South African higher education library mergers

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  • 1. SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION LIBRARY MERGERS: WHAT DID THEY ACHIEVE? Library and Information Services 15th LIASA Conference Vivian Agyei 10 October 2013 Merger policy is seldom merger practice Jonathan Jansen

2. Library and Information Services ORDER OF PRESENTATION Goals for higher education institutional mergers General perceptions on mergers Aim of the study Approach Limitations of the study Findings Conclusions Recommendations 3. Library and Information Services GOALS FOR THE HE INSTITUTIONAL MERGERS An increased contribution to the solution of social problems Improved use of financial and human resources Curriculum restructuring Improved administrative governance of higher education institutions Increased student access A better standard of higher education An increase in training and development of higher education staff 4. Library and Information Services GENERAL PERCEPTIONS ON MERGERS Traumatic Government does not follow-up on implementation of employment equity Government does not follow up on the cost of mergers Government does not follow up on utilisation of resources Mergers failed 5. Library and Information Services To assess the success of the mergers in creating efficient university of technology libraries out of the former technikon libraries w.r.t. provision ofo AIM OF THE STUDY Infrastructure Financial 6. Library and Information Services (5) Surveyed areas (3) Focus on SA UoTs formed from mergers (2) Survey Monkey (1) Questionnaire APPROACH (4) Obtain data 7. Library and Information Services LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Small and targeted sample Not aimed at all staff of the said libraries Some of the directors may or may have not been in the former technikons The views of the directors may differ significantly from those of their staff 8. Library and Information Services Some of the directors may be for or against the mergers Survey may not cover the full extent of areas surveyed in the libraries Responses were interpreted at face value ./ 2 Limitations of the study 9. Library and Information Services FINDINGS All the libraries surveyed report to academic environments They have campus/branch libraries ranging in number from 6 to 13 Numbers of students served range from 25,000 to 55,000 they are universities they conduct research as a KPA All the libraries view UoTs as more demanding of LIS than technikons 10. Library and Information Services Staff morale in 66% of the libraries was low High rates of personnel turnover Job- hopping Complaints All met employment equity targets Only 34% of those surveyed analysed needs per campus to determine staffing 66% indicated that the design and population of their current organisational structures were based on job retention for then existing staff thus ignoring matching skills with jobs or needs Human resources ./ 2 findings 11. Library and Information Services 66% of the libraries were working on re- aligning organisational structures with institutional objectives ./ 3 findings Human resources Staff morale in 34% of the libraries was high o Taking advantage of new opportunities and o Personal growth from diverse cultures 12. Library and Information Services ./ 4 findings Funding for library collections increased since the merger in 66% of those surveyed For some, funding stagnated in the past few years COLLECTIONS OF INFORMATION RESOURCES Financial resources 13. Library and Information Services ./ 5 findings All the libraries allocated 60% of the budgets to development of e-resource collections, and 40% to print COLLECTIONS OF INFORMATION RESOURCES Financial resources 14. Library and Information Services ./ 6 findings Financial resources 66% of the libraries were not satisfied with budgets received: o No formula for allocations o Expressed needs not provided for o Allocations had been decreasing by the year 34% were satisfied with the budget allocated. OPERATIONAL BUDGETS 15. Library and Information Services ./ 7 findings Financial resources 66% of the respondents had not received funding specifically for library development since the merger However, all the libraries had seen development in one or more of o integration of information literacy training into curricula o statistics collection and analysis LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT 16. Library and Information Services ./ 8 findings Financial resources Library development LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT o establishment of an institutional repository o library e-learning for staff o setting up of e-tutorials o focused staff development and training o alignment of library services with university goals o postgraduate service with librarians especially for the purpose 17. ./ 9 findings Infrastructure Library and Information Services 34% had realised an extension of a library and its renovation into a modern academic library 66% of the libraries had not realised any improvement in infrastructure since the merger None of the libraries perceived existing infrastructure as adequate. 18. Library and Information Services Whether library mergers enhanced the efficiency of library services ./ 9 findings 66% of the participants answered in the affirmative * More diverse collections * A diverse skills base * The library is regarded by the institution as a strategic partner in teaching, learning and research * We do things smarter and better For 34%, there was misalignment between resourcing the libraries and the expectation of fulfilling objectives 19. Library and Information Services There has not been improvement in the provision of human or financial resources to 66% of the libraries since the merger Only 34% of those surveyed has seen improvement in the provision of human and financial resources since the merger None of the surveyed libraries had seen improvement in the infrastructure CONCLUSION 20. Library and Information Services CONCLUSION The majority of the libraries plan to re-engineer their environments to o Better align organisational structures, services and o human resources deployment with the demands of provision of service to a university of technology 21. Library and Information Services RECOMMENDATIONS Institutions should include libraries in their submissions for infrastructure for research support With respect to research support, the government expects institutions to have appropriate research infrastructure in terms of library holdings (CEPD 2001: 68). They acknowledge that building research capacity and infrastructure may take time and depends on availability of resources. 22. Library and Information Services /2 Recommendations Institutions should include libraries in their submissions for redress projects; e.g. IEF grants Government acknowledged that successful implementation of the National Plan for Higher Education was dependent on securing adequate funding for restructuring and re-engineering, in particular, for redress purposes. 23. Library and Information Services /3 Recommendations Government should introduce mechanisms to ensure alignment of resource provision to institutions with their set outcomes. Otherwise, mergers will continue to be perceived as a stumbling block to development in higher education rather than an enabler that they were meant to be. Libraries must not let up on trying to get support for improved funding, re-engineering and infrastructure development 24. Library and Information Services Questions/Comments? Merger policy is seldom merger practice Jonathan Jansen