Mousaion - Volume 28, Issue 1, 2010
Volumes & issues
Volume 28, Issue 1, 2010
Author Peter Ralph CoatesSource: Mousaion 28, pp 1 –13 (2010)More Less
The published documents produced by and for the Parliament of the Cape of Good Hope contain a mass of primary data and continue to be relevant to current research particularly in the humanities. Compete sets of documents were distributed widely to Colonial and other libraries. This paper offers techniques by which these sets of documents in libraries and archives may be accessed through the use of printed bibliographies and by means of electronic resources on the Internet. Future trends are mentioned. Recommendations include first and foremost the need to compile a comprehensive analytical bibliography providing subject analysis in addition to title listing, and secondly, the pressing need to make digital surrogates of these documents in view of the sadly deteriorated state of a large proportion of the printed originals and to enable the contents to be more conveniently consulted.
Source: Mousaion 28, pp 14 –33 (2010)More Less
This article relates to the management of medical records held at Gwanda Provincial Hospital, in Zimbabwe. The broad objective of this study was to determine medical record keeping practices for patient records at the hospital and to make recommendations for their better management and care. Direct observation, interviews, and questionnaires were the major data collection instruments used in the study. The major findings of the study revealed that there are a number of laws in the country that govern the management of information held by government departments but there is no legislation specific to the management of medical records. The study showed that the hospital does not have a medical records management policy either. The absence of such a policy results in the indefinite retention of records, crowding office space. The study also revealed that procedures for managing medical records are largely manual and that there is no control of records from the point of creation to disposition. The hospital does not maintain an index of all patients attended at the facility resulting in a chaotic system of records and hospital numbering. Other findings of the study revealed that the hospital lacks a records retention and disposition schedule resulting in the permanent retention of records of ephemeral value. The Health Information Unit (HIU) is understaffed with only one trained member of staff in health information management. Based on these findings the study recommends that there is need for the formulation of a medical records management policy. Registration procedures need to be improved through proper filing and development of file classification systems. The article also recommends that a further study be undertaken on how the National Archives of Zimbabwe can play an active role in reforming medical records management systems in government hospitals in Zimbabwe.
Author C.J.B. Le RouxSource: Mousaion 28, pp 34 –44 (2010)More Less
The aim of this paper is to briefly examine the history of the concepts Social Informatics and Community Informatics. Research for the paper is largely based on internet resources and published works where available.
Social Informatics and Community Informatics have both become popular and well established multi-disciplinary areas of study at institutions around the world. While the popularisation of Social Informatics is largely attributed to Rob Kling and his colleagues at Indiana University in the late 1990s, Community Informatics is a more recent development that only became formalised in 2003 with the establishment of a research network. The "father" of Community Informatics is Michael Gurstein, a contemporary of Kling.
While Kling and his associates are credited with the popularisation of Social Informatics as an important area of study on the relationship between information technology and the different components of society not everyone is aware of the fact that the concept had its origins almost half a century ago in Europe. The University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, for instance, has been offering a degree in Social Informatics since 1985. A comprehensive list of references and links to Social Informatics resources and institutions around the world that offer single courses (combining methodology and informatics on a one hand and social sciences on the other, but have different names) or full degrees in Social Informatics, can be found on the university's website. (Social Informatics, Study Programs).
In South Africa, the University of Stellenbosch is currently the only institution offering a full degree program in Social Informatics through the Department of Socio-Informatics.
Internet use among students St. Joseph's Theological Institute in South Africa : empirical findings and implications for network literacyAuthor Patrick NgulubeSource: Mousaion 28, pp 45 –61 (2010)More Less
Although a review of the literature shows that there are numerous studies on the use of the Internet, the unparalleled growth of the World Wide Web makes it incumbent upon researchers to continually study patterns of use and users' information seeking behaviour. In that regard, a study was carried out at St. Joseph's Theological Institute in South Africa in 2007 to investigate Internet use with the focus on the assessment of the level of network literacy among students. Network literacy - the ability of the end-user to identify, access and use electronic information resources from the information network, is cited as one of the factors influencing the use of the Internet. Data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire and an in-depth interview with the Librarian. Findings revealed that the major problems facing the Internet users at St. Joseph's were the shortage of computers and lack of training in the use of Internet services. Further, students did not use a wide variety of Internet resources such as search engines and computer - mediated communication tools effectively. Recommendations in aid of improving Internet use and network literacy at the Institute were made. Other institutions using the Internet may benefit from this study if the problems that are highlighted in this study are relevant.
Source: Mousaion 28, pp 62 –88 (2010)More Less
The article gives a critical evaluation of the contributions of various authors to a study of the information user in occupational context with the aim of developing a theoretical framework for a study of the information behaviour of the engineer. Theoretical models which are applicable to a study of this user group are analysed, in particular Leckie, Pettigrew and Sylvain's (1996) general model of the information seeking of professionals and Dervin's (1983) sense-making approach. Dervin's (1983) model was found to be useful in determining the contextual information needs of engineers and the outcomes of information-seeking. Leckie et al's (1996) model was used as a theoretical framework for studying the information needs and information-seeking behaviour of consulting engineers in Du Preez's (2008) study since it accommodates the work roles and tasks of the engineer. However, it was found to have several shortcomings. These limitations are addressed in this article in an attempt to clarify various concepts and to include different facets of the information behaviour of engineers in an extensively revised framework. Finally, a theoretical model is put forward that accommodates the various project-related stages in engineering tasks and the personal, work-related and information contexts of the engineer's information behaviour.
Impact of the 2009 economic recession on public / community library services in South Africa : perceptions of librarians from the Metropolitan Municipality of TshwaneAuthor Nampombe Mnkeni-SaurombeSource: Mousaion 28, pp 89 –105 (2010)More Less
The South African recession started officially in May 2009 (Statistics SA 2009). This recessionary environment spelt a bleak period for a country that already has socioeconomic problems such as poverty and high unemployment. This paper explores the impact of the 2009 recession on public and /or community libraries in South Africa. Eight provincial library directors and twenty nine librarians or library assistants from the Metropolitan Municipality of Tshwane participated in this study. Findings suggest that the impact of the latest recession on libraries in South Africa has been moderate. This fact is tremendously attributed to the provision of a conditional grant by the National Department of Arts and Culture for the period of 2007 till 2013. In spite of this fact libraries still face budget related challenges. The Tshwane librarians perceived that libraries are essential during an economic downturn as reflected in the rise in library use, increase in circulation of library materials, greater need for photocopying services and users needing more assistance with computer use. Though faced with fiscal challenges, library managers are encouraged to be creative and innovative to ensure that library services are not compromised.
Source: Mousaion 28, pp 106 –127 (2010)More Less
This paper is the result of the Uganda Library and Information Workforce Planning Project that was conducted among LIS professionals and institutions that employ them. The project was conducted to identify, analyse and forecast the structure of the workforce and match this structure to the requirements of the country. Questionnaires requesting in-depth information were sent to over 350 information workers and 187 were returned duly filled. More information was obtained from institutions that represent the general pattern of LIS workforce needs in the country. Target LIS institutions were selected to ensure that all LIS major stakeholders are involved in the study. The survey involved: supply analysis, competency analysis, trends analysis, demand analysis, gap analysis and solution analysis. Findings show that essential information for Library and Information Science workforce planning is lacking and yet substantial efforts are needed to build a credible LIS workforce for Uganda. Systematic and substantive evidence of the match between skills and competencies demanded by employers is needed so that EASLIS and stakeholders can take appropriate action.
Source: Mousaion 28, pp 128 –148 (2010)More Less
There are several trust building models in consumer-supply environments, but e-government being a recent innovation has no such well defined model at this point in time. Such trust building model for e-government is needed to demystify the e-government concept and help effective adoption and use of e-government services by citizens and other stakeholders. This paper is situated in developing countries' context with evolving democracies and a history of bad governance characterised by authoritarian rule, lack of accountability and rule of law, limited transparency and little respect for human rights. The objectives of the paper are four-fold: first to demystify e-government concept; secondly to review trust building models from a cross disciplinary perspective; thirdly, to assess attempts being made by some jurisdictions to build citizens trust in e-government and shortcomings of such attempts; and finally, to propose an integrated model for building trust of citizens in e-government.
E-government is a complex field which, for the most part, remains unexplored. Besides, e-government, presents a new approach to improving service delivery to citizens with minimal contact with the service provider, except through technology. E-government is composed of various kinds of interactions, such as Business to Business (B2B), Citizens to Government (C2G), Government to Government (G2G), and Business to Government (B2G), which raise a number of ethical issues such as, system acceptability; usability of a system; system's security; interactivity; interoperability; data protection; intellectual property rights; freedom of information; universal access; privacy; confidentiality; accountability; transparency; respect for human rights, multilingualism; user satisfaction; quality of the service; system availability; transversality of processes and data to mention a few. These issues have implications for citizens' trust in e-government. Models are important tools for understanding or studying a complex problem or phenomena such as e-government. We propose an integrated model for building citizens' trust in e-government. Our proposed model is considered to be a work in progress and we invite further research to test it. It is hoped that this model would help to develop e-government environments that are trustworthy and useable by citizens. It is not meant to be one-size-fits all, but generic model that would be tailor-made for each type of e-government interaction.