IT supports the library through the provision, maintenance and set-up of infrastructure...
The library is more than a repository of books, more than a computer lab and more than a place to study; the power of the library lies in its services which are offered through contact on each campus of the NWU, but also digitally to all library patrons. Some of these digital services include:
• Portals for the discovery of in
• Reliable access to electronic
• Support guides and training
• Increased visibility and dissem-
ination of research
These services can only be realised through close partnership with IT Services which supports the library through the provision, set-up and maintenance of infrastructure on which these services are built, as illustrated as follow:
DB/Text WebPublisher PRO
This publishing tool provides an easy web-based user interface to databases which are built by the library (such as the exam papers and other special collections). Many of these databases are maintained and populated by other departments, and during a recent upgrade IT moved the system to a new server which allows the library to give departments more direct access to their data effectively streamlining the maintenance process.
EZproxy is used by libraries to give seamless access to patrons from outside of the NWU network to restricted electronic library resources such as subscription databases. Both the server and software were recently upgraded by IT which, through the addition of an SSL certificate, resolved various problems which the library experienced, while also giving the library more control to prevent misuse or malicious access.
Boloka, the Open Access Institutional Repository of the NWU houses various research outputs from the university including journals, articles published by NWU researchers, theses and dissertations and rare books. Recently the library upgraded to the latest version of DSpace – the software on which Boloka is built – in preparation for integration with the ORCID system, and IT supplied and supported the installation of a security certificate necessary for the integration. IT also maintains the infrastructure for Boloka.
The library website is the main starting point for most of the digital services of the library and as such easy access to it is essential for library users. IT upgraded the Drupal system on which the NWU website is built which allowed the library, with support from IT, to redesign the website to be much more mobile-friendly by scaling to whichever device a library patron is using. After the upgrade the library also received its own domain name (library.nwu.ac.za) which allows customizations on Drupal specifically for the library without any effect on the rest of the NWU site.
The Library Services on all three campuses are working with IT and the Research Office to investigate various aspects of eResearch at the NWU such as Research Data Management, Open Access and the implementation of
ORCID. Continued close collaboration between these departments will be necessary to successfully implement comprehensive
eResearch support at the NWU.