Thursday, May 12, 2016

2016 update

Many things have been happening since the start of this year that is worth reporting about!

We started the New Year off with a brand new printing, photocopying and scanning system for staff and students. The TuksPrint system was implemented during the end of 2015 and was in full operation at the start of 2016.

Several library training and orientation sessions have been offered since the beginning of the year and until now we have had approximately 450 students attending approximately ten sessions.

The new OCLC WorldShare Management System replaced our Millenium Integrated Library System and went live on 4 April. The system was officially launched on 18 April. A lot of training and preparation preceded these dates and by now we feel comfortable to say that we’ve passed the biggest hurdle and are now getting to know the finer detail of the new system. You can read more about the launch of the system in a news post of the University of Pretoria.

During May we participated in celebrating the 10 year existence of the library’s repository UPSpace. UPSpace, which was once again ranked as the number 1 repository in Africa and amongst the first 100 repositories worldwide, was upgraded to a new version and also received a brand new landing page. The latest ranking web of repositories for Africa can be viewed here.

With the implementation of a new library management system, we had to start thinking about changing our library web pages to accommodate the new system. With the help of the library’s web master, Christelle Steyn, the new Jotello F Soga library landing page was finalised by Antoinette Lourens during April.

A less delightful task that we have to embark on during the year, is evaluating our current database, paper and e-journal and e-book subscriptions in order to recommend a sufficient number of cancellations to meet future unavoidable budget cuts. This will have to be done with great caution to cause the minimum inconvenience for our clients.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Wishing you joy and prosperity for the Festive Season and in the New Year

The year is heading to an end and we would like to wish everyone a joyful festive season and a prosperous 2016. We hope to contribute in some or other way to your scholarly success in the New Year.

For an interesting overview of what has been happening in our library over the past year, please read our two newsletters published in June and October.

We are looking forward to meeting again in 2016.

Staff – Jotello F. Soga Library

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Open Access Week - 19 - 25 October 2015

Our library has been celebrating Open Access Week (19-25 October) as part of a global event that entered its 8th year in 2015.

Once again it was an opportunity to share the benefits of unrestricted open access to research results with clients.

The manager of the Open Scholarship Office of the Dept of Library Services, University of Pretoria, Dr Leti Kleyn wrote an interesting article published by The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) as part of a series of three related articles: Why it’s getting harder to access free, quality academic research

Friday, February 20, 2015

New additions to "The Henry Stewart Talks" database

New additions to “The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection” of the Henry Stewart Talks are now available.

Eight of the ten newly released online lectures are part of a series covering “Animal models in Biomedical Research”.

  • The moral status of invasive animal research Prof. Bernard E. Rollin, Colorado State University, USA
  • Legal aspects of using animals for research in the U.S. Dr. B. Taylor Bennet, Management Consultant, USA
  • Modern production of laboratory animals Dr. Martin Toft , Taconic Ltd., USA
  • Creating animal models by genetic techniques Mr. Emmanuel Gomas, Transgenic Technologies, Training and Consulting, 3TC, FR
  • Surgical models and perioperative care in swine Prof. M. Michael Swindle, Medical University of South Carolina, USA; Prof. Mary Ann McCrackin, Medical University of South Carolina, USA
  • Improving and humanizing animal models by microbiomic techniques Prof. Axel Kornerup Hansen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Behavioral phenotyping of mouse models of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders Prof. Jacqueline N. Crawley, University of California, USA
  • Development of immunotherapies for type 1 diabetes. Value and limitations of mouse models. Prof. Matthias von Herrath, Novo Nordisk Ltd, USA

The University of Pretoria has full access to all the lectures which can be accessed from the Library website: E-Resources – Databases – Henry Stewart Talks

Monday, February 2, 2015

UPSpace performs well in webometrics ranking

Dr Leti Kleyn,Manager of the library's Open Scholarship Office announced on Friday that the university's repository UPSpace has moved up a considerable number of places on the webometrics ranking system:

"The new Webometrics ranking were announced earlier today at

UPSpace is still first in Africa. The repository performed well on the world ranking and moved up from 99th position to 73rd."

We are proud to be part of this achievement as our Veterinary Science component within UPSpace is also growing continuously.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Best wishes for a prosperous 2015!

The library would like to extend a warm welcome to all our clients, especially those who are new on campus. We wish you all a successful year of which we would like to be a significant part. Our first month is already packed with events. We will be offering library training to our new Diploma in Veterinary Nursing students on 14 & 15 January and our Scientific Information Literacy course for the new BVSc II students commences on 21 January. Some of the staff members will be attending an e-learning conference “Flexible futures: shaping e-learning for higher education” offered by the University of Pretoria from 26-27 January. We are also preparing an application to attend the 8th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists from 9-12 June in Edinburgh, Scotland. This conference is a highlight in our careers as it provides the ideal opportunity to network and benchmark ourselves and our services with those of excellent animal health information providers worldwide. We are looking forward to an exciting new year.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Staff matters

Johannes Moropotli resigns

This year was unfortunately the year in which our much loved colleague Johannes Moropotli had to leave us.

Johannes Moropotli retired at the end of April 2014 after 33 years and one month’s service at the library. He started working as messenger at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Agricultural Research Council as early as 1970. He joined the veterinary library in April 1981 when it was still housed in the old main faculty building.

At his farewell function attended by colleagues, family and friends on 16 April, we took a trip down memory lane reminiscing highlights of Johannes’ time at Onderstepoort.

Erica van der Westhuizen, head of the library until August 2009, had the following to say:

“Johannes and I come a long way. In fact he was part of my 28 years of OP life from the beginning. When I started here in Nov 1981 as head of the faculty library he was already there, an essential part of the 3 person library team.

Johannes’ post in those beginning years was “bode” or library messenger. With his trusty bicycle (it lasted in more or less working order till quite recently!) he was a well-known fixture in the OP environment. Those early years were cosy at the faculty – staff and students were fewer than today so we got to know our library clients rather well!

In those pre-computer and pre-internet days lecturers and researchers got their information in paper format. It was Johannes as library messenger on his bicycle who delivered all their articles in brown cardboard files. Prof le Roux was the Dean in the early 8o’s and he would complain if his file looked a bit shabby!

Those were the days of Johannes’ sporting achievements, namely as Comrades marathon runner. With encouragement and support from Prof Koos Coetzer he was our pride and joy – there wasn’t another UP library who could boast of such an achievement! In fact, when a book was published to celebrate UP’s centenary, the Vet Library was especially mentioned for its Comrades runner!

Johannes’ fitness was a great help with our move in 1987 from the old library to the Sir Arnold Theiler building. We were still only 3 staff members and we had to undertake the move of books and equipment on our own, using the feed trucks kindly provided (and fortunately driven) by the Faculty.

Those were indeed interesting times!

As the computer age and the role of the internet in information provision expanded, Johannes’ role took on extra dimensions - from messenger to electronic information provider to information creator in the e-environment. Today Johannes can look back on his important contribution in providing an effective information service. From the electronic distribution of publications to faculty and students including external users, some even beyond SA’s borders, to the digitization of the first research accounts on animal diseases in Africa as published in the early SA veterinary journals. It is Johannes’ help in digitizing the OP Journal of Veterinary Research which has made this important early research accessible worldwide.

Johannes, na 44 jaar is dit nou tyd vir die welverdiende rus. Ons se baie dankie vir al jou harde werk, jou volgehoue vriendelikheid en geduld met al die vrouens van die biblioteek en jou lojaliteit. Geniet jou aftrede, ons beste wense vergesel jou!

Erica Makulu”

In her speech the library’s Deputy Director: Client Services, Lindiwe Soyizwapi, referred to recent interviews for Johannes’ post and the high standards that were set because it was felt that Johannes was almost irreplaceable! All the colleagues agreed that Johannes’ personality made him such a pleasant person to work with and that his smile and positive attitude will always be treasured.

It was a proud Johannes who delivered the last speech before everyone enjoyed refreshments and further conversations.

We will miss Johannes dearly but wish him well and pray that he may have a blessed retirement with his family.

Lucas Mmalefahlo joins the library staff

Fortunately Lucas Mmalefahlo joined our staff from 1 July to fill the empty space Johannes has left. We would like to extend a very warm welcome to Lucas and we believe he will enjoy his time with us as he has already settled in well.

Maria Mtsweni gets rewarded for 20 years’ of service

We are very proud of Maria who has completed 20 years’ of service at the University of Pretoria.

Maria began her career at the Department of Library Services in February 1994 when she started working at the Basic Medical Sciences & Dentistry library on the Prinshof Campus. She was initially responsible for journal shelving and photocopying. Her position changed in 2002 when she obtained a National Diploma in Library & Information Practice from the then Technikon South Africa. With her newly acquired skills she started working at the circulation desk in 2003 and in 2007 accepted the additional responsibility of interlibrary loans. In November 2010 she stated working at the Jotello F Soga library.