Technikon Southern Africa

Erasmus, Sandra. “Information Literacy and Distance Education: The Challenge of Addressing the Lack of (Basic) Information Skills in a Lifelong Learning Environment: A Case Study.” Mousaion 19 no. 2 (2001): 15-22.
At the heart of the Technikon Southern Africa’s mission is the development of lifelong learners. To advance this goal, the Gold Fields Library and Information Centre (GLIC) has implemented a three-year information literacy project for the Technikon’s 65,000 students scattered throughout Southern Africa. This User Education Project targets three levels of users (novice, intermediate, and advanced research) with materials and education opportunities such as comic book-like booklets, guides, pamphlets, library training sessions, posters, faculty one-day workshops, pre-registration assessment of information skills, and participation in a work group of the GAELIC consortium. Future plans are designed around meeting unmet challenges such as the lack of support from academics, different skills levels of the students, lack of an electronic training facility, among other problems. S. Tschabrun.

Henning, J. C. “The Challenges of Flexible Delivery Education for Information Services.” Paper presented at FORUM 2001: An Education Odyssey: Issues in Open Flexible and Distance Learning: 15th Biennial Forum of the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA), 24-27 September 2001, Sydney, Australia. Available online (in pdf format)
Collaborative learning and teaching replaces individual instructors with learning facilitation teams and shifts the control and responsibility of learning to the student. There is also a shift from contact and distance education to flexible learning and this shift is being assisted by an expanding use of technology. Information and library services play an important role in the success of flexible distance education programs. International standards for distance education library services are based on the principle that the originating institution is responsible for providing services and resources to distance education students that are equivalent to those available to on-campus students. Appropriate training to develop information retrieval and management skills needs to be incorporated into the learning process for students to be successful in their studies. Information and library services at Technikon SA are examined as an example of how to provide library services and meet research requirements for both on-campus and distance education students. S. Heidenreich.

Technical College of South Africa

Venter, Erlanda. “Greetings From the Rainbow Nation of South Africa.” In [Proceedings of the] ICDE Librarians’ Roundtable, 11-12 October, 1999, The Open University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Open University of Hong Kong, 1999, 63-66. ERIC ED 438 832. Also online. Available: (in pdf format)
South Africa has experienced positive changes since 1990, but there remain many challenges. Electronic delivery of education to the large numbers of South Africans who do not have good access to face-to-face education is the goal of the Technical College of South Africa (TECHNISA), which is the only state-funded technical college in South Africa devoted solely to distance education. TECHNISA provides education from the Adult Basic Education and Training level to the N6 Diplomas. The library, located in Randburg, Johannesburg, has been underfunded due to the fact that few students can get to it. Electronic delivery of materials through centers where learners can access study materials– and distance learning more generally– are cost effective methods of getting education to the people. S. Tschabrun.

University of Fort Hare

Jabane, Nyameka Memani. “Establishing a Satellite Library Service for Distance Learners: The Example of Kokstad.” In Adelaide 98, Pathways to Knowledge: Australian Library and Information Association 5th Biennial Conference and Exhibition, 25-28 October 1998, Adelaide Convention Centre: Conference Proceedings. Canberra: Australian Library and Information Association, 1999, 329-332.
The Distance Education Project of the University of Fort Hare in South Africa was begun to address the needs of primary grade school teachers who needed to upgrade their teaching skills. A partnership was established between the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Education and the Distance Education Project. This would allow teachers to continue working at their present positions while continuing their own education. To provide face to face sessions or tutorials, satellite centers were established in the Eastern Cape Province. Library service via postal service was not a feasible option for students at these centers due to the remote areas involved and the varying levels of postal delivery service. To provide the distance learners with library services resource centers were established at the satellite centers. At the Kokstad center, which has more than 50% of the students in the program, a full time librarian was hired to provide service to the distance learners as well as the surrounding community. This center has materials and computers available and provides orientation sessions to the students and community users. S. Heidenreich.

University of Pretoria

Boon, J. A. (Hans), Theo J. D. Bothma, and Johannes C. Cronjé. “E-learning and e-libraries – Quo vadis?” IATUL Proceedings (New Series) 11 (2001). Available online.
Academic libraries have not yet fully risen to the challenge of transforming themselves to support e-learning, argues the author. The contention is made that libraries continue to allocate the majority of their time to traditional activities such as selecting, organizing, indexing and retrieving information. The author suggests that to adequately support e-learning, e-libraries should increasingly be emphasizing value-added activities such as analyzing, synthesizing, interpreting, customizing and repackaging information. Using the University of Pretoria as a case study, examples of e-learning programs and the library’s support of them are presented. Strategic challenges to the e-library posed by the coming-of-age of e-learning are outlined. J. Markgraf.

University of South Africa

Fourie, Ina. “The Use of CAI for Distance Teaching in the Formulation of Search Strategies.” Library Trends 50, no. 1 (Summer 2001): 110-129.
The experience of the Department of Information Science at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in developing a CAI (computer assisted instruction) tutorial to teach online searching is outlined, with particular emphasis on the planning phase. After discussing the characteristics of distance teaching, such as the geographical separation of teacher and students and the need for students to work independently, CAI benefits and disadvantages are sketched out. Such benefits include interactivity, immediate feedback, branching, drilling and practice, the self-paced nature of the instruction, and the ability to provide simulations and assessments. It was found that CAI was particularly useful as preparation for an in-person workshop to teach practical online searching. The planning model used to develop the CAI tutorial included a needs assessment, situation analysis, the analysis of learning content, learners, and available technology, the formulation of outcomes, and performance assessment. Student evaluations of the tutorials were both positive and helpful in suggesting revisions. The article includes a lengthy bibliography on CAI design and the evaluation instrument used to gather student feedback data is available in the appendix. S. Tschabrun.

Kunneke, Cathy. “The Library of the University of South Africa‘s Marketing Voyage of Discovery Through Conventional Marketing Channels and the Internet.” Paper presented at the IATUL Conference ‘The Future of Libraries in Human Communication,’ Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 17th May – 21st May, 1999. Online. Available:
The University of South Africa (Unisa) Library engaged in a re-engineering exercise in 1998 to ensure its institutional survival in the 21st century. Using the technique of ‘strategic enterprise modeling’, the library discovered that web-based services outranked other services and that the library would have to adopt a commercial attitude with a customer-focused marketing plan. Marketing is viewed not so much as selling a product, but rather as a means for the library to make informed choices about which services current and potential customers need. Proactive interaction of staff with customers is the main bridge between the organization and the customers. The growth of the Internet has created a new environment both for the delivery of library services and their marketing. The Unisa Library’s marketing plan is described, including target markets; marketing the hybrid library to current students and potential fee-paying customers in the business and legal sectors; communication strategies using conventional publications; and a discussion of potential web-marketing tools, ranging from the use of gateway advertising, customer communication using email and chat, banner ads, web page counters, directory listings, e-commerce, and intranet communication for ‘internal marketing’ to staff. S. Tschabrun.

Oladokun, Olugbade S. “The Practice of Distance Librarianship in Africa.” Library Review 51, no. 6 (2002): 293-300.
The paper describes the inadequacy of education inherited in the continent of Africa at independence, and the desire of various governments to improve educationally the lot of people living there. This gave birth to the obvious option of distance learning. Unfortunately, the economic downturn affected appropriate funding of education and the provision of resources, including library resources. The result is that, except for a handful of university libraries, library support service is almost non-existent. The author talks about some of the universities in Africa where a distance learning mode has been adopted and concludes with some suggestions on what could be done to alleviate the problems of distance learners in the continent. F. Devlin.

Vista University (South Africa)

Kabamba, Juliano M. “Distance Education and Library Resources at Vista University: From Unplanned Growth to a Visionary Package.” In [Proceedings of the] ICDE Librarians’ Roundtable, 11-12 October, 1999, The Open University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Open University of Hong Kong, 1999, 52-58. ERIC ED 438 832. Also online. Available: (in pdf format)
Founded in 1982, Vista University is the largest of the historically black universities in South Africa, which–like similar institutions that serve less accessible rural and underdeveloped areas in South Africa–suffer from a chronic lack of infrastructure and resources. Prior to 1998, the library had ignored the needs of the approximately 40% of the student body, physically located at eight campuses in three South African provinces, enrolled in Vista University’s distance education program. This program was based on the correspondence model and served over 10,400 students by 1999. The steps the library has taken to begin to address the disparities in service between on-campus and distance students are outlined, starting with the appointment of a Campus Librarian to oversee distance library services, the researching of other distance education university libraries’ experiences, and finally the choice of developing Vista’s library services on a decentralized model comprised of remote reserve and small deposit collections located in partner institutions that in many cases had already been designated as Learner Support Centres by the university for the purposes of academic advisement. The library’s future plans include the development better articulated policies, the further elaboration of student profiles to allow customized service to a diverse student body, statistical benchmarking, and a thorough study of the costs and benefits of electronic delivery of information. S. Tschabrun.