Mousaion - Volume 27, Issue 1, 2009
Volumes & issues
Volume 27, Issue 1, 2009
A theoretical model for the provision of educational and career guidance and information services for high school learners in public librariesSource: Mousaion 27, pp 1 –23 (2009)More Less
This article attempts to show that public library services should encompass the provision of educational and career guidance and information to high school learners as a youth group, and to develop a relevant theoretical model for proactive service delivery to them. The research methods used for the larger study on which the article is based consisted of a literature review and empirical study. The literature analysis reveals that educational and career guidance incorporates interviews and assessment, provision of information and interpretation, advice and counselling, referral and implementation, information and study skills and networking. Various international and local studies have found that public librarians do not view diagnostic assessment of learners' suitability for certain courses, in-depth advice and therapeutic counselling as part of their professional functions. Assessment of learners' abilities to cope with materials, advice-giving of a modest nature and the use of counselling techniques in interviewing are seen as part of user guidance. Librarians also refer learners to educational and career guidance services outside the library. By building networks with these service providers librarians could ensure that learners are given individual guidance by qualified counsellors. Based on information systems models, a theoretical framework is put forward that incorporates the main components of an educational and career guidance and information service, alternative career guidance service providers and the public library environment.
A perception study of WebCT as a basis for facilitating and encouraging learning at Coventry University (Business School)Source: Mousaion 27, pp 24 –42 (2009)More Less
To create a learning institution the principles, processes, organisational structures and technology applications of the institution need to assist people in sharing their knowledge (Pedler cited in Rowley [1998:16]). Skyrme (2003) defined knowledge management as the explicit and systematic management of vital knowledge and its associated processes of creating, gathering, organising, diffusion, use and exploitation. Personal knowledge must be turned into corporate knowledge that can be shared throughout an organisation and applied. Knowledge management brings together people, processes and technologies, enabling the organisation to use and share information more effectively (Oosterlink & Leuven 2002:12). The role of WebCT in creating a learning organisation at Coventry University (CU) is examined. Coventry Business School (CBS) students completed a structured questionnaire. Lecturers participated in semi-structured interviews and were selected using snowball sampling. The findings showed that students / lecturers view WebCT as a supplementary service rather than a replacement to classroom education. This is in line with CU's goal related to the enhancement of teaching and learning. Students valued the easy access to education via WebCT, thus WebCT assists CU in providing high quality learning to a diverse student population. The recommendations can be applied to institutions deciding on implementing electronic learning in creating a learning organisation.
Source: Mousaion 27, pp 43 –64 (2009)More Less
This article compares the representation of 10 purposefully selected LIS researchers in South Africa in Google Scholar (GS), Thomson Scientific's (herein referred to as ISI - Institute for Scientific Information) citation indexes, and Elsevier's Scopus, in order to determine whether or not Google Scholar is an alternative tool for evaluating research in developing countries, particularly those situated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Three indicators, namely the number of publications, the number of citations and the h-index, were used to measure the similarity or dissimilarity between the three databases / services in the coverage of South Africa's LIS documents. The data was also subjected to a Pearson correlation analysis to examine the relationship between GS and ISI, GS and Scopus and ISI and Scopus. Results show that GS covers more publications and citations than ISI and Scopus. There is a stronger correlation between GS and Scopus than there is between GS and ISI. We conclude that GS is an alternative service, but should be cautiously used when evaluating research in developing countries. Areas for further research are also recommended.
Experiences with a cross-country exploratory project to offer current awareness (CAS) services to oncology nursesSource: Mousaion 27, pp 65 –96 (2009)More Less
The Central Cancer Library (The Netherlands Cancer Institute) and the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria conducted a cross-country exploratory study to evaluate the current awareness service (CAS) offered by the Library via PUBMED. The intention was to determine satisfaction with the service, the topics of interest, the reasons for using the service and potential problems, and to pave the way for ongoing research that is manageable for library and information (LIS) practitioners and that can eventually make a theoretical contribution. The intention was furthermore to promote the service to South African oncology nurses as a method of staying abreast in their field : they have access to the library website and can access monthly updates on the topic(s) of their choice. Twenty eight oncology healthcare professionals (mostly oncology nurses) participated : 6 from The Netherlands and 22 from South Africa. For participants from The Netherlands it seems as if professional interest and evidence-based nursing are the most important reasons for using the CAS, and for South African participants it seems to be the need to offer a good service to patients. The value of small-scale evaluation projects and cooperation between academia and praxis was shown, and the way paved for continuation of the project.
Using selected models to explore the connection between information and communication technologies and poverty reduction in developing countriesSource: Mousaion 27, pp 97 –115 (2009)More Less
Within the context of development, there is now a general agreement that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are a powerful tool for development and poverty reduction. Thus, the central question for developing countries is not whether ICTs should be introduced for development purposes but rather, what will be the best way to implement ICTs with a focus on poverty reduction, and in a manner that facilitates developing countries to respond to the information society. Various models have been developed to explain the relationship between ICTs and development. This article presents an analysis of the models and assesses their applicability in the context of developing countries. Some of the challenges that developing countries face in leveraging ICTs for development are also highlighted. Finally, the article combines ideas from these models to come up with a tripartite ICT model for development framework that includes the best of all the discussed models.
Source: Mousaion 27, pp 116 –136 (2009)More Less
Records management is regarded as one of the pillars of good public management because government activities are based on access to information contained in records. However, despite this crucial role played by records and records management, there is a consensus amongst researchers that many organisations including government departments pay little attention to the management of records. In South Africa, government departments are under legislative obligation to adopt a systematic and organised approach to the management of records. For example, the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (Act No. 43 of 1996) requires government departments to develop, implement and maintain proper records management systems. This article explores records management trends in the South African public sector to establish if government departments are managing records according to legislative requirements. Data was collected through online questionnaires directed to records managers of all government departments and automatically analysed through an open source survey solution. The key findings of the study revealed that records managers are employed at a low level. The management echelon has also not shown commitment towards, and leadership in, records management in government departments. The article recommends that records management should be included in the balanced scorecards of all employees in government departments. As well, records managers should be appointed on managerial level rather than being designated. The article concludes by arguing that unless senior managers commit themselves to effective implementation of records management policies and strategies in government departments, the problem of service delivery and accountability in South Africa will persist.
Source: Mousaion 27, pp 137 –158 (2009)More Less
Consulting engineers are professionals who are either self-employed or work for a consulting engineering company. They do not all necessarily have formally organised information services, such as libraries, available in their companies to provide in their information needs. The objective is to report on a qualitative study investigating the information behaviour of a small group of self-employed consulting engineers working in Gauteng. A combination of convenience and snowball sampling was used to select the eleven responding consulting engineers for this study. Semi-structured time-line interviews were conducted to collect the data. The gap-metaphor in Dervin's sense-making approach was used to analyse the data. Leckie, Pettigrew and Sylvain's general model of the information-seeking of professionals provided the framework for the study. The results showed that consulting engineers rely heavily on people, personal files and personal knowledge for information. Other frequently used information sources include the Internet, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites and digital cameras. Consulting engineers need information from varied sources in the initial stages of a project. Information in the final stages of a project comes from the project itself. In conclusion comments are made on the use of Leckie et al's model and the gap-metaphor in Dervin's sense-making methodology.
The impact of policy changes in the education sector on the development of the book publishing industry in KenyaSource: Mousaion 27, pp 159 –174 (2009)More Less
This article explores the impact of policy changes in the education sector on the development of the book publishing sector in Kenya. The article begins by detailing the current status of the book publishing sector in Kenya. Then the interdependence between the education and book publishing sectors is highlighted. The government policies that have shaped the education system in Kenya are analysed with a view to establishing how they have affected the book publishing sector. An overview of the new school textbook policy that was introduced in 1998 is presented in order to show how it has influenced the textbook production and procurement. Then the introduction of the Free Primary Education (FPE) is discussed because it is the most recent development in the education sector that has provided tremendous impetus to the development of the book publishing industry in the country. The challenges encountered by the Government of Kenya in implementing the FPE and those faced by the book publishers in producing books for the school market are analysed. Finally, a way forward is proposed in the form of recommendations that can contribute to positive growth and mainstreaming of the school textbook publishing sub-sector in Kenya. A literature review approach is used in which sources that include newspapers, government and institutional websites, journals, books and dissertations have been consulted.
Google and the myth of universal knowledge, Jean-Noël Jeanneney (Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan) : book reviewAuthor Gerhard Van der LindeSource: Mousaion 27, pp 175 –181 (2009)More Less
The present book was originally published in France in 2005, under the title Quand Google défie l'Europe : plaidoyer pour un sursaut. Literally translated, this means : "When Google challenges Europe : plea for a jumpstart". This title already positions the book as a European response both to American cultural imperialism and to the impact of global capitalism. In the Foreword, the Canadian librarian and archivist Ian Wilson points out that some of the values that underpin Jeanneney's discourse are contained in the UNESCO Universal Declararion on Cultural Diversity, adopted in October 2005. The declaration states, amongst others, that "cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature", and, "the defense of cultural diversity is an ethical imperative, inseparable from respect for human dignity" (p x).
Navigating information literacy : your information society survival toolkit, T. Bothma, E. Cosijn, I. Fourie, C. Penzhorn : book reviewAuthor Madely Du PreezSource: Mousaion 27, pp 182 –183 (2009)More Less
Various forms of literacy have developed over centuries - and continue to develop - to communicate information among members of the society in which the literacy form had developed. Oral literacy, illiteracy, and literacy are examples of literacy forms that had developed during the agrarian and industrial societies. Each of these literacy forms required members of society to acquire certain literacy skills to survive or cope with the challenges posed to them by society.