SUNConferences, LIASA 2013

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Library and innovation in the ever changing face of user needs: an academic library
Ephenia M. Peu

Last modified: 2014-01-25


We are currently living in a world where “up to date” or “most current” is always a betteroption to many other things. Each person and entity out there should be able to adapt tochanges of the world and people. If there was no change there would have been noinnovation, no technology and no knowledge to go around for improvement of our livelihood.Both aspects of Change and Innovation share a close relationship. Change is always such adaunting and scary move for any person or entity but to see innovation take place, thereneeds to be the desire to change the current form of things to what would be suitable and inpar with future goals.Libraries have evolved over time and many have accepted changes that have come with timeeven though so many of the aspects such as the physical space, clientele, informationresources, technological facilities and staff members have been challenging. Change is aninevitable fact, which comes bearing fruits all the time.Such changes within the library environment include offering real time remote libraryservices; a well-rounded online experience that could be mistaken for an actual physicallibrary visit; online chat service; online and video tutorials; virtual tours; a larger variety ofe-book offerings and having librarians that are skilled to carry out these services. The resultsof these changes challenge the library to think out of the box and invest in technologicaldevelopments that would allow these changes to take place.A great example of an institution embracing changes is The University of Pretoria LibraryServices (UPLS). It has made strides in which improvements in their services have beenmade. The UPLS has integrated web 2.0 tools to be able to advance its services it provides toall its clients. These tools include Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and Wikis, where some of the newbooks can be advertised, the latest developments in the library be publicised and hear whatthe community as a whole has to say. An additional service that has improved service is the“Chat to a Librarian”, real time chat service that users have come to appreciate as it offersassistance that is immediately needed. These tools have helped highlight some of the needs ofthe library users.Innovation is brought