Mousaion - Volume 26, Issue 2, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 26, Issue 2, 2008
The effectiveness of teacher librarians in primary schools : the experience of the Melani school libraries in the Eastern CapeSource: Mousaion 26, pp 1 –21 (2008)More Less
In 2002, a pilot project established school libraries in eleven primary schools in Melani, Fort Beaufort District. The role players in this initiative were South African Partners, the Eastern Cape Department of Education, the University of Fort Hare and the Library and Information Science Association of South Africa (LIASA). The aim of the project was to develop a model that would lead to the establishment and development of school libraries in other areas of the Eastern Cape.
This paper reports the findings of a research project (Mnkeni 2007) that sought to investigate the effectiveness of teacher librarians in primary schools reflecting on the experience of the Melani cluster of schools. The aim was to assess the effects the school libraries have had on teaching and learning. The qualitative and quantitative study involved 110 primary learners, 39 educators, 11 teacher librarians, and an official from the Provincial Department of Education.
The findings suggest that the school libraries contributed to academic achievement, emphasising the necessity for every primary school to have a library. Consequently the study recommends the need to accelerate the completion of the National School Library Policy which was first drafted in 1997 (Hart 2003 : 14).
The costs and benefits of journal ownership versus full-text electronic access in a university based Faculty of ScienceSource: Mousaion 26, pp 22 –45 (2008)More Less
The article describes a crisis in access to scholarly journals at the former University of Natal, Durban Campus Libraries between 2002 and 2004. The Libraries experienced a substantial increase in the costs of the journal collection. From 2002 to 2003 the increased foreign exchange rate and frequent increases in the price of journal subscriptions meant higher journal costs although costs were lower again for some titles held by the Library from 2003 to 2004. The library budget was not able to keep pace with these increases. The consequence was the cancellation of journal subscriptions together with the erosion of new book purchasing. The problem is not unique to this institution and to cope with it, libraries are coming to measure their collections and looking at alternative ways to overcome the journal crisis. The development of computer technology has greatly widened access to the journal literature but at a cost in money and a new demand for different skills.
A survey by questionnaire of postgraduate students and academic staff in the Faculty of Science, of the then University of Natal, Durban, gathered in-depth information on journal usage patterns. The Masters Degree study for which the fieldwork was conducted in 2003, sought to determine whether the shift from print to electronic formats would affect journal usage patterns and dependence on the physical library.
The Return on Investment (ROI) as an evaluation tool for training courses : a case study in the higher education contextSource: Mousaion 26, pp 45 –58 (2008)More Less
Knowledge Management has become an important discipline in universities, and the public and private sectors. Training is one knowledge management strategy used to enhance the knowledge levels of an organisation and it employees. Return on Investment (ROI) is a tool for evaluating the success of investment activities in any organisation. It has also been used in evaluating training courses for employees. However many questions remain in terms of the application of ROI in the evaluation of training courses. This article provides an overview of existing methodologies for the evaluation of training programmes. A workable methodology to evaluate such training programmes is proposed in this paper, based on the concept of Return on Knowledge. The study applied this methodology to the evaluation of three different training courses that are part of the knowledge management policy and practice of a higher education institution. The paper concludes by reflecting on the effectiveness of the proposed methodology for the evaluation of training courses for academic staff. The reflection suggests that the methodology serves the purpose for which it is intended, is relatively easy to use, may be applied with minimum disruption to trainees and instructors, and takes into account important variables from the point of view of self evaluation. This methodology could have a direct impact on the enhancement of training programmes in the higher education and training environment.
Changing patterns and trends in author co-authorship networks of HIV / AIDS research in Eastern and Southern AfricaAuthor Omwoyo Bosire OnyanchaSource: Mousaion 26, pp 59 –78 (2008)More Less
Social networks play an important role in the analysis and tracking of relationships between the participating entities (i.e. words, individuals, institutions, and countries, etc). Social networks are likely to play an even greater role now and in the future than before due to the complex nature of un-resolved issues such as HIV / AIDS. The proliferation of local and international conferences has opened up new avenues for 'networking', a term that is increasingly becoming common, amongst researchers. This study examines collaboration networks amongst HIV / AIDS researchers in Eastern and Southern Africa, aiming to provide a better understanding of the nature and composition HIV / AIDS research networks; the changing patterns of the networks ; and the geographic regions of study for each network. The paper ends by providing recommendations on some of the ways through which research collaboration and 'networking' in Africa can be promoted.
The role of the public library in economic empowerment and poverty alleviation among informal sector women entrepreneurs - a preliminary study in the Umhlatuze municipalitySource: Mousaion 26, pp 79 –97 (2008)More Less
The informal sector women entrepreneur is a major contributor to the income of a household, and also contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. To establish and sustain profitable businesses this group needs access to business information. Given the low educational levels that characterise the informal sector women entrepreneurs, information provided to them needs to be repackaged to levels appropriate to their understanding. The primary objectives of the study was to determine whether an institution like the public library plays any meaningful role in information provision to informal sector women entrepreneurs, and also to establish the demographic profile of this largely marginalised group. The major findings revealed that access to information is a real problem, and that information sources and channels currently used - such as friends or relatives - are not providing the needed information. They are also completely unaware of the library as an information provider. The libraries themselves seem to be unprepared to service this group of potential clients, preferring them to come to the library to seek information, rather than reaching out to them in their workplaces.
Assessing the level of compliance with regard to the Legal Deposit Act : implications on access to South Africa's published heritageSource: Mousaion 26, pp 98 –114 (2008)More Less
Legal deposit is recognised globally as an effective means of collecting, accessing, cataloguing and preserving a country's published heritage in designated libraries. It ensures that works published in a country are kept for the use of present and future generations, and provides for research into all aspects of the country's life and culture. Therefore, it is important that places of legal deposit commit themselves to sustainable development to meet the needs of a country by preserving and making published heritage available to all users. However, the biggest challenge is to encourage publishers to deposit their material in the legal deposit centres. This paper assesses the level of compliance with South Africa's Legal Deposit Act, 1997 (Act No. 54 of 1997) by the publishers. In terms of the Act publishers are required to deposit a prescribed number of copies of each printed document in the prescribed places of legal deposit within 14 days of publication. In order to clearly demonstrate the level of compliance by publishers, a survey was conducted on existing publishers and legal deposit centres in South Africa. The paper concludes by arguing that a lack of cooperation between publishers and legal deposit centres may put the published heritage of South Africa in great jeopardy.
University and University of Technology graduates in the work place : comparison between LIS services and services of other selected disciplinesSource: Mousaion 26, pp 115 –131 (2008)More Less
Three individual preliminary studies compared the job functions of traditional university and university of technology (UoT) graduates in the staff structures of selected special, public and academic library services with those in the staff structures of selected engineering firms, a newspaper house and a health care service, respectively. The intention was to ascertain if perhaps there are any trends and best practices in these disciplines that could be adapted or adopted for the LIS work place to address apparent tensions in the LIS work environment regarding the relationship between professional and paraprofessional qualifications and positions. The purpose of this paper is to report collectively on these three preliminary studies and their findings from an initial and novel comparison. Self-administered questionnaires and structured interview schedules were used to collect data from selected samples of graduates and employer representatives. The findings revealed some interesting trends that perhaps can be drawn on to address some of the current tensions in the LIS work environment. Recommendations include extending these limited studies to ascertain if the trends revealed by these preliminary investigations are applicable more widely.
Practical suggestions for information literacy programmes for healthcare professionals - learning from studies in Human Information Behaviour (HIB)Source: Mousaion 26, pp 132 –149 (2008)More Less
A selection of aspects, identified from the literature on human information behaviour (HIB) (healthcare as well as other contexts) is explored with regard to offering practical advice on how these can be incorporated into information literacy programmes for healthcare professionals. The aspects explored are based on the author's interpretation of selected literature and include : awareness of information needs and the value of information as well as the ability to express information needs ; healthcare professionals as persons-in-context ; the importance of affective issues in the daily tasks of healthcare professionals and the role of emotions (e.g. being anxious, frustrated, bored or unmotivated) ; importance of personality and learning style on information needs and the success of information seeking; importance of everyday-life information needs and how this may overlap with task-related information needs ; and the realities of barriers to information seeking and how to deal with these. The intention is to highlight issues normally not considered in reports on training in information literacy. Apart from practical advice on the various aspects, it is argued that library and information (LIS) professionals should sensitise healthcare professionals to the complexity of human information behaviour and the need to understand their own information behaviour.
Author Gerhard Van der LindeSource: Mousaion 26, pp 150 –156 (2008)More Less
Jeanneney's point of departure is the announcement, in December 2004, that Google "was planning over a period of six years to digitize some 15 million printed volumes, or around 4.5 billion pages" (p 3). The intention was "to offer, gratis online, all works no longer in copyright and to give limited access to all others published since 1923" (p 4). In order to implement the project, an agreement was signed with several American libraries and the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
Source: Mousaion 26, pp 157 –159 (2008)More Less
Since parents, teachers and public librarians believe reading to be fun and a wonderful privilege and opportunity to enter new and different worlds, they all strive to promote reading. They want kids to enjoy reading, and widen their horizons in the ongoing search for new and exciting authors. Often this is difficult, because kids claim to have read everything of interest, and the promoters' recommendations are limited by their own reading experiences and knowledge of authors a particular child might like. Their only alternative is then to rely on what other parents, teachers and librarians recommend - certainly a shortcoming in a world marked by a booming publishing industry and strong competition from the Internet and interactive computer games. Just like the previous two editions, this latest edition of Who next...? helps adults to address this challenge. It is a ready reference work on children's fiction and offers authoritative recommendations on children's authors. This colourful, glossy, easy-to-handle publication will stimulate a child's reading interests and widen his / her reading experiences - and the adults can save face by not having to admit that they are at their wits end in making a good recommendation.
Who else writes like...? A readers' guide to fiction authors, Huse, R & Huse, J (Eds.) : book reviewSource: Mousaion 26, pp 160 –161 (2008)More Less
Similar to previous editions, it was a privilege to review the fifth edition of Who else writes like...? It is an excellent publication which can widen the reading horizons of all serious readers who have exhausted all publications of their favourite authors, as well as those who have no idea how to pursue their interest in a particular genre such as crime or thrillers. Although a UK based publication, I believe Who else writes like...? should be on the reference desks of all public libraries of English speaking countries. Serious readers can buy copies of their own - which at £19.99 seems very affordable in comparison to average book prices, considering the hours of reading fun and exploration that may follow. It certainly would be a useful companion when visiting your local library or bookshop, and taking out books on behalf of the home-bounded and busy spouses.
Author Molly BrownSource: Mousaion 26, pp 162 –176 (2008)More Less
K. Sello Duiker's The hidden star was published posthumously in 2006 and met with mixed critical reactions. In this article I argue that Duiker's achievement in this novel has yet to be fully recognized and appreciated. Ironically, this fantasy for younger readers has been dismissed both as an unsuitably long fairy tale and a novel too disturbingly adult to be suitable for children. It is possible that the level of critical confusion generated by the work is because it is a rare South African example of what Brian Attebery refers to as 'indigenous fantasy' (1992 : 129), that is, fantasy that, like an indigenous species, is adapted to and reflective of its own native environment.