Information Searching Seminar

Posted on January 01, 2018

The Library Technical Services (LTS) Unit presented an Information Searching Seminar on 14 September 2017 in the Merensky Library auditorium. The main aim of the seminar was to bring together a number of experts to address different aspects related to information searching and to share ideas, techniques and methods for more efficient, effective and productive information retrieval.

Mr Moropa opened the seminar and remarked that the seminar was important, as the Department of Library Services (DLS) is currently implementing a new strategic plan. In order to stay relevant, the library must embrace change and align its strategies with the opportunities provided by rapidly changing technology and the dynamic needs of library users born in a digital age.

The first presenter, Prof Ina Fourie, from the Department of Information Science, laid the theoretical foundation for information searching by using a sports analogy – skills for a ball game – as a way to discuss information searching behaviour and skills. Leonie Muller demonstrated the new patron-initiated interlibrary loan requesting system on WorldCat Discovery, while Eleta Grimbeek’s presentation focussed on effective searching on WorldCat Discovery. Both these presenters were from Sabinet, who also sponsored cupcakes for the morning tea.

Other topics addressed in the programme were the challenges in finding journal articles (Carin Bezuidenhout); navigation on UPSpace (Tlou Mathiba); patent searching (Sunette Steynberg); a student’s perspective on information seeking and the use and ethics of Sci-Hub and other pirate academic websites (Marguerite Nel).

In her closure remarks, Hilda Kriel pointed out that librarians had unique skills and therefore a unique contribution to make. WorldShare Management Services (WMS) and WorldCat Discovery are merely tools. Our responsibility is to use these tools. We have to practice; otherwise we shall not master the challenges and opportunities provided by the new digital world.

Feedback on the event was overall positive and a need for an annual event addressing other topics relevant to librarians was raised. The seminar report and presentations are available on UPSpace at the following handle: http://hdl.handle.net/2263/63456.

- Author Marguerite Nel

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