i.e. two search queries were used to extract relevant data from the Yahoo! search engine. Data was captured and stored in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as 2-dimensional matrices. UCINET version 6 (comprising of several analytic technologies) was primarily used to analyse the data in order to: find out the number of external inlinks for each institution; determine the most colinked institutions; map the colinkages; measure the strengths of colink ties; examine colink relationships; and establish the motivations for colinking. For the purposes of presenting the findings, 40 institutions which recorded a normalised colink count of 1.5 and more were selected. Results indicate that most South African institutions have the highest number of inlink and colink counts. Insitutions belonging to the same geographic region established closer relationships amongst themselves than institutions located in different geographic regions. The institutions which yielded fewer inlinks and higher colink counts produced stronger colink ties. Other findings, conclusions and recommendations are provided.
Source: Mousaion 26, pp 71 –89 (2008)More Less
The aim of this article is to explore the nature and the reasons behind the self-publishing of academic textbooks in the higher education environment of South Africa. Through the collection of secondary data the authors describe the academic publishing landscape in relation to current trends in higher education in South Africa and explain what constitutes self-publishing as an alternative publishing model. Primary data obtained through surveys proves many of the myths associated with self-publishing false and establishes that academic authors have valid and just reasons for opting to self-publish. Some final conclusive findings could assist the commercial academic publishing sector in acting accordingly on this increasing trend in the higher education environment. It is important to note that the concept of self-publishing in this research extends to the publishing of academic textbooks only and does not include electronic publishing on the internet and the publishing of scholarly or research-based publications.
Source: Mousaion 26, pp 89 –110 (2008)More Less
The proliferation of information available in electronic format has been perpetuated by rapid technological advances. Users have a choice between print and electronic resources. At the same time, the use of these resources is determined by what is available to the users and what the users prefer. Problems that users encounter in accessing resources determine their preference for either the print or the electronic format. The purpose of the study was to evaluate students' use of print and electronic resources at the University of Malawi College of Medicine. Using the survey method and a self-administered questionnaire and interview, findings indicated that students used both print and electronic resources. However, print resources were more heavily used than electronic ones. The students also preferred print resources to electronic. A lack of computers and low levels of computer and information literacy contributed to the underutilisation of electronic resources.
Book indexing : a reflection on the contrasting complexities and ease of conceptualisation and how we can deepen our understandingAuthor Ina FourieSource: Mousaion 26, pp 111 –125 (2008)More Less
The complexities, as well as seemingly simplicities of book indexing are considered against conceptualisation and determining what an entity is about. This is done by considering an academic, theoretical perspective as well as the perspective of indexers in praxis. Various viewpoints on conceptionalisation are briefly considered, namely the simplistic approach, content-oriented approach, requirements-oriented approach and socio-cognitive view. Suggestions on bridging the gap between pragmatic indexing and theoretical indexing discourse are offered.
Improving information use by SMEs in Northern Uganda through information and communication technologies (ICTs)Source: Mousaion 26, pp 126 –149 (2008)More Less
Uganda's economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries (United States, Bureau of African Affairs 2007). Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have an important role in uplifting the economic standards of the majority of poor people because such enterprises involve little financial investment but much time and effort. The success of SMEs requires investment and use of ICTs, especially the internet, which has become a vital platform for both business information and transactions. Based on the above premise, a study was conducted to establish the ICTs application by SMEs in business transactions in northern Uganda. Using a quantitative descriptive survey design, the study solicited the views of SME managers, information providers and business policy makers in northern Uganda. Both questionnaires and interviews were used as data collection instruments. The aim was to obtain data regarding the ICTs used for business operations, usefulness of different ICTs for business operations, the ICT skills of SMEs business managers, ICTs utilisation for business information access and problems faced in internet utilisation for business and information transactions. This paper reports some of the interesting findings on ICTs utilisation especially the internet in this disadvantaged region of Uganda. Mainly is the fact that SMEs in northern Uganda are lagging behind the trend of applying ICTs to access, use and share pertinent business information. As such they are disadvantage in the current world of e-commerce and web presence. A number of problems that hinder fast-tracking these enterprises into mainstream ICT usage need to be urgently attended to. The study recommends the establishment of integrated ICTs based business information provision strategy that should include: telephone text services, client's based services, interactive business planner, online small business workshops, e-mail services and Talk to Business Information Systems services.
Source: Mousaion 26, pp 150 –174 (2008)More Less
This article reports on a pilot project which was developed to meet the needs of specific research groups for a collaborative workspace. Such a system was deemed necessary because of today's global network of researchers who are divided by both location and time. The need therefore exists for a system which allows researchers to work on a project without the need to be in the same physical location. Such a system is called an online collaborative workspace and allows researchers to work together on projects by providing various means of sharing information and resources. The main research question in this paper centres around the user requirements and design specifications of an online collaborative workspace developed in open source software. As the final outcome of this research project was to develop a framework that meets specific user requirements, it was decided to follow a developmental approach. The research methods that were used therefore consisted of first identifying the user requirements of today's research community. This was done by combining the findings of both an informal survey and a literature review of existing systems. The study found that the user requirements and main components of an online collaborative workspace consist of a digital library, online discussion forum, adaptive hypermedia engine and a statement database. These components were successfully integrated into a framework using a developmental approach ensuring that the aforementioned user requirements were met.