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SA Higher Education Library Mergers - Vivian Agyei


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SA Higher Education Library Mergers - Vivian Agyei

  1. 1. Library and Information Services SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION LIBRARY MERGERS: WHAT DID THEY ACHIEVE? 15th LIASA Conference 10 October 2013 “Merger policy is seldom merger practice” Vivian Agyei Jonathan Jansen
  2. 2. 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 Library and Information Services
  3. 3. An increase in training and development of higher education staff An increased contribution to the solution of social problems Improved use of financial and human resources GOALS FOR THE HE A better standard of higher education INSTITUTIONAL MERGERS Increase d student access Curriculum restructurin g Improved administrativ e governance of higher education institutions Library and Information Services
  4. 4. 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 Library and Information Services
  5. 5. AIM OF THE STUDY 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 Infrastructure Financial Library and Information Services
  6. 6. (1) Questionnaire (5) Surveyed areas (2) APPROACH Survey Monke y (3) (4) Obtain data Focus on SA UoTs formed from mergers Library and Information Services
  7. 7. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Small and targeted sample Not aimed at all staff of the said libraries The views of the directors may differ significantly from those of their staff Some of the directors may or may have not been in the former technikons Library and Information Services
  8. 8. …./ 2 Limitations of the study 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 Library and Information Services
  9. 9. 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 All the libraries view UoTs as more demanding of LIS than technikons they are universities they conduct research as a KPA Library and Information Services
  10. 10. 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 Only 34% of those surveyed analysed needs per campus to determine staffing All met employment equity targets …./ 2 findings Staff morale in 66% of the libraries was low • High rates of personnel turnover • Jobhopping • Complaints Library and Information Services
  11. 11. …./ 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 66% of the libraries were working on realigning organisational structures with institutional objectives Library and Information Services
  12. 12. Financial resources COLLECTIO NS OF INFORMATI ON RESOURCE S …./ 4 findings Funding for library collections increased since the merger in 66% of those surveyed For some, funding stagnated in the past few years Library and Information Services
  13. 13. Financial COLLECTIO resources …./ 5 findings NS OF INFORMATI ON RESOURCE S All the libraries allocated 60% of the budgets to development of e-resource collections, and 40% to print Library and Information Services
  14. 14. …./ 6 findings Financial resources OPERATION AL BUDGETS 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. Library and Information Services
  15. 15. …./ 7 findings Financial resources LIBRARY DEVELOPME NT 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 and Information Services
  16. 16. …./ 8 findings Financial resources Library development LIBRARY DEVELOPME NT 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 Library and Information Services
  17. 17. …./ 9 findings Infrastructure 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. Library and Information Services
  18. 18. …./ 9 findings Whether library mergers enhanced the efficiency of library services 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 Library and Information Services
  19. 19. CONCLUSION Only 34% of those surveyed has seen improvement in the provision of human and financial resources since the merger There has not been improvement in the provision of human or financial resources to 66% of the libraries since the merger None of the surveyed libraries had seen improvement in the infrastructure Library and Information Services
  20. 20. CONCLUSION The majority of the libraries plan to re-engineer their environments to o o Better align organisational structures, services and human resources deployment with the demands of provision of service to a university of technology Library and Information Services
  21. 21. 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. Library and Information Services
  22. 22. …/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. Library and Information Services
  23. 23. …/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 Library and Information Services
  24. 24. “Merger policy is seldom merger practice” Jonathan Jansen Questions/Comments? Library and Information Services