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Carnegie Corporation of New York
carnegie corporation
MEDIA RELEASE

08 SEPTEMBER 2008


UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA RECEIVES GRANT TO DEVELOP LIBRARY SKILLS AND LEADERSHIP

The University of Pretoria’s Department of Library Services has received a three-year grant worth R7.5-million from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY).

Carnegie Corporation of New York is a US-based foundation that plays an active role in funding library and related knowledge centres across the world. It was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.

In the last four years, Carnegie Corporation has invested almost R75-million in South African libraries.

This grant will enable the University of Pretoria to achieve or deliver the following products/services:

A self sustaining Library Leadership center at the University of Pretoria
Comprehensive library leadership development plan for library managers and librarians in South Africa.
Achievement of a high level of measurable improved skills and service delivery among library leaders.
Develop a cadre of 120 well-trained library leaders who can lead libraries effectively through the challenging library and information services (LIS) landscape in South Africa.
Building of a team of library leadership trainers who would be able to continue training after the termination of the grant.
Create an advanced state-of-the-art training facility to be located in the Merensky Library (at the Hatfield Campus of the University).
According to the University’s Director of Library Services - Mr Robert Moropa, the Carnegie Corporation, has through this grant, entrusted the UP Library with the responsibility of empowering and enhancing the skills of library leaders in Southern Africa.

“This grant is a clear demonstration of the confidence that the Board of the Carnegie Corporation of New York has in the University, and more specifically, in the Library. Thus far CCNY's various grants to national, public and academic libraries in South Africa focused on collection development, library buildings and the collaborative tri-university web-based research commons. This grant, however, is an investment in library human capital which will then be able to support and take library services to new heights in South Africa," he said.

The Principal of the University of Pretoria – Professor Calie Pistorius – welcomed the grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

“It is the type of partnership that we, as a tertiary institution, appreciate as it enables us to explore various ways of improving our information management, database resources management, service delivery, etc. Ultimately, students and staff will benefit in their various research endeavours", he said.

Recently, the Corporation’s leadership visited South Africa to inaugurate the opening of a multi-campus electronic research consortium and also to attend the opening of a new campus of the National Library in Pretoria.

The Corporation's library work reflects the importance of public libraries in the South African context where they serve as important and powerful levers of societal change.

According to Carnegie’s President - Vartan Gregorian, funding focuses on fostering the development of literacy programs; strengthening linkages between education and library systems; promoting continuing education and adult learning; and bridging the digital divide.

"A library may be the single institution that best represents South Africa's open society. No matter what form they take, libraries have become indispensable to the advancement of South Africa's people and to the development of their democracy. South Africa's libraries are also helping to preserve and provide access to the country's rich cultural and intellectual patrimony,” he said.

Grant funds from the Carnegie Corporation are also used by various libraries in South Africa to increase access to the Internet; to catalogue and provide access to large segments of the previously un-catalogued collection; to purchase materials published by South Africans locally and abroad, thereby building the collection of contemporary indigenous fiction and non-fiction in all 11 official South African languages.

________________________________________________________________

For more information regarding the grant to the University of Pretoria, please contact
Ms Ujala Satgoor
Deputy Director (Marketing, Fundraising and Training)
Department of Library Services
Tel. + 2712-420-2565
Email: ujala.satgoor@up.ac.za

For more information on the Carnegie Corporation, please contact
George Soule
Tel: +212-207-6344
Email: gs@carnegie.org

For media information regarding the University of Pretoria, please contact
Gilbert Mokwatedi
Tel: +2712-420-3023
Mobile: +2783 713 4478 or +2778 337 1170
E-mail: gilbert.mokwatedi@up.ac.za

 
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