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- Volume 77, Issue 2, 2011
South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - Volume 77, Issue 2, 2011
Volume 77, Issue 2, 2011
Author Patrick NgulubeSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77 (2011)More Less
This issue contains seven research articles on a variety of topics, and two general contributions. The first article, by Mary Nassimbeni and Snoeks Desmond, presents the results of a research project which investigated the effects of the provision of story books in twenty disadvantaged primary schools in rural South Africa. The recipients of the donation were children in deprived areas, growing up in print-poor environments. A qualitative approach was adopted to collect data before the intervention, and six months after the book donation which included a comprehensive training programme in the use of the books. Their conclusions and recommendations are very instructive. Among other things, they recommend that innovation in teaching approaches associated with the use of books should be accompanied by careful training, and benign monitoring.
Availability of books as a factor in reading, teaching and learning behaviour in twenty disadvantaged primary schools in South AfricaAuthor Mary NassimbeniSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 95 –103 (2011)More Less
The purpose of the research project was to investigate the effects of the provision of story books in twenty disadvantaged primary schools in rural South Africa. The recipients of the donation were children in deprived areas, growing up in print-poor environments. The programme theory of the donor organisation, Biblionef, is that access to attractive age-appropriate books will have beneficial effects such as improved literacy skills, the promotion of confidence and improvement in learning. A qualitative approach was adopted to collect data before the intervention, and six months after the book donation, which included a comprehensive training programme in the use of the books. During the site visits, observation schedules were used; also focus groups of both teachers and children. We were able to chart impact in a number of areas such as improved availability and use of books in fifteen of the schools, with respect to both classroom activities and voluntary reading. In five schools there was no appreciable change. We recommend that innovation in teaching approaches associated with the use of books should be accompanied by careful training, and benign monitoring.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 104 –115 (2011)More Less
The purpose of this study completed in 2010 was to investigate the use of e-books amongst academic librarians; in particular which e-books are available to academic librarians, why they choose this format, what impact e-books have on librarians' professional practice and what the usage patterns of e-books are amongst academic librarians. A web-based questionnaire was distributed on the LIASA mailing list. The results reflect a more gradual trend towards e-book adoption. There is still a preference for print or a "bit of both" - print and electronic. This is because of the high costs of e-books using the subscription model as the predominant e-book acquisition model and the lack of sufficient e-books in all subject fields. E-books are used for "browsing for information" and are selected for functionalities such as having the ability to search the document, anytime access and automatic citation. Major problems identified with e-books are: the cost of the equipment to read e-book formats; the cost of the e-books, especially if the subscription purchasing model is used; the lack of reliability of the Internet; and the lack of training in the use of e-books.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 116 –124 (2011)More Less
The purpose of this study was to identify the performance measurements used for the evaluation of quality in Kenyan university libraries, with the aim of determining the perceptions of university librarians towards performance measurement. The study established that the majority of the university librarians considered 25 of the 26 performance indicators important. More than 60% of them considered 11 of the 20 performance indicators very important. The study recommends the use of nine performance criteria and 26 indicators for the evaluation of the quality of university libraries.
Availability and utilisation of information and communication technologies for service delivery : a South African case studySource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 125 –137 (2011)More Less
This study is based on a Master's thesis that investigated whether the availability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in government offices within the boundaries of uMhlatuze Municipality improved their ability to deliver effective e-services. The South African government has initiated several ICT initiatives to enable its departments to improve and speed up service delivery to the public. Government departments have been endowed with a number of ICT tools to assist in this process. Despite these efforts, complaints about the lack of service delivery still abound. Three government departments were targeted using questionnaires and interviews. The major findings suggest that various ICTs are available and are used by the staff, but not necessarily for service delivery. Lack of computers and Internet access was identified as a major challenge. The study also found that there is an urgent need for basic training on all the ICT tools available in the offices. It is recommended that a resource and capacity survey is necessary in all the offices to identify shortcomings in the system in order to improve service delivery. Failing this, e-government service delivery will not meet its potential. Additionally, governmental databases should be made available in all the offices so that the services can be delivered locally and not have to be re-routed through either regional or head offices.
The strategic importance of identifying knowledge-based and intangible assets for generating value, competitiveness and innovation in sub-Saharan AfricaAuthor Ezra Ondari-OkemwaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 138 –154 (2011)More Less
This article discusses the strategic importance of identifying intangible assets for creating value and enhancing competitiveness and innovation in science and technology in a knowledge economy with particular reference to the sub-Saharan Africa region. It has always been difficult to gather the prerequisite information to manage such assets and create value from them. The paper discusses the nature of intangible assets, the characteristics of a knowledge economy and the role of knowledge workers in a knowledge economy. The paper also discusses the importance of identifying intangible assets in relation to capturing the value of such assets, the transfer of intangible assets to other owners and the challenges of managing organizational intangible assets. Objectives of the article include: underscoring the strategic importance of identifying intangible assets in sub-Saharan Africa; examining the performance of intangible assets in a knowledge economy; how intangible assets may generate competitiveness, economic growth and innovation; and assess how knowledge workers are becoming a dominant factor in the knowledge economy. An extensive literature review was employed to collect data for this article. It is concluded in the article that organizations and governments in sub-Saharan Africa should look at knowledge-based assets as strategic resources, even though the traditional accounting systems may still be having problems in determining the exact book value of such assets. It is recommended that organizations and government departments in sub-Saharan Africa should implement a system of the reporting of the value of intangible organizational assets just like the reporting of the value of tangible assets; and that organizations in sub-Saharan Africa should use knowledge to produce "smart products and services" which command premium prices.
Author Omwoyo Bosire OnyanchaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 155 –168 (2011)More Less
The purpose of this paper is to highlight salient patterns of post-graduate research in information and knowledge management (I&KM) in LIS (Library and Information Science / Studies) schools in South Africa. The data was extracted from two SABINET (South African Bibliographic and Information Network)-hosted databases, namely the Current and Completed Research (C&CR) and the Union Catalogue of Theses and Dissertations (UCTD). Data was analyzed in order to find out the coverage of I&KM research in the databases; identify the topics of I&KM research; to examine trends in I&KM post-graduate research in South Africa; to determine the academic level at which I&KM research is mostly conducted; to find out the qualifications under which I&KM research is conducted; and to identify the study leaders (or supervisors) and institutions behind I&KM research in South Africa. The study found that there is an increased interest in I&KM by post-graduate students in South Africa; the main topics of research are related to Library and Information Science (LIS) and Business Science; the majority of the study leaders belong to the discipline of LIS; and that the most productive institutions are universities and more particularly, the universities that not only lead in the national research output but also those which have LIS departments. Recommendations for further research are also offered.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 169 –178 (2011)More Less
This paper presents a macro- and micro-level comparison of the citation resources Web of Science (WOS), Scopus and Google Scholar (GS) for the environmental sciences scholarly journals in South Africa during 2004-2008. The macro-level measuring instruments consisted of 26 evaluation criteria with the following broad categories: content, access, services, interface, searching, search results, cost, citation and analytical tools, and linking abilities. The micro-level measuring instrument's evaluation criteria represented the data fields of the journal records to establish comprehensivity. The macro-level evaluation results indicated that Scopus surpassed both WOS and GS whereas the micro-level evaluation results indicated that WOS surpassed both Scopus and GS. Based on the macro- and micro-level evaluation results the study was able to establish that GS is not yet a substitute but rather a supplementary citation resource for the fee-based WOS and / or Scopus for the South African international accredited scholarly environmental sciences journals during the period 2004-2008.
How to overcome some of the challenges that African scholars are facing in conducting informetrics researchAuthor Isola AjiferukeSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 179 –183 (2011)More Less
This article provides evidence to show that the contributions of African researchers to the informetrics literature are minimal. The three main challenges identified as limiting the contributions of African scholars to the informetrics literature are lack of appropriate skills, inadequate data collection sources, and unaffordable analytical tools. To overcome these challenges, it is suggested that regular pre-conference workshops on informetrics should be organized, an African Citation Index should be developed, and the use of free analytical tools should be encouraged.
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 77, pp 184 –190 (2011)More Less
Postgraduate research is a form of study offered by a university or an institution of advanced learning. The emphasis of postgraduate research is on developing systematic skills of investigation in research process. It is not necessarily aimed at producing ground breaking innovation or extending knowledge as is commonly perceived. Most postgraduate research involves basic and to a lesser extent applied and / or collaborative research. This article is an offshoot of a paper presented at the Department of Information Studies (University of Zululand, South Africa) Annual Conference from 10-11 September 2009. The article discusses the challenges of postgraduate research with special reference to universities in Africa. The author proffers suggestions on minimizing the challenges of postgraduate research faced by university institutions in Africa.