Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research,
Professor Nelson Ijumba cuts out the
ribbon at the launch of the Westville
Campus Library Research Commons.
UKZN libraries officially launched the Westville Campus Library Research Commons (RC) with an aim of enhancing research output at the University.
The RC is intended to serve senior postgraduate students, academics and researchers of UKZN – especially the emerging researchers who may not have this space for research production.
Guest speaker, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Professor Nelson Ijumba had the honour of cutting the ribbon. In his address he said the importance of the research commons is that postgraduate students now have a quiet space in the library where they can do their research.
In her welcome address, Head of Information Services in Westville Library, Ms Noni Makhathini said: ‘The opening of the research commons shows how serious the library is in supporting UKZN’s strategic priority of becoming a research-led institution and to increase knowledge production.’
Director of Libraries, Dr Nora Buchanan highlighted to the audience the concept of the research commons. ‘The concept of the Research Commons is a logical extension of the Information Commons idea which has had many successful implementations in university libraries in the United States and in South Africa (first one was in UCT in 2000).’
She added this is a “truly South African idea” which brings together high-end technology, access to extensive online information resources and well trained staff with the skills to support researchers in a dedicated physical space.
‘We are therefore grateful to Professor Ijuma for making funds available to build and equip another new Research Commons at Westville and we know it is going to be well used,’ she added.
Subject Librarian, Dr Richard Beharilal thanked all staff members who were involved in putting the launch together and for the support they had received from everyone that was involved.
There are 30 allocated computer workstations and a laptop area where users can use their own laptops. The facility has wireless connection. The RC features a bookable seminar room with a projector and a whiteboard wall for senior postgraduates to hold presentations and seminars. Tables and chairs in the seminar room can be re-configured to suit the needs of the users and can reflect either a 'classroom style' or 'seminar style' arrangement. There is also a comfortable lounge and relaxation area with the daily newspaper.
The RC is located on Level 9 of the Westville Main Library (B-Block). Operating hours of opening are similar to the library hours.