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UMP Library

The UMP Library and Information Services (LIS) was established in 2014 from a one room library with only one staff member, to a state-of-the-art library that currently has a total staff complement of 14 members based at both the Mbombela and Siyabuswa Cam

NEWSLETTER - Library and Information Services


Ms. Nomonde dos Santos
It gives me great pleasure to witness the birth of the first issue of the UMP LIS Newsletter with the theme, “New Beginnings with New Memory Lane”. As a new Director joining a well-established team and, while we are in this journey, we are sure to create the new memory lane. From my desk the birth of the newsletter is considered creating memories and leave footprints as we embark on this LIS train. Bob Teague said “We all leave footprints as we journey through life - make sure yours are worth following”. Going forward I hope that the newsletter will be a vehicle that will take us anywhere we want to as we are marvelling in our thoughts. While in this vehicle we freely express our thoughts/ ideas on paper (e-newsletter) at the same time we unleash the potential and the gifts within that some of us did not even know exist.
The first 2023 issue will cover exciting news, events and milestones, not only of the campus libraries, but also touches on what is happening with internal and external stakeholders. ..... We are also proud to discover the talent as you read through the articles, events and stories covered in this first issue. We have thrown together a new Task Team, with some seasoned reporters and some fresh scribes and a brand-new Chef. You will discover, there is a load of talent amongst the LIS team. The articles they wrote and the photos they sub-mitted, were mixed together by the Chef, mixed and stirred well and then baked in our special Newsletter Task Team oven.

What came out of the oven, is the finished product, Issue 1 of November 2023. It is a bumper edition, not a single layer, but a multi-layered one. We hope you find it palatable and enjoy devouring every article with lip-smacking enjoyment, admire the photos with a specialists’ eye and declare the end product a de-light. My sincere gratitude to the Newsletter Task Team and the Chef for spearheading the first LIS UMP e-Journal. Looking forward to the upcoming newsletters.


by: Ms. Nomonde dos Santos

Academic libraries are faced with pressures of digital era/information age and must respond to the changes of this era. This calls for librarians to realize that it is no longer the 20th century where the focus was on the “four walls” or “brick and mortar” and “how we do things here”. But in the 21st century libraries are governed by the demands and expectations of the users (client focus). Users no longer have to come to the four walls but are able to access information 24/7 from anywhere at any time. Furthermore, academic libraries are so much under pressure since they are also in competition with publishers
and the internet revolution. The latter has resulted in various search engines accessed by the users and the numbers of users ..... coming to the four walls are declining. Librarians! The writing is on the wall; the number of users entering the library are decreasing and impacting significantly on gate readings statistics and how we conduct the business of today. This is why we have to be proactive and come up with strategies to ensure the users come to the four walls. We have to continue reviewing and revisiting the service we render since we proclaim rendering a ‘wow service’ . If we are static and not changing our service behavior we might chase the users away from the libraries. We already can see that the number of users physically coming to the library is slowly fading if not ceasing to exist. Is it not natural for any individual to go to the same restaurant and the waitresses would recognize him/her as a regular customers? I guess we love the fact that in that particular restaurant we would get VIP treatment from the waitresses such as being called by name. And in turn, the waitresses know that will get a big tip☺? Same applies with library users like academics when coming to the library they expect special treatment.

In as much as academic libraries have all the crafted policies and procedures but the bottom line we are rendering services to the users of information and digital age of the parent institutions. Librarians tend to worry much more about academics losing the library material. Some academic libraries even stipulate in the Collection Development Policies (CDPs) that academics are required annually to physically bring library material to be renewed. Librarians want to physically see if they still have the material in their possession. But have we thought that our libraries would not have been filled with stock if it was not for the academics ordering the material for the library? Let us face it, information professionals in academic libraries are not the masters of the modules offered by the faculties and therefore even if we have the power to order we would not be able to order the relevant material. Truth be told, we depend on academics. Are Libraries #Owners or #Custodians?

It is high time for librarians to smell the coffee. Exam time is nerve racking for students and staff. Academics have so much in their plates since they have to be invigilators during examination period, mark the exam scripts and other responsibilities to enhance research outputs. Bearing in mind the preparation for M & D students’ for their treatise/thesis/dissertations before submission. Of cause all these factors impact on their career and social lives which can be stressful and emotionally draining at times. On one hand libraries are governed by crafted polices and academics are compelled to physically bring the material to the library. Indeed librarians are accountable officers of the library material and resources to safeguard the material is also paramount at all costs! However, as librarians we must start to be realistic and start engaging with the academics and deliberate more on who are the owners of the library resources? Bearing in mind that the library budgets are shrinking and the allocated percentage budget for some institutions is also shrinking opposed to faculties. And yes, only academics have access to that big slice of faculty budget which as librarians we have to think carefully before we spend. Moreover, academics have the power to authorize faculty budgets and order copies and fill up the library shelves. Another analysis we should have in mind the librarians continue to keep on knocking at the offices inviting academics to order material / books when students cannot get the books from the library. Finally during the library exhibitions as librarians we depend on academics to select the material.


It is a fact that policies and procedures enhance and assist in the well-functioning of any institution. Same as the focus and the role of the academic libraries should be more on ensuring that lost and paid material policy exists. However, the same policy should be constantly revisited and should move with the changing landscape. Librarians must continue to update policies and procedures where possible and have in mind the dynamic nature of the students and staff as stakeholders they render services to. Not one institution would have thought about #Feesmustfall campaign that made the country to be at a standstill. We must agree to disagree that students are changing and so their needs and therefore the library policies should reflect this! In closing, this takes me back in “portable devices” accessibility that should be the key in academic libraries of today. Stakeholders such as ICT Services and relevant stakeholders should collaborate with the LIS ensuring up-to-date software and systems are running smoothly. Constant meetings and deliberations are vital to ensure the safety of the mobile devices in the libraries. At the same time we must loosen up the university can pay for the devices if the students lose them” lol! As librarians sometimes we must chill, enjoy have fun at work and stop stressing so that we can live longer☺. But the question are we ‘owners or custodians?’ still remains!!!


by: Ms. Zizipho Madibi

Zizipho Madibi
In the heart of our beloved library lies a treasure trove of knowledge, meticulously organised and waiting to be discovered. In this edition, we peel back the curtain to unveil the fascinating world of cataloguing, shedding light on the tireless efforts that ensure our library remains a beacon of accessible information.

The Backbone of the Library: the cataloguing section is the unsung backbone of our library, responsible for the cataloguing and classification of every book, journal, and resource that graces our shelves. This section employs a system known as the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), which categorises materials based on their subject matter. This ingenious system, devised by Melvil Dewey in the late 19th century, has stood the test of time
and continues to be the bedrock of modern library cataloguing......

Order from Chaos: imagine a world without cataloguing. Books scattered haphazardly, knowledge fragmented, and the search for information an exercise in futility. The cataloguer plays a crucial role in preventing such chaos. They meticulously assign call numbers, ensuring each item finds its rightful place on the shelves. This process not only assists in locating materials but also provides a roadmap for exploring related subjects.

Conclusion: while the cataloguing section may not always be in the spotlight, their work is indispensable. They are the unsung heroes who make our library the thriving hub of knowledge it is today. Their dedication, attention to detail, and passion for organisation are the driving force behind our ability to offer an unparalleled selection of resources to our university community. Their tireless efforts ensure that our collection remains a living entity, ready to enlighten and inspire all who come through our doors. Next time you take a book from the shelf, take a moment to appreciate the meticulous work of the cataloguer who made it possible.


by: Ms. Vuyokazi Sigadla

Book Exhibition
The University of Mpumalanga Library Information Services (UMPLIS) hosted the annual Library Book Exhibition featuring new titles across various subject fields, aimed at bolstering and enriching the library collection. As part of the revitalized Library Information Services (LIS) strategy, we have actively championed and advanced the acquisition of fresh titles in numerous subject fields to support and further the academic endeavour at UMP. Over 2 000 academic books from a diverse range of esteemed publishers were showcased, covering university programmes and research themes. The objective was to afford academics the opportunity to select books relevant to
their academic pursuits in time for 2024......

The annual book exhibition aims to expedite the procurement process, ensuring that the books are acquired promptly for the following year. We invited book suppliers to come and present the books they have; we exhibited them and immediately initiated the processing for the library after the expo. The books chosen by the academic staff members will be showcased in the library and utilized by students. The primary reason for involving academic staff in the selection process is not for their personal use, but to recommend valuable material that will benefit students and enhance their academic capabilities.


by: Ms. Shela Bopape

Open Access Week
The University of Mpumalanga (UMP) LIS hosted the International Open Access (OA) Colloquium on 23 October 2023. The webinar was graced by external speakers Mr. Sam Nkosi from Taylor & Francis, Ms. Leen Samarah from Springer Nature, and Ms. Hetta Pieterse from Unisa. All these speakers shared their expertise on OA publishing, OA publishing models, and licensing agreements. Amongst the speakers were the University of Mpumalanga Vice-Chancellor Prof T Mayekiso and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation, and Internationalisation Dr A Stroebel.

In her welcoming speech, Prof T Mayekiso stated “We are celebrating a decade of excellence and creating opportunities in our pioneering journey. "Community over Commercialisation” was the theme for this year’s
International Open Access Week (October 23-29). This theme encourages a candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritise the best interests of the public and the academic community—and which do not. By hosting this colloquium as part of International Open Access Week, UMP is facilitating discussions and taking action in support of Open Access”. The celebration was followed by a questions and answers session that allowed the guests to ask for clarity regarding Open Access Publishing.


by: Mr. Yegambaram Naicker

Two Tons O'fun
Two Tons O'fun: A charming coming-of-age novel set in a Johannesburg township

I caught a glimpse of my mother busy stuffing her own loot into a bag. On seeing me, she grinned. ‘Are you on a sight-seeing trip, girl? Come on, roll up your sleeves and work!’ She was a huge woman with the agility of a thin girl. Think of the well-endowed.... Reserve the book
The House of Shells
The House of Shells: From the critically acclaimed author of Children of the Quicksands – shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize – comes a breathtaking magical adventure. Kuki refuses to believe in the curse of the Abiku. Her destiny is not to die young! Her biggest problem right now is moving house and fitting in at her new school. One evening while exploring...Reserve the book

Tomorrow I Become a Woman
Tomorrow I Become a Woman: Uju is a daughter her mother never wanted. When she meets Gozie in 1978, he seems like the perfect man - charismatic, Christian and Igbo - so she agrees to marry him in the hope of attaining her mother's approval. Gozie reminds her of her beloved Uncle Ikenna, her mother's brother who disappeared fighting in the Civil War that devastated Nigeria. But Uju has lingering feelings for Akin - a man her mother would never accept as his tribe fought on the other side of the war...Reserve the book
Here Again Now
Here Again Now: From award-winning author Okechukwu Nzelu comes a spellbinding literary novel that asks, how do you move forward when the past keeps pulling you back? Achike Okoro feels like his life is coming together at last. His top-floor flat in Peckham is as close to home as he can imagine and after years of hard work, he's about to get his break as an actor. He's even persuaded his father, Chibuike, to move in with him, grateful to offer the man who raised him as a single parent a home of...Reserve the book


by: Ms. Shela Bopape

Fun Walk Fun Walk Fun Walk Fun Walk Fun Walk Fun Walk
The University of Mpumalanga (UMP) Library and Information Services staff were among those who were partaking in the university fun run/walk as part of celebrating UMP’s 10th anniversary since its establishment in 2013. The participation contributed to positive mental, physical and social wellbeing since most of the time library staff spent their time in their respective operating stations.

This joint sporting activity was important to allow staff to reduce distress, improve brain development and concentrate better at work. The library staff indicated that it was a nice experience, and it helped them to develop teamwork and get an opportunity to surround themselves with other university community. Two of the staff members won prizes on a fun walk. In the female staff category, Ms Pauline Mashilo won a medal in position 1. She again won the trophy in position 2 of the overall staff categories. Mr Jerry Raolane won a medal in position 17 of the male staff category. The library staff appreciate the opportunity given to reach their fitness goal and congratulate the colleagues who won prizes.


by: Ms. Pauline Mashilo

Our Heritage Month library display featured a captivating collection of books & artifacts that pay tribute to the diverse heritage that unites us. Our library display proudly showcased a selection of cultural artifacts, photographs, and artworks that provide a glimpse into the traditions and legacies of different communities. The display highlighted the essence of Heritage Month, encouraged engagement with library patrons and provided essential information.

Fun Walk
Fun Walk
Fun Walk


by: Ms. Pauline Mashilo

The UMP Siyabuswa Book Club actively participated in the celebration of Literacy Week, emphasizing literacy teaching and learning in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and beyond. This event, which took place from September 4th to September 8th, 2023, focused on the crucial role of educators and the evolving landscape of teaching practices.

Throughout the week, members of the Book Club, in collaboration with the Library, Academic, and Student Development departments, engaged in a dedicated initiative. The team visited several surrounding Primary Schools, including Makopanong Primary School, Kabenziwa Primary School, Siyabuswa Primary School, Sibonelo Primary School, and Phephelani Place of Safety.

The primary objective of these visits was to promote a love for reading among learners. Various activities were organized, including storytelling sessions, Spelling Bee competitions, recitation of nursery rhymes, and captivating drama performances tailored for Grade R to Grade 3 learners. The UMP Siyabuswa Book Club is committed to fostering a culture of literacy and making a positive impact on the education and development of our local community.

Fun Walk
Fun Walk
Fun Walk

Fun Walk