Why blog? After a workshop a few years ago the UKZN library decided that creating a library blog would be a useful addition to the range of communication channels it uses to reach its wide range of users. A set of rules and a code of ethics were established, parameters discussed and a roster drawn up. All subject librarians and heads of departments are on the roster. Two blogs a month are posted.
An editorial team under the leadership of Ms Faith Magwaza, principal librarian for Humanities was set up to guide bloggers, proofread and support the process – and yes we have the T shirt!
The merits of blogging are often listed as including strengthening one’s knowledge, being creative, helping others, sharing with colleagues, building confidence in writing skills, writing about one’s interests and passions, creating awareness, meeting like-minded people or just enjoying this forum and so on. For some UKZN subject librarians writing is a daunting task and blogging is a challenging venture but as time goes by skills are improving and although most of the blogs to date are on quite serious and on work related topics, staff are stepping up to the challenge as they gain confidence.
The editorial committee comprises subject librarians from each campus. The Edgewood rep is Mukesh Kemraj who says this about being on the team: ”I like being part of the team as it showcases the library staff’s talent and broadens an individual’s understanding of the library profession as a whole.”
|Mukesh Kemraj (Edgewood)|
|Ashika Pramlal (Westville)|
Says Ashika Pramlal, the Westville library representative “As a member of the editorial team this has been a “learning curve” for me. Reading the blogs of colleagues has been a most humbling experience and I am touched by the talent and enthusiasm of bloggers thus far. I have learnt a lot being part of the blog team and it has been an enjoyable and enriching experience.”
The Pietermaritzburg contingent of representatives comprises Rose Kuhn, Jillian Viljoen, Renee Damonse and Shorba Harkhu. “We enjoy group work and reading our colleague’s postings!” Rose, Jillian and Renee are based in the main library and Shorba is based at the Life Sciences Library.
|Pmb Cecil Renaud: Renee; Jillian and Rose|
|Pmb Life sciences: Shorba|
Howard College has 3 representatives on the editorial team. Nonjabulo Ngcobo, Subject Librarian for Humanities has this to say about being on the team: “I am a member of the Bloggers Team, and my role is editorial which is basically the checking of the content of the blogs objectively and provide criticism without tearing down the work of the writers/ authors. I am very thankful and blessed for working with a wonderful team as I gain new knowledge every time we meet and by reading other writers blogs.”
Also from EG Malherbe library is Nontobeko Sikhosana who feels that: “being part of the blogging team has been a wonderful experience for me; I have learnt new and interesting things through other colleagues’ write-ups. Blogging is brain opening, it is fun to hear what other people think and feel, and it is an effective way to share ideas with each other.”
|Nontobeko Sikhosana (EGM library)|
|Nonjabulo Ngcobo (EGM Library)|
And finally, from Faith Magwaza: “As a part of the blogging team I co-ordinate all the activities of the Blog. My positive experience on the team is seeing the talent and commitment of bloggers in submitting their blogs on time and openly accepting the comments of the editorial team. One of the successes of the team is that Library blogs are now available on the UKZN Facebook page."
To see all the blogs go to: http://libwebteam.blogspot.com/
For a list of subject librarians, their disciplines and contact details go to: http://library.ukzn.ac.za/SubjectLibrarians772.aspx