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Library tour introduces learners to the wonderful world of Unisa

by Itumeleng Mpete on 2024-05-22T12:35:00+02:00 | 0 Comments
On 10 April 2024, 110 grade 12 learners and four teachers from the EPP Mhinga High School in Limpopo explored the world of knowledge by visiting Unisa Library and Information Services (LIS) at the Muckleneuck campus in Pretoria. LIS facilitates library tours to introduce visitors to the layout, resources, and services available.


Grade 12 learners from the EPP Mhinga High School and LIS staff members

According to Meshack Mangwane, teacher at EPP Mhinga High School, the purpose of this visit was to introduce leaners to academic research tools and databases to prepare them to use the library as a valuable academic resource throughout their university careers. Furthermore, the school requested that Unisa facilitate the library tour to give learners a better idea of the diverse range of resources, services, and facilities available through comprehensive open, distance and e-learning (CODeL), information that will help them make informed decisions when the time comes to apply for enrolment in 2025.

LIS recognises the 12 official South African languages, and Itumeleng Mpete and Mokgadi Senyolo welcomed learners in their native language (Tsonga) to illustrate Unisa’s commitment to promoting indigenous languages.

As the tour progressed, the group was guided through various sections of the library, such as Archives and Special Collections, Audio-Visual Collections, and the Digitisation Centre by library staff members Anri Van Westhuizen, Joe Sindane and Henry Matjila.

Learners and teachers actively participated in the presentation, asking questions and expressing enthusiasm for learning about LIS. Two of the learners, Nshavo Merit Chauke and Ngalava Ndlovu, were amazed by the archives section, which houses selected records dating back to 1873 and that are accessible only in the LIS archives rooms. They were also excited to see some of the older computer equipment and to discover how the old records are documented.

In contrast, the second library tour, held on 15 April 2024, hosted distinguished guests from the University of Cienfuegos (UCF), Cuba: Professor Orquidea Urquiola Sanchez (Rector), Professor Loani Garcia Fernandez (Specialist in Academic Internalisation Relations), and Lauren Luis Acosta (Diplomatic Attaché, Head of Press and Cultural Affairs Office). They were  accompanied by Dr Loyiso Luvalo from the College of Education at Unisa.


From left: Mantutu Mabasa, Dr Loyiso Luvalo, Prof Orquidea Urquiola Sanchez, Lauren Luis Acosta, Prof Loani Garcia Fernandez

The focus of this tour was on initiating a collaborative partnership between Unisa and UCF, and Sanchez expressed a keen interest in fostering a close relationship  between the publishing departments at the two institutions. The visitors were welcomed by LIS staff members Mantutu Mabasa, Busisiwe Manala, Sonto Morudu, Lufuno Kgamedi, Ncedisa Peter, and Henry Liebenberg, representing various sections. They also met briefly with the Directors, Segametsi Molawa and Dr Khomotso Marumo.

During the tour, guests were introduced to research technology tools, archived record systems and the Van Schaik Room, which showcases a succinct history of Unisa, featuring prominent alumni and LIS supporters. There was an exciting and unexpected moment when the visitors discovered a CD featuring music from Cuba (Mas Leyendas De La Habana) in the Audio-Visual Collections. This unexpected discovery added a personal touch to their library experience since they felt a connection with famous Cuban musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club right in the heart of LIS’s diverse music collection.

Sanchez was impressed by how LIS preserves, organises, and manages all its resources, and particularly enjoyed the warm welcome she received from the LIS staff members.


* By Busisiwe Manala, Marketing Officer, LIS

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