Community Service - Academic Development Projects

Community Service - Academic Development Projects


Our Department places a high priority on Community engagement . Some of our academic development projects are listed below.

1. CODATA-RDA Research Data Summer School

During 2021 the CODATA-RDA Summer School was  hosted by the Department of Information Science in collaboration with DIRISA, SADiLaR and NeDICC, and was run as a virtual programme from 3rd May until 9th July 2021. To read the News item, click here.

In 2020 the summer school took place from 13-24 January. Some funding remained after the Carnegie conference, and the CCNY gave permission that the Department could apply the funding to sponsor a number of students to attend the summer school. To read the News item, click here.

The Summer School Group 2020

2. Carnegie capstone M.IT and CPD conference

This capstone conference took place 25-29 March 2019 at Kievits Kroon, Tshwane. The conference was funded through the remainder of the Carnegie grants after six MIT intakes and ten CPD courses. M.IT and CPD students were invited to present their research at the conference. The Conference was preceded by a two-day refresher course, updating students on recent developments in inter alia requirements for a 21st century academic library. For the conference presentations, click here.

3. Carnegie grant for M.IT programme

In 2010 the Department obtained a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) for the development and presentation of a Master’s programme in Information Technology for librarians at tertiary institutions working in an IT environment and LIS personnel. The Department in cooperation with the two other departments within the School of Information Technology and local and international partners offered a fully funded specialised two year coursework degree at Masters level in Information Technology (M.IT degree) as from January 2011 until 2016. In total, 120 students from Carnegie-funded countries were selected for the programme. The programme is now continuing as a self-funded distance education programme, MIT ICT Information Science, with the first intake in 2017.

4. Carnegie grant for professional development programme for the next generation African library and information professionals
The Department obtained a further grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for the development and presentation of a four week short course programme in hands-on IT skills for librarians in academic libraries to support researchers (2012 – 2016). This project aimed at making a difference in the knowledge and skills levels of academic librarians in selected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013 the Department managed and designed the detailed programme content together with colleagues in SIT, other universities and stakeholders from industry. In total, 10 intakes with 32 students each have taken place.
5. LIS Curriculum Development
Our Department was part of an international team to collaborate on Curriculum development in LIS in the developing world under the auspices of the Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark, IFLA, and a Special Interest Group (SIG) of IFLA. Research on curriculum development, accreditation, extending and revising the core curricula for LIS continues.


6. UP Library Leadership programme
At the end of 2008 the Department of Library Services at the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Department Information Science, developed the Library Leadership Project. The project was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and aimed to train 120 prospective middle and senior management library leaders over three years by means of six intensive workshops. The academic programme was coordinated by the LIS departments at UP, UCT and UKZN. The last Academy was presented in March 2012. Our staff taught a number of lectures, and were also involved in supervising the students’ research assignments.
7. DISSAnet

To build capacity in research in the information sciences in South Africa, DANIDA funded a programme. Our Department in cooperation with the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the University of the North (currently the University of Limpopo) selected a group of twenty Master’s and Doctoral students to attend six week-long courses on advanced topics in information science. The courses were organized and managed by international and local experts, Professor Theo Bothma of the University of Pretoria, Professor Peter Ingwersen and Professor Irene Wormell of the Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen,and Professor Rocky (MD) Ralebipi-Simela of the University of the North. This outreach project continued until 2006.

Prof Theo Bothma Prof Peter Ingwersen Prof Irene Wormell Prof Rocky Ralebipi-Simela
8. Collaboration with the University of Zululand


In 2002 the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Zululand identified our Department as their preferred partner in a project funded by the DoE/EU links programme. The aim of the programme was to become involved in curriculum development at the University of Zululand and to establish a collaborative research programme. A symposium was held on the identified topic for collaborative research and continued until 2004.



9. SIGCHI Development Consortium
The Development Consortium of SIGCHI of the Association of Computing Machinery was held in Minneapolis, April 2002. The aim of the Development Consortium was to identify and promote South African research in the field of human-computer interaction and present it at an international forum. The Development Consortium received a grant from the ACM to enable eight researchers and practitioners to attend the SIGCHI conference and present their research at the special Development Consortium session. Two staff members of the Department co-chaired the management team of the Development Consortium.
10. Short courses and Conferences

Our Department of Information Science presented many short courses and conferences under the auspices of the Department's Centre for Information Development, from 1992 to 2000, when the function was taken over by the University's company Continuing Education at UP, and later Enterprises at UP. The purpose was to present continuing education in the information sciences and related fields.

- Author Joukje Geertsema

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