City, UNISA in library partnership
The City of Johannesburg’s Library and Information Services, in partnership with the University of South Africa (Unisa), launched a library partnership at Emndeni Public Library in Soweto.
This collaboration is to ensure that the City supports to Unisa’s 20 000 students within Johannesburg.
This will also increase the footfall to the City’s Library and Information Service facilities as well as make accessible the information resources available to all members of the community.
Many of our residents, especially in the townships, cannot afford the high costs of full-time study and rely on distance learning institutions such as Unisa.
The partnership will ensure that those in need of a safe and conducive environment to study must not only find our libraries open to their needs, but well capacitated to enable those studying to complete their assignments and prepare for tests with ease.
Participating libraries include Diepkloof, and Western Jabavu, as well as Orange Farm Extension 4. This partnership will ensure that Unisa students can now access the following services at these libraries:
• Request items from Unisa library to be couriered to the above libraries for collection;
• Return requested items to the above libraries to be couriered to Unisa library;
• Provision of information literacy training;
• Internet access and usage in relation to databases, electronic reserves, electronic journals and electronic books; and
• Provision of study space.
The services were made possible through a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the City and Unisa signed earlier this year. The implementation of the MOU will be driven by Unisa’s Gauteng Region Libraries as well as the City of Johannesburg’s Library Information Services.
“Building positive engagements with stakeholders and forging partnerships such as this library partnership is in line with the university’s strategic thrust of becoming a leading ODeL, comprehensive university in teaching, learning, research, innovation and community engagement based on scholarship,” said Moipone Masalesa, Director: Gauteng Region, Unisa.
MMC for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba said: “Without deliberate action, this City’s poorest and most vulnerable will continue to live below their potential. Our pro-poor agenda continues to ensure that we address our people’s most pressing needs and ensure that everyone has access to quality services. Ours is a government that works for the people and not the other way round.”
“The collaboration will assist students in gaining easy access to the Unisa resources and will reduce their travelling costs as they will not need to travel long distances to Unisa libraries. This is yet another way we’re bringing opportunities closer to our people – as well as ensuring that proximity means access. We, as a responsive and caring local government, want to ensure that we create a climate for healthy deliberation and engagement, and bridge the gap of information poverty as well as the create room for academic success and excellence,” she added.