Browsing by Department "Centre for Information Literacy"
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- ItemOpen AccessAre pre-compiled citation indexes of peer-reviewed journals an adequate control for research quality? A case study of library and information science(2005) Darch, Colin; Underwood, Peter GLooks at the South African Department of Education’s new recommendations for the evaluation of higher education research in South Africa, and examines two primary aspects: the use of pre-compiled journal lists from overseas, and the apparent reliance on peer review as a guarantee of quality. Pointing out that these are tried and tested standards of quality, the authors argue that there are nonetheless disciplinary differences between experimental sciences – such as physics or chemistry – and other disciplines that make these measures difficult to apply across the spectrum. They present an analysis of library and information science publications in the chosen lists and point to the weakness of the selection of titles in this discipline. In addition, there are extra difficulties for scientists from South Africa and the developing world in securing publication in premier international library and information science journals. The authors conclude by calling for the employment of other, additional evaluation measures in an integrated system.
- ItemOpen AccessDigital licence agreements and their effects on acquisitions and academic library users(2005) Masango, Charles AThe article examines the origin of print media copyright law and the fair dealing exemptions. It analyses whether the globally accepted assumptions that the print media fair dealing exemption is appropriate in the digital environment notwithstanding that corporate rights holders of online databases have introduced licences to govern the use of digital content. The article discusses the effects on acquisitions and academic library users of incorporating the print media fair dealing exemption in the digital licensing agreements.
- ItemOpen AccessInformation Literacy in Practice: engaging public library workers in rural South Africa(SAGE, 2007) De Jager, Karin; Nassimbeni, MaryMpumalanga Provincial Library Services, South Africa, offers public library services in a largely rural 'new' province created in 1996. Many of the libraries are in isolated areas and have to meet the very diverse needs of their communities. This paper reports the results of an information literacy intervention designed for public library workers in this province. The campaign, a first of its kind in Mpumalanga (and South Africa), gave public library workers the opportunity to develop their information literacy skills and to apply them in their libraries. This paper discusses the information and training needs that were identified, the campaigns that were constructed, their progress and the outcomes. From the outset, emphasis was placed on the importance of measuring and evaluating activities throughout their campaigns in order to be able to assess the impact of their interventions. The paper attempts to show what difference even small public libraries with unqualified library workers can make in tackling social exclusion in disadvantaged communities.
- ItemOpen AccessKnowledge management practices and challenges in international networked NGOs: the case of one world international(Academic Conferences Ltd., 2008) Smith, Gretchen J; Lumba, Patricia MweeneThis paper is based on the outcomes of a study that explored the knowledge management practices and challenges in an international NGO network. The investigation constituted comparative case studies of two centres (one in Zambia and the other in the Netherlands) belonging to a single international network. An empirically grounded framework of knowledge management practices based on the taxonomy proposed by Holsapple and Joshi was utilised as the reference framework for the study. The framework provided guidelines to characterize factors that influence organizational knowledge management; knowledge manipulation activities (processes) and organizational knowledge resources. The results of the empirical study confirm that a variety of factors affect knowledge management behaviours in an organization. These factors include managerial and internal controls such as management styles and incentives for knowledge creation and sharing; resource influences; and environmental influences relating to an organization's culture and the needs of partner organizations. The study highlights important variation in diversity, gaps and perceptions in managing knowledge between centres in the network that are based in Europe and Africa. This is despite significant communality in knowledge management processes and infrastructures. The results further show that institutionalization of knowledge management practices within a network seem to enable or constrain knowledge management at centre and network level. Recommendations are proposed to improve knowledge management practices at local and international level and include enhanced technical and advisory services at international level; capacity building; creating greater awareness of knowledge management; decentralization of knowledge management processes; implementation of a knowledge management strategy at network level and improving relationships between centres. The authors conclude that networked NGO's and specifically OWI could operate more efficiently and incrementally enhance service provision by leveraging their knowledge resources more effectively. It is in this light that knowledge management practices should be examined in NGOs and particularly networks with their complex structures and attendant reoccurring and unavoidable problems.
- ItemOpen AccessMapping social networks among crystallographers in South Africa(Academic Conferences Ltd., 2008) Smith, GretchenThe author adopts the premise that technological innovation, a critical factor in the long-term economic growth of any country, can only function successfully within a social environment that provides relevant knowledge and information inputs into the innovative process. This is dependent on the efficient transfer and communication of knowledge and information which in turn relates to the amount and quality of interaction among scientists and technologists. These factors prompted a research project that used social network analysis techniques to investigate knowledge exchange and to map the knowledge network structure and communication practices of a group of scientists engaged with crystallographic research. This paper is based on this research project. The findings provide clear evidence of a strong social network structure among crystallographers in South Africa. A core nucleus of prominent, well connected and interrelated crystallographers constituted the central network of scientists that provided the main impetus to keep the network active. This eminent group of crystallographers were not only approached far more frequently for information and advice than any of their colleagues, but they also frequently initiated interpersonal and formal information communication acts. It was clear that this core group had achieved a standard of excellence in their work, were highly productive; very visible in their professional community and they generally played a pivotal role in the social network. They generally maintained a high professional profile in the crystallography community and within the general field of science, published profusely, and generally emerged as the archetypal sociometric stars in their field. It is thus clear that high productivity, professional involvement, innovation capacity and network connectivity are intricately interwoven. The crystallographers' work environment and concomitant work structure clearly affected network interaction. Working in a group structure stimulated network interaction, professional activity and productivity. A further benefit was that the leaders of these groups generally assumed gatekeeper roles that facilitated networking and ensured the importation and interpretation of new information and knowledge. It was clear that social networks operate more effectively in areas, such as Gauteng, where a sufficient number of scientists were amassed.
- ItemOpen AccessOpening the library catalogue up to the Web: a view from South Africa(SAGE, 2007) De Jager, KarinWhile libraries still spend much time and money on building and maintaining catalogues according to accepted international standards, there is considerable evidence that users are inclined to bypass libraries and their catalogues in their search for information and to rely solely on information provided by web search engines. This paper discusses the different and sometimes conflicting needs of on the one hand instant information seekers and on the other the needs of scholars that may be better served by information not obtainable by web searching alone. It proposes that one way of promoting and facilitating catalogue use is to include records for remote electronic resources into online catalogues, so that information about both print and electronic resources could be retrieved by a single search. The paper concludes by reporting on a survey done at a training workshop on the cataloguing of electronic resources, which was held by the Library and Information Association of South Africa's Interest Group for Bibliographic Standards, in July 2006.
- ItemOpen AccessPlace, space and time: adult education experiences of learners and librarians in South African public libraries(De Gruyter, 2009) Nassimbeni, Mary; May, BevDrawing on results of a national survey, this article examines adult education in South African public libraries from the perspective of adult learners and librarians. Quantitative data from 589 libraries from the total sample of 1295 libraries was collected. This was supplemented by qualitative data collected during site visits to eleven libraries selected to cover geographical spread. The activities of the 26.7% of the libraries involved in adult education are analysed with a view to understanding the interventions through the experience and perceptions of the participants, and so arriving at an understanding of the contribution of the libraries' role in the fight against illiteracy which is acknowledged by the South African government as a serious impediment to its development efforts. An attempt is made to assess the extent to which the experiences in the libraries can be said to be particular to the local situation, or whether the lessons learned form part of a broader pattern of adult education policy and practice observed in other parts of the world, especially developing countries. It is concluded that, in spite of the modest scale of the interventions, the impact is sufficiently encouraging to recommend intensifying and spreading initiatives in the public library's drive for social inclusion.
- ItemOpen AccessPublic lending right: prospects in South Africa's public libraries?(2008) Masango, Charles A; Nicholson, Denise RosemaryThis paper examines the origin of the Public Lending Right and the UK Public Lending Right Act 1979. It analyses whether the public lending right (PLR) that exists in some European countries, Canada and Australia may form the basis of establishing a PLR in South Africa's public libraries following a debate by the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors' Association of South Africa (ANFASA) as to whether South African libraries needs to lobby for a PLR. The paper discusses possible obstacles that may inhibit the implementation of a PLR in South Africa's public libraries.
- ItemOpen AccessSupporting the information needs of entrepreneurs in South Africa(Emerald, 2009) Underwood, Peter GPurpose - The Library Business Corners (LBC) service for entrepreneurs in the Western Cape of South Africa uses public libraries as a channel for information and expertise. It is a 'grass roots', community-driven, approach which has been adopted elsewhere in South Africa. Similar services have appeared addressing the same, or similar, groups of users, often concentrating on the use of information and communication technology. Design/methodology/approach - Developing an effective service for entrepreneurs depends critically on the quality of staff and their contacts. The opportunities and problems of the LBCs' approach are identified and a response to the emergence of similar services is considered. The 'balanced score card' model is used to explore the vision and strategy of the present services and the potential contribution of information literacy. Findings - Financial support for LBC work is scarce and unlikely to increase. The challenge is to create a sustainable service by the LBC team as points of presence, using the existing or reduced financial base. Concentration on increasing capacity at the point of delivery of information through knowledge of the business environment and information literacy is essential. Originality/value - The paper describes the first application of the 'balanced score card' technique to a public library business information service in South Africa.
- ItemOpen AccessTwo societies: duality contradictions and integration: a progress report on South Africa(Taylor & Francis, 2007) Nassimbeni, Mary; Underwood, Peter GThis paper examines the extent to which the South African Library and Information Science (LIS) agenda maps to the national agenda for the reconstruction and development of the country, which is geared to the elimination of poverty and inequality. The nation has been described as comprising two societies: the one modern and well developed, the other characterised by masses of people living in dire poverty. The mandate of LIS in South Africa includes supporting and stimulating the technological and information development of all communities and providing effective LIS education to meet this goal. The government has embraced the concept of the Information Society, emphasising the link between economic growth and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and has pointed to the need for information literacy education. We present a critique of the fit between LIS policies and practices (including the curriculum) and the needs of an emerging democracy and its development goals, challenged by the duality of globalisation and marginalisation.