Title page for ETD etd-04082009-204135

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Taole, Nthabiseng
Email ntaole@hotmail.com
URN etd-04082009-204135
Document Title Evaluation of the Innopac Library system in selected consortia and libraries in the southern African region : implications for the Lesotho Library consortium
Degree DPhil
Department Information Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof A L Dick Supervisor
  • library co-operation
  • resource sharing
  • Lesotho Library Consortium
  • library system evaluation
  • library consortia
  • library systems
  • information retrieval systems
  • information management
  • information and communication technologies
Date 2009-04-17
Availability unrestricted
Resource sharing is considered to be one of the most important pillars of library service, because no single library can meet all the needs of its users. Libraries have always cooperated to meet the increasing demands of users by sharing their resources. In the past few decades, the need to establish library consortia emerged more strongly as libraries began to take advantage of technology to improve access to information and service delivery.

There has been a notable increase in the formation of library consortia on the African continent. South Africa has taken the lead both in the amount of established consortia and the number of member libraries within them. This development accompanied the implementation of common library systems in consortia, where a single system is adopted by all member libraries. In the Southern African region, the library system called INNOPAC/Millennium Pac has already been adopted by consortia and libraries in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The recently-established Lesotho Library Consortium (LELICO) also recognized the need for a comprehensive investigation to identify a common system that will effectively meet the needs of its member libraries.

The purpose of this study was to analyze the successes and limitations of the INNOPAC library system operating in consortia and libraries in the Southern African region, in order to assess its suitability for LELICO. The study focused on two South African consortia (The Gauteng and Environs Library Consortium – GAELIC, and The Free State Library and Information Consortium - FRELICO), two university libraries (Namibia and Zimbabwe) and one agricultural college library (Botswana) in the Southern African region that use the system. A special emphasis was the criteria of assessment that would apply to a small, multi-type consortium in a developing country like Lesotho. Data was collected through a literature search, questionnaires, interviews, site visits, and analysis of policy and institutional documents. The target groups of the study were the library managers, system managers, and library professionals of selected GAELIC and FRELICO libraries, and the system managers of the three selected libraries in the region.

The study found that the INNOPAC library system is performing satisfactorily in the chosen consortia and libraries, and that it has a positive impact on them. It performed to a high standard in all the key areas, and this may be attributed to keeping abreast of the latest developments in the library world, and offering a range of services that meet the needs of libraries. The study found further that the INNOPAC library system contributed towards increased productivity, improved customer services, and better decision making in the two consortia. However, direct access to members’ holdings was restricted by a decentralized server model adopted by these consortia.

This and other lessons shaped a proposal for the implementation and management of the INNOPAC library system in LELICO. A proposed model recommends a central server as a more cost-effective management solution. The model also explains the mode of operation by member libraries and the coordinated structures that would implement and manage the INNOPAC library system, adapted to the specific requirements of a small, multi-type consortium in a developing country like Lesotho. Given its successful performance in consortia and libraries across Southern African countries, the study recommends further research into the advantages and challenges of INNOPAC for wider regional library cooperation.

© University of Pretoria 2008

Please cite as follows:

Taole, N 2008, Evaluation of the Innopac Library system in selected consortia and libraries in the southern African region : implications for the Lesotho Library consortium, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04082009-204135/>


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