Mousaion - Volume 29, Issue 1, 2011
Volumes & issues
Volume 29, Issue 1, 2011
The road less travelled : a critical reflection on infrastructure development in Africa from a perspective of the new economics of informationSource: Mousaion 29, pp 1 –16 (2011)More Less
Many developed countries claim today the status of knowledge societies, since they have invested heavily in human capacity building as well as in the development of an efficient information infrastructure that is supported by a physical infrastructure comprising a network of roads, railways, airports and harbours. For many countries on the African continent this has become a highway less travelled, as these countries lack efficient and cost-effective information infrastructure development. This goes (in many cases) hand in hand with an inability to benefit economically from the application of modern information and communication technology (ICT). However, it has become imperative that information infrastructure investment should go hand in hand with aggressive physical infrastructure development. Africa will only bear the economic fruit of investment in information technology if it is supported by the further development of its roads, railways, airports and harbours. Without these there can be very little economic progress.
An assessment of Makerere University Library and Information Science students' participation in field attachmentsSource: Mousaion 29, pp 17 –36 (2011)More Less
Government and employers alike expect universities to provide "work ready" graduates who have the professional skills and knowledge necessary to fit and deliver quality service in the workplace. Providing students with authentic learning experiences that are needed to acquire these skills is an ongoing challenge for universities in Uganda and across the globe. It is therefore necessary for a university to build linkages with stakeholder - particularly employers - for sustainability and growth. Such linkages provide an avenue for university graduates to acquire practical training and workplace exposure through field attachments. This study was conducted at the East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), Makerere University in Uganda, to establish the categories or types of organisations where students do field attachments; to determine the types of tasks assigned to students during field attachment; to establish students' opinions towards the field attachment programme; to determine the benefits students derive from participating in field attachments; to determine the challenges field attachments pose; and to propose strategies to improve on field attachments for library and information science (LIS) education in Uganda. Data were collected from third-year students who had participated in field attachments as part of their LIS education and training at EASLIS. Data collected using a structured questionnaire give informative pointers for LIS policymakers, academics, LIS curriculum designers, practitioners and organisations on how best field attachments can be conducted and managed in LIS education and training. The study highlights the tasks students participated in during field attachments and tasks they would prefer to participate in. It also highlights major benefits and challenges of field attachments, and recommends a number of solutions to some of the problems facing field attachments at EASLIS.
The ability of adolescents with hearing loss in special schools to access and use academic material in three provinces in South AfricaSource: Mousaion 29, pp 37 –55 (2011)More Less
This study aimed to determine the ability of a specific group of adolescents with hearing loss to access and use academic information in order to establish the kind of support that might be required for adolescents with hearing loss. Adolescents with hearing loss who have a language delay because of this loss experience problems with access to formal as well as informal academic material. Children with severe hearing loss need special education and the teacher should receive in-service training. This is necessary because children with this degree of hearing loss have a serious language delay, and need special help in all language skills, language-based academic subjects, vocabulary, grammar, pragmatism, reading and writing (HMIE 2007:16). They also have a lack of prior knowledge to assist them in all their language skills (HMIE 2007:26). The participants of this study were adolescents with hearing loss, and teachers and media teachers at special schools that cater for adolescents with hearing loss. Questionnaires were distributed to 326 adolescents with hearing loss, 19 teachers, and six media teachers. In addition, the researcher observed 48 adolescents with hearing loss while they completed an assignment in a media centre. The results indicated that these young people found it difficult to access and use academic information. They used academic information mainly during class and after school when they needed to, and there was not much consensus as to the purpose for which they used it. Over 50% of the participants were not able to trace other sources. Various factors were identified which influenced their ability to access and to use academic information, such as degree of hearing loss, literacy skills and information literacy skills, communication and poor cognitive skills. In the media centre the adolescents were not able to execute an assignment on academic information with ease. This was because they had difficulties with bibliographical details and a lack of knowledge about finding and accessing information (HMIE 2007:26). Suggestions are made for an information literacy programme for adolescents with hearing loss so that they could develop the relevant skills to access and use academic information.
Source: Mousaion 29, pp 56 –75 (2011)More Less
This article is based on a Master's study, which investigated the ability of law students to search the electronic databases of the University of Botswana (UB) library and their perceptions of the information literacy course offered by the library. The study population consisted of 362 undergraduate law students. Data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire. The results showed that most of the undergraduate law students used the library's electronic databases and benefitted from the information literacy course offered by the library.
Intellectual freedom and academic freedom : some challenges and opportunities for academic libraries in AfricaAuthor Albert Arko-CobbahSource: Mousaion 29, pp 76 –95 (2011)More Less
Whenever the issue of academic freedom is raised in African universities, the role of the academic librarian appears unnoticed. This is not surprising since a number of African universities are yet to accord faculty status to librarians in their institutions. This article, therefore, aims to bring to the fore the unique role the academic librarian plays in advancing the cause of academic freedom in institutions of higher learning in Africa, and the challenges faced by the profession. It also touches on the available opportunities aimed at enhancing librarianship, and ensuring democracy and good governance in general. Intellectual freedom is one of the most closely held core values of librarianship. The right to think what we please and to say what we think serves as the bedrock principle upon which we base all other freedoms. To the librarian, intellectual freedom takes the form of the right to receive ideas, that is, to access information. The library's quest for intellectual freedom, which encompasses academic freedom, though it extends beyond the academy to the essential principles of freedom of thought, freedom of enquiry and freedom of expression, is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through the introduction of instruments such as the Library Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, the library profession has been advancing the cause for academic freedom in our universities.
Communal reading as a way to foster a reading culture : the One Book One Library project at the University of JohannesburgAuthor Anette Janse van VurenSource: Mousaion 29, pp 96 –111 (2011)More Less
The article gives a brief overview of literacy and reading in South Africa and explores the current reading culture in the country. Organisations working towards improving literacy and strengthening the South African reading culture focus on young children and teenagers. There are very few reading projects aimed at developing a reading culture among university students. The One Book One Library project at the University of Johannesburg has the long-term objective of creating a reading culture at the university. The article discusses the critical success factors for the project that asks the university community to "read the same book at the same time", as well as the benefits of the project for both the readers and the library.
The adoption of open access scholarly communication in Tanzanian public universities : some influencing factorsAuthor F.W. DulleSource: Mousaion 29, pp 112 –135 (2011)More Less
Open access is a means for free availability of scholarly content via the internet. It is an emerging opportunity for wider and unlimited access to scholarly literature. Scholarly communication, through open access journals and self-arching, are the two main approaches of open access publishing. However, this mode of scholarly communication is not widely utilised in developing countries such as Tanzania. This article discusses the factors that influence the adoption of open access for scholarly communication in Tanzanian public universities, based on a study conducted in 2008 using a survey questionnaire. A sample of 544 researchers, selected through stratified random sampling from a population of 1 088 researchers and 69 policymakers at six public universities in Tanzania, provided their views. It was evident from the findings that researchers' internet usage skills and self-efficacy, social influence, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and the respondents' general perceptions about open access were the positive factors likely to facilitate open access adoption. The current poor research conditions and researchers' low internet self-efficacy (such as inadequate information search skills) were cited as the main hindrances for researchers to use open access outlets to access scholarly content. It is therefore recommended that university policies on scholarly communication should be revised to incorporate the use of open access publishing. Furthermore, universities should accelerate the establishment of institutional repositories, advocacy campaigns and training directed at researchers, policymakers, readers and information managers of scholarly content, and the improvement of internet speed through subscription to more bandwidth, so as to meet the demand from the scholarly community.
Source: Mousaion 29, pp 136 –154 (2011)More Less
Identifying the literacy and reading needs of learners and meeting such needs with appropriate and timely intervention pose great challenges to countries with low literacy levels such as Nigeria. While some countries are concerned with "Responses to Intervention (RTI)" models, others are yet to identify specific reading problems peculiar to their nations, not to mention fashioning out workable and research-based intervention strategies for struggling readers. In this study, we report on an ongoing initiative to identify and analyse the common oral reading problems that hamper the oral reading fluency of primary school pupils in a semi-urban community in Cross River State, Nigeria. Using the process of intervention, the study reveals that the oral reading ability of learners who use English as a second language can be improved upon and can be based on well-known and common reading and literacy learning strategies. Through instruction in phonemic awareness, word consciousness, read aloud and shared reading, struggling readers were unable to improve on their oral reading after an intervention that lasted three weeks. While we acknowledge the challenges such an intervention generates, we conclude that reading and literacy intervention programmes are desirable for struggling readers to improve on their oral reading ability, especially in less developed countries such as Nigeria.
Author Lekoko KenosiSource: Mousaion 29, pp 155 –167 (2011)More Less
Archival theory tells us that the records of any organisation can never be fully understood without an analysis of the mission and mandate of that organisation. Archival jargon calls this art of deconstruction 'functional analysis'. Also, archival theory, enunciated in the famous Dutch Manual, dictates that the administrative history of any organisation is key not only to the intellectual control of documents but also to their contextual comprehension. With these concepts in mind this author seeks to discuss the records of the South African truth commission by first addressing the commission's mandate and history. By so doing the author hopes that a historical narrative of this body will provide a contextual understanding of South Africa's truth commission records.