Information and communication technology (ICT) development in South African libraries cannot be understood outside the context of the post‐apartheid period. The society…
Information and communication technology (ICT) development in South African libraries cannot be understood outside the context of the post‐apartheid period. The society consists of a technologically sophisticated sector, and an underdeveloped Third World sector. Higher education and other libraries attempt to straddle this divide. Government policy emphasises the importance of connectivity in redressing inequality. Policy is a contested area, and investigations have been conducted with little concrete result. The main development has been the emergence of academic library consortia, which have succeeded in attracting funding from the USA and other foundations. But without information literacy, these developments will have little impact. There are grounds for techno‐pessimism, as digital information resources are seen by advanced countries as commodities for which payment must be made, even if knowledge production originally took place in the South.
Academic library consortia in South Africa are indeed beasts whose time has come at last, although whether they constitute a second coming for our profession or our end‐users remains to be seen. They can probably be described as a group of diverse entities, rough and as‐yet unsure of their destination. In this descriptive text, we attempt to outline, for a mainly North American audience, the specifics which distinguish the developing consortia in a newly democratic and newly globalised South Africa from those in other more economically advantaged parts of the world. It remains to be seen whether the center will in fact hold. Letting go reluctantly of this literary conceit, for the time being at least, we describe the all‐important social and political background in which our institutions must operate, moving on to an analysis of the impulse to cooperate and the obstacles that have emerged to stifle that impulse. In our conclusion we risk some predictions about where academic library consortia may be headed in our part of the world.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the use made of the Research Commons during its first year of operation in an attempt to establish whether it actually provides a genuinely new and different service from the point of view of the end‐users, and whether a facility such as this could indeed be presumed to support research and enhance research output at the university.
Using Lippincott's assessment grid, an attempt was made to assess activities in the Research Commons according to the dimensions of extensiveness, efficiency, effectiveness, service quality and usefulness. Methodology was mixed, with quantitative and qualitative components that logged the extent and nature of the use of the various facilities in the Research Commons and sought to establish from stakeholder perceptions whether the services on offer are regarded as substantially different from those in the undergraduate Knowledge Commons and whether they are indeed seen to be supporting research activities.
It was found that a combination of numerical and qualitative measurements has yielded sufficient evidence for the drawing of preliminary conclusions. The evidence gathered demonstrates that the Research Commons, designed primarily as a site for the creation of new knowledge in the form of original writing by researchers at postgraduate and academic level, is indeed an advance on the well‐established “library commons” concept, and that its creation represents an instance of “parallel invention” – the “new creature” that the title refers to.
This paper provides a multifaceted perspective on the activities taking place in a new library facility and should provide librarians and researchers with evidence‐based insight into how meaningful research support may be provided to young researchers from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds as part of an academic library service in a middle income country.
The consequences of civil war have been widely analyzed. However, one of its important effects, the human cost of the conflict, remains marginally investigated. Indeed, most of recent literature has focused on the numbers of dead and wounded, while little scope has been given to survivors’ health. Given that the survivors are those who bear the burden of reconstruction, it is crucial to evaluate the health costs of civil conflict to develop and implement proper economic policies. This chapter is an attempt in this direction.
The aim is to assess the impact of the Mozambican Civil War on the long-term health of adult women, measured in terms of their height-for-age z-score (HAZ). Toward this end, two sets of data are used: the household survey data derived from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS+ 2003) which provides a set of anthropometric measures combined with an original geo-referenced event dataset of battles and military actions that took place during this war.
I find that women who were exposed to the conflict during the early stages of their lives display weaker health on average than other women, as reflected by their lower HAZ. This negative effect is correlated with age at the time of exposure to the civil war.
Furthermore, this chapter indicates that the use of the medical concept of infancy–childhood–puberty curves is a suitable tool for estimating the impact of age of entry into the conflict and provides some evidence of the channels through which health is affected by civil conflicts.