Getting to know your colleagues

Posted on April 03, 2017










Mr Mike Volschenk 

Where are you from (where were you born) and what is home to you?

I was born in Johannesburg and Pretoria has been home to me since 1980.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself as a child?


How do you recharge?

I recharge going to the theatre, live musical performances, and musicals.

What would a "perfect" day look like for you?

Surrounded by mountains, walking/driving ending with a sundowner and comfortable accommodation (20 years ago a hiking tent would have been sufficient).

How do you act when you're stressed out?

Slow down, step back and take deep breaths.









Mrs Martha de Waal

Where are you from (where were you born) and what is home to you?

I was born in the well-known seaside resort, the Strand, situated near Gordon’s Bay, about 50 km from Cape Town. I grew up in the town of Worcester in the Western Cape, until my parents moved to Pretoria in 1965. Home is Pretoria, but a part of my heart will always remain in the beautiful Cape.

Where did you work previously and for how long?

I started my career in 1976 at the then State Library, which amalgamated with the South African Library in Cape Town, to form the National Library of South Africa, in November 1999.

As a young librarian I gained valuable experience in a number of firsts within the profession: I participated in the early computerisation of the card catalogue; I participated in the compilation of the ’Joint Catalogue of Monographs in South Africa’ (JCM) and ‘Periodicals in Southern African Libraries’ (PISAL); I was intrigued by the introduction of SAMARC within the South African cataloguing community and the subsequent implementation of USMARC and eventually MARC21; I survived the development of AACR1 into AACR2 and its many revisions; I witnessed the development of the Dewey Decimal Classification system from the 12th printed edition to DDC23 and the online WebDewey and I struggled through the four large fat red volumes of the Library of Congress Subject Headings before it eventually evolved  into the online ClassWeb. I participated in the compilation of the South African National Bibliography and the cataloguing of legal deposit material published in 11 official languages, for almost 20 years.

In April 2009, after 23 years of service at the National Library, I accepted an employment opportunity in the UP Department of Library Services.

What would you be doing if you weren't at your current job?

A famous architect … well-known for a number of masterpiece designs …

If you were to tell one person "Thank You" for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?

On a personal level I would have liked to thank my dad, for introducing me to books and reading and the magic of libraries …

Professionally I am grateful for the input from my early career mentor, Dr Luther van As, who emphasized the importance of continuing professional development and the ongoing learning of new skills within an ever evolving profession. This is never more true than today!

How do you recharge?

Spending time within the safe haven of my family … experiencing the unconditional love of my children and the sincere support of caring friends; coffee … nature … music and the theatre … books and reading … and the feeling of ‘coming home’ when visiting the Cape!









Dr Annette Ingram

Where are you from (where were you born) and what is home to you?

I was born in Cape Town, but after a few years we moved to the Transvaal (part of Gauteng). When I was 15 we moved to Port Elizabeth and I lived, studied and worked there until I got married and came to Pretoria where I’ve been since. BUT: real home is back in PE where I can watch and smell the sea every day!

Where did you work previously and for how long?

I started out as an English and history teacher at an Afrikaans secondary school in Port Elizabeth. I have always been interested in libraries and information and joined the Cataloguing Department of the University of Port Elizabeth Library (NMMU now) in 1981. When I got married, I moved to Pretoria and worked at the South African National Library as a cataloguer, then moved to UNISA, teaching cataloguing, classification & indexing. I also worked at the Gauteng Department of Education Library, in the private sector as an educator and, in the end, on a contract basis for both the National Library and University of Pretoria (Law Library). In 2009 I was appointed in the Cataloguing Section of the Merensky Library on a permanent basis and I am still here “cataloguing and teaching away”!

What more are you wanting in your career right now?

I would like to make a real difference in people’s lives through research and training and would also like to sharpen my editing and indexing skills.

How do you recharge?

I love going to a restaurant with family and friends and have a nice meal. Watching a good movie or television programme, or reading a book, especially historical novels, relaxes me. I also love Sudoku, crossword puzzles, Solitaire and Majjong.

If you were to tell one person “Thank you” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?

My parents (both of them), for believing in me and supporting and encouraging me throughout my life.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?

Empathy – really walking in another person’s shoes.

- Author Zenzile Msweli
Published by Diana Gerritsen

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