Zanele and Oarabile

Zanele and Oarabile

DISA hosted another two-week internship training programme that was attended by two interns from Botswana. The interns were Oarabile Rakgamanyane, an archivist from the Archives Unit at the University of Botswana who is also responsible for the Institutional Repository and Zanele Hadebe, senior librarian at the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC) based in Maun. Their motivation for attending this training was inspired by the need to set up digital libraries within their respective units.  Zanele had some experience of digitisation by being involved in digitising maps and slides at the HOORC Centre.

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A new guide has been published by the Research Information Network in the UK whose aim, according to their website, is to

  • enhance and broaden understanding of how researchers in the UK create and use information resources and services of all kinds
  • support the development of effective policies and practices for researchers, institutions, funders, information professionals and everyone who is involved in the information landscape.

The guide, for senior institutional managers and policy makers, “focuses on how academic librarians are experiencing and responding to financial cuts in the current economic climate”.  Although largely geared for the UK landscape, the chapter on Library Strategies is relevant to our South African situation. 

The guide is available for download here

Open access news from in their latest newsletter is available here 

According to the newsletter, JISC in the UK has released a Digital Repositories InfoKit which is a practical guide to setting up and running a digitial repository (mainly institutional repositories) and includes planning, setting-up, management and maintenance guidelines. 

DISA has a wide range of guidelines relating to best practices for digitisation and metadata for digital projects. These guidelines are soon to be expanded with additional toolkits and information to support management and maintenance of (institutional and subject) repositories.

Do you have other user requirements? Let us know by posting a comment below.


A call went out recently for comments on the comparative evaluation of 4 IR software packages - DSpace, ePrints, Fedora and Zentity.

The project blog at gives more information …

The analysis includes both qualitative and quantitative measures taken from default installations of the repositories on a benchmark machine with a predefined base collection. The repository software will also be evaluated on the execution of four common workflows: consume, submit, accept, and batch.

Our aim is to produce a holistic evaluation that will describe the four repository software packages in a comparative manner, similar in approach to Consumer Reports. The output of this study will be useful for repository developers, repository managers, and especially those who are selecting a repository for the first time. As members of these respective communities and the organizations who support them are increasingly collaborating (e.g, DuraSpace), this study will help identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of each solution to inform the “best-of-breed” in future solutions that may be developed.

We solicited and received input from the principals of each repository project. The purpose of this blog is to request comments from the DSpace, Fedora, e-Prints, and Zentity developer and user communities to help us refine our evaluative criteria and appropriate measures and methods. Comments can be left at

The IFLA International Newspaper Conference recently took place in Delhi, India, from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February 2010. The Conference attracted a wide variety of participants locally from India and internationally. The National Libraries of France, Finland, Australia, Singapore and India were represented as well as the Royal Library of Sweden. The British Library and the Library of Congress Newspaper sections were also represented. DISA was invited to present a paper on the state of newspaper digitisation in South Africa.


Frederick Zarndt

Lighting the lamp                                           Frederick Zarndt talking about born digital newspapers

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