?4U (Question for you): implementing a SMS reference service at the University of the Free State
- Authors: Lombard, H.
- Date: 2010-05-18
- Subjects: Library reference services , University of the Free State , Academic libraries , Information technology , Electronic posters
- Type: Presentation
- Identifier: uj:1569 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3302
- Description: Since its inception in 1960 the Internet was exalted as the technology that would revolutionise communication access. However, widespread use in Africa was hampered by the lack of quality telecommunication infrastructure. In just two decades, the cell phone has become the fastest-selling, most loved consumer product. Nobody envisioned how popular text messaging, also referred to as short messaging service (SMS) would become. Research shows that 76% of all subscribers or 3.1 billion subscribers use the SMS actively. The abundance of cell phone users is also noticeable in today’s academic library. While some universities has responded to the widespread use of cell phones by delivering educational content and administration of tests via the cell phone, libraries have begun to reach out and serve students’ information needs through the use of the SMS. The University of the Free State Library and Information Services initiated a SMS reference service in 2009. This paper briefly describes the widespread use of text messaging and text messaging technology. The system and services implemented at the UFS LIS is described, as well as the lessons learnt. The paper will end with a short review of cell phone use in libraries and how it could be used to enhance library operations.
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Optimizing ICT trends to enhance Open Distance Learning : impact of a practical assignment on professional relationships.
- Authors: Henning, J. C.
- Date: 2010-05-17
- Subjects: Distance learning , Open distance learning , Academic libraries , Information technology
- Type: Presentation
- Identifier: uj:1584 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3317
- Description: The image of librarians and the Academic Library’s role in teaching and learning has always been a topic close to the heart of these professionals. Equally important for librarians are positive relationships with management and colleagues within the institution. Interdependencies between faculty and the library impact on the performance and delivery of services and require careful management as well. This paper focuses on how a library manager as a member of the Extended Management Committee of a university interacted with colleagues in senior management on a topic of mutual interest to complete a group assignment. The role played by the library manager and the changes in and impact on the relationships will be highlighted. The topic of the assignment “Optimizing ICT trends to enhance Open Distance Learning (ODL)” provided ample opportunity to demonstrate the changed role of the Academic Library in ODL as well as in online teaching and learning. A brief overview of ODL, information on the assignment and methodology followed will be presented. Information on the findings will be shared and the views of participants in the audience on these findings will be invited. An opportunity to share similar or different experiences will also be provided. The findings indicate that there is a better understanding of the role of the academic library in teaching and learning as well as appreciation for the way the library optimizes ICT developments to improve service delivery and access to services and resources. Another finding is that there is enhanced collaboration with the library as well as increased awareness of possibilities to utilize technologies in ODL. As leader / coordinator of the assignment and as a result of the interaction with the group, I experienced closer collaboration and improved communication with members of the group not only during the assignment but also on an ongoing basis.
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