Mousaion - Volume 31, Issue 2, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 31, Issue 2, 2013
Source: Mousaion 31, pp 1 –12 (2013)More Less
In this article the complexities in understanding and developing information ethics in Africa are discussed, also through PEST analysis, using the authors' experience as Africans by largely interrogating African philosophical and ethics studies, and through discussions with eminent African scholars in this field. The research is aimed at informing African information ethics studies and establishing the uniqueness of African information ethics. The authors argue that there will be information ethics solely pursued in Africa, given its geographical, historical, cultural and technological background and development, but this does not isolate such information ethics from the rest of the world, provided interaction occurs between Africa and the rest of the world.
Source: Mousaion 31, pp 13 –28 (2013)More Less
Many countries around the world have visions or dreams of becoming information and knowledge societies. These countries wish to benefit from the many advantages that such societies offer, including improved communication, better education and the reduction of poverty, to mention but a few. However, many countries and communities around the world (especially in Africa) are not part of the information and knowledge society yet, due to barriers such as the digital divide (Holmner 2008). Authors such as Webster (2002), Britz et al (2006) and Holmner (2008) have identified criteria that define an information and knowledge society. These criteria address economic, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, physical infrastructure, and social and human intellectual capacity aspects. Based on these criteria, it is clear that Rwanda, which forms the subject of this study, is not yet an information and knowledge society. This article presents facts on how mobile phone technology such as the Village Phone (VP) can help Rwanda become an information and knowledge society. Qualitative research methods were applied in the form of a literature review and semi-structured interviews which were conducted with the VP users in five Rwandan districts. The results of the study showed that while the adoption of the VP may assist Rwanda to adhere to some criteria of the information and knowledge society (namely the economic and the ICT infrastructure criteria), while slightly assisting adherence to the social criterion, adoption of the VP is not assisting Rwanda to adhere to the physical infrastructure and human intellectual capacity criteria at all. The study further found that if the VP were used in a different manner it could meet more of the required criteria to help Rwanda become an information and knowledge society.
A theoretical framework for the study of agricultural knowledge and information systems in a developing countrySource: Mousaion 31, pp 29 –57 (2013)More Less
With poverty and hunger growing in sub-Saharan Africa, increased agricultural productivity is urgently required. Agricultural extension services should improve their delivery to those small-scale farmers who play a key role in production. There is a need to build on previous research focusing on the integration and sharing of knowledge from different sources, and into the role of small-scale farmers in an agricultural knowledge and information system (AKIS). Studying an AKIS requires a broad theoretical framework to explain its different facets comprehensively. This article reviews perspectives, theories, concepts and models for studying the AKIS of small-scale farmers. A critical review and analysis of the literature, it offers a holistic theoretical framework to underpin research, to ensure a deep understanding of the complexities of the AKIS of such farmers in a developing country context.
Source: Mousaion 31, pp 58 –77 (2013)More Less
Public dialogue can widen the knowledge base for decision making to make public policy and programmes more effective and accountable, in line with citizens' priorities. Audience research can enhance the relevance of a communication strategy to its objectives and to participants' needs and communication preferences. Audience research designs based on diffusion models of communication are, however, inadequate for the participatory objectives of public dialogue. This article, based on a Master's study by Kruger (2012), supports the use of a "double-dialogical" approach for designing audience research for communication strategies that emphasise participation. This approach emphasises listening over telling, building relationships over interrogating targets, and optimising inclusivity in determining communication objectives, identifying participants, framing issues, and selecting channels for deliberative dialogue. A corresponding framework of guidelines is offered for design and evaluation purposes in scholarly and practitioner communities, and can be adapted for various contexts of application. The article notes how the guidelines can be applied to evaluate the public consultation process of the Library and Information Services Transformation Charter, implemented in South Africa in 2009.
Did we captivate them? Perceptions of second-year students about the library's information literacy online tutorialsAuthor Naomi VisserSource: Mousaion 31, pp 78 –91 (2013)More Less
At Stellenbosch University the Department of Information Science is responsible for the mandatory Information Skills 172 and 174 programmes for first-year students in four faculties. In 2009 the faculty librarians were asked to create screencast online tutorials on certain library skills, and in 2010 a focus-group discussion was conducted to determine what students' perceptions were of the influence of these tutorials on their ability to find information for assignments. The findings indicate that the tutorials were not as successful as the library had hoped, and that the library should work at not only improving the tutorials, but also bringing them to the attention of the students.
Towards compiling an annotated bibliography of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission : trials and tribulationsSource: Mousaion 31, pp 92 –114 (2013)More Less
When the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established and began its work during the early part of 1995, with the intention of contributing to nation-building, it generated widespread interest from various quarters for a variety of reasons. While journalists wrote about the TRC's effects on South African society while it was in session, academics analysed different aspects of the TRC to gauge whether it produced important findings that were of relevance to the international community. As a result of their extensive and rich outputs in the popular media and in peer-reviewed journals, the TRC invariably attracted the attention of another set of interested individuals, namely bibliographers who had also witnessed the TRC proceedings unfolding. They, as stakeholders, realised that the TRC had gradually generated a vast body of knowledge that needed to be monitored and recorded in a useful compilation that would serve many local and international researchers, scholars and academics. Although by the beginning of 2000 a handful of these bibliographers had their works published on the Internet and in journals, none of them annotated their entries - with only one exception; in response to this glaring 'shortcoming', The South African TRC: an annotated bibliography was prepared.
The purpose of this article is to reflect on the trials and tribulations of compiling, annotating and editing The South African TRC: an annotated bibliography, which was published by the New York-based Nova Science at the end of 2009. The aim is to assess the bibliographical articles/compilations published and in progress by the end of 2008, and thereafter the argument is about why and how this bibliography differed from those that had been published or were in the process of being published. Apart from sharing thoughts about the decision-making process that pertained to the overall presentation of the bibliography, the author prefaces the discussion with a detailed reflection on the process of knowledge production - a process inextricably tied to the compilation and formatting of this bibliography.
The effects of climate change in preserving the past and enhancing the future of legal deposit in South AfricaSource: Mousaion 31, pp 115 –134 (2013)More Less
With the current problems of global warming and climate change, preservationists are applying green construction principles to depositories and archival facilities (Henry 2008:3; Kim 2008; Nsibirwa 2012:73). Collections stewards, architects and engineers face design challenges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop an adaptive response to climate trends (Henry 2008:3). A 2012 study by Nsibirwa (2012) of the preservation of, and access to, legal deposit materials found that climate change can affect the buildings that are the most important source of security to the materials stored in them.
One of the objectives of the doctoral study on which the article is based, was to find out what activities and strategies are used to preserve the materials, as well as to provide a way forward in the preservation of South Africa's cultural heritage. The units of analysis in this study were four legal deposit libraries and three official publications depositories. In this study the population comprised a total of 17 members of staff: three heads of libraries and 14 librarians. The survey of legal depositories found that preservation activities are generally underdeveloped as a result of various factors, including insufficient funding. Yet, there is a greater need than ever for preservation, since predictions are that temperatures, rising seas, rainfall and flooding will continue to increase due to climate change and global warming. These conditions will lead to a shift in approaches to preservation, including looking at what poses the greatest threat when it comes to climate change. The study found that depositories may need to revert to some ancient as well as new sustainable approaches to offset the effects of climate change. The article puts forward a number of practical solutions to ensure that the environment in which materials are kept, is suitable.
Source: Mousaion 31, pp 135 –153 (2013)More Less
Traditionally, learners obtain information from newspapers, books, encyclopedias and magazines, i.e. printed media. This traditional mode of acquiring information should continue, but the learning experience can be greatly enhanced and enriched by using social media or Web 2.0 technologies. Examples of such technologies include collaborative projects (e.g., Wikis), blogs and microblogs (e.g., Twitter), content communities (e.g., YouTube), social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), virtual game worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft) and virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life). The use of social media in enhancing and enriching reading could be guided by social interaction learning principles that encourage active learning through the interaction of learners with capable individuals, software and educational material over social networks.
There are concerns regarding the use of social media, such as addiction to online games, music and live chatting, as well as teacher-student online relationships. While social media technologies can improve a learner's educational experience substantially, the danger is that overindulgence by learners can lead to dependence, fixation or even addiction, to the point where the learner finds it difficult to function without these technologies. Furthermore, some of the experiences from social media may be of little educational value if the technology is used without a learning theory to guide it.
This article aims to contribute to the scholarly debate on how social media technologies can be used constructively to enhance and enrich the reading skills of the various learners with access to these technologies. Arguments for and against the use of social media technologies in schools will be discussed and critiqued. Furthermore, the authors suggest how teachers, parents and social network providers should be socially accountable for learners' technology use.