Official EDUNIVERSAL Reporter

First name: Magnus
Last name: Hauman


Deputy Director - Stellenbosch University Library branches and Information Services

04/05/2013 10:40:17

Deputy Director - Stellenbosch University Library branches and Information Services

Interview with Deputy Director, Stellenbosch University Library and Information Services


How has the USBI evolved over the years?

USBI has been in existence for more than 10 years. Initially it was envisioned that USBI would be a one-stop service point where students could collect study material, get IT help, reproduction services, training  and find relevant information. As the years progressed the IT and reproduction services moved out because of staff expansion and changing needs. More virtual services and resources had become available over the last few years, and a new Library portal with seamless access to resources came in existence. The printed collection of USBI has not grown over the years as we have maintained a policy of zero growth to make sure that we only have the latest books and journals available.  It is also our aim to give access to information rather than collect all. I foresee that most of the printed collection will be discarded in the next few years, to free spaces up for self-study and collaboration.

Are there resources available that you believe students are not maximizing on?

The library provides access to more than 100 e-databases, 70 000 e-journals, 10 000 e-books, and 900 000 printed books.  We have seen a decline in the issuing of printed books, but a growth in the use of e-databases and repositories. I would love to see students reading more academic journals online such as Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly and SA Journal of Business Management.  E-databases such as Reuters, McGregors and Gartner are definitely not optimally used. During training sessions we try to excite the students about the abundance of high-quality peer–reviewed resources that are available. The library’s resources are linked to Google Scholar, so hopefully students will be pulled to our wonderful collection.

With everything moving online, do think there is a valid concern that people may not necessarily use library facilities much in the long run?

It is clear that factors such as the changing nature and needs of users, as well as the changing content and new forms of research will have a major impact on how academic libraries such as USBI are utilized. Although we have done much to develop the Library as a virtual space, I feel strongly that there is still a need for the library as a physical space where users can collaborate, study and do some reflection on their academic work. It is also a space where users can expect professional and knowledgeable library staff to assist them with their research queries. The staff of USBI are well known for their excellent client service approach and often go the extra mile for clients.

You have recently been promoted to Deputy Director, would you be able to share any new plans you have for the Stellenbosch University Library branches and Information Services?

I am fortunate to have a very committed and professional team at USBI, as well as the other branch libraries of the University, (namely the Health Sciences Library in Tygerberg, and the Engineering-, Medical-and Theology libraries in Stellenbosch). I see my role more as a facilitator than a manager, to motivate and inspire the librarians to support the University and the Library’s focus areas to ensure student success, and contribute to high-level scholarly output. Wellness of staff is also very important to me, I want to ensure that staff are healthy, enjoy their work, and lead a balanced life where they can contribute optimally to their work, and the community they serve. Looking forward, I would love to see USBI upgraded to become a showcase of a vibrant and attractive physical space where students can have a “home from home”.

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