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Jotello F Soga Library
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Veterinary Science

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  Website maintained by
Antoinette Lourens
Welcome to the Jotello F Soga Library
  Staff and Subjects
Staff member
Contact information

Susan Marsh
Faculty Library Manager & Information Specialist
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8007
e-mail: susan.marsh@up.ac.za
Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology
Equine Research Centre
Companion Animal Clinical Studies

Tertia Coetsee
Information Specialist
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8580
e-mail: tertia.coetsee@up.ac.za
Veterinary Tropical Diseases
Paraclinincal Sciences
UP Biomedical Research Centre

Amelia Breytenbach
Information Specialist
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8391
e-mail: amelia.breytenbach@up.ac.za
Ordering and receiving of books
Cataloguing and classification of books
Metadata specialist
Electronic books
Digital repository

Marguerite Nel
Information Specialist
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8474
e-mail: marguerite.nel@up.ac.za
Ordering and receiving of books
Cataloguing and classification of books
Outside users

Antoinette Lourens
Information Specialist
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8008
e-mail: antoinette.lourens@up.ac.za
Production Animal Studies
Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies
Web designing

Maria Mtsweni
Library Assistant
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8009
e-mail: maria.mtsweni@up.ac.za
Journal binding
Circulation desk
Book shelver

Mathuloe Moshidi
Information Assistant
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8007
e-mail: mathuloe.moshidi@up.ac.za
Photocopying assistant
Journal shelver
Book shelver


Myra Marais
Tel no.: +27 12 529-8009
After hours assistant

Information for new users
Outside users
  Overview of the library

The Jotello F Soga Library serves the only Faculty of Veterinary Science in the country and as such has a unique role to play in veterinary teaching, learning and research. The Faculty is the 2nd oldest Faculty of Veterinary Science in Africa and dates back to 1920.
The Faculty has positioned itself internationally and has broad recognition for the quality of its undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It is regarded as a national asset and is expected to play a leading role in veterinary education, research and community engagement in the SADC region and further afield in Africa.
Our Faculty Library, named after the first South African to qualify as a veterinary surgeon is committed to the overall vision and mission of the UP Dept of Library Services and delivers a customised service to clients of the Faculty of Veterinary Science.


The library was established in 1974 when the Faculty of Veterinary Science became part of the University of Pretoria. The Faculty was founded by Sir Arnold Theiler in 1920 and used the library of the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute for the first 5 decades of its existence. In April 1987 the faculty library moved to new quarters in the Sir Arnold Theiler Building.

On 5 May 2009 the library was named for the first South African who qualified as a veterinary surgeon. Dr Jotello Festiri Soga studied for the veterinary degree at the University of Edinburgh and qualified in 1886. "Dr Soga played an important role in combating rinderpest and lung-sickness in the country as the first qualified South African veterinarian. He also laid a foundation for veterinary education in South Africa. But he is better known in veterinary circles as a pioneer researcher in the study of toxic plants and their effect on animals - both for their poisonous and curative effects." (Prof Gerry Swan, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria)

The South African Veterinary Association awards the Soga Medal annually. "The fact that we award the Soga Medal is an indication that we respect and admire his contribution - not only his work as a veterinarian but his commitment to the community." (Dr Colin Cameron, CEO South African Veterinary Association)


- This library plays a unique role in veterinary teaching, learning and research in South Africa and the region, as it serves the only veterinary faculty in the country.

- As this faculty is involved in other veterinary schools in the wider region, such as Mozambique and Tanzania, the library's role extends beyond South Africa's borders.

- The information sources collections have to include all relevant books, journals, CDs and DVDs necessary to ensure that undergraduate and postgraduate students have optimum access to information, to enhance their learning experience, and their research endeavours.


We have 7 staff members comprising 5 information specialists and 2 information assistants. Three of the information specialists are allocated to specific departments while 2 half day information specialists are responsible for the ordering, cataloguing and classification of books and journals as well as the editing of metadata during the population process of UPSpace, the university's Institutional Repository. The information assistants are responsible for shelving of journals and books, national and international document ordering and delivering, the circulation desk, photocopying and scanning of material.


Our annual budget enables us to purchase all relevant veterinary information material - books, journals and audio-visual material.

Statistics to portray the current status of our information collection:

Paper books
- Open Collection 13720
- Study collection 1984
- Reference collection 827
E-Books 112
Audiovisual collection 1350
Paper journal titles in collection 668
Current print subscriptions 158
Current single title electronic subscriptions* 39
* This includes only individual subscriptions for the Jotello F Soga library and not the e-journals we have access to via the UPLS e-journal platforms
Veterinary e-THESES in UPeTD 191
- Veterinary science 24 collections - 680 items
- South African National Veterinary Repository 7 collections - 235 items
Source: M Nel & A Breytenbach (May 2010)
** Evaluation of our Journal collection

According to the latest Basic List of Veterinary Serials (to be published in 2010) compiled by the Veterinary Serials Committee of the Veterinary Medical Libraries' Section of the Medical Library Association, we have access to all top 20 journals on this list. (1 Title Paper only; 9 Titles Paper and Electronic access and 10 Titles Electronic only)


On the library home page all relevant databases for veterinary sciences are grouped under “Library in your office” or "Veterinary Databases"
These include CAB Direct, Wildlife and Ecology Studies Worldwide, Medline, Science Direct, Scopus and Zoological Record.


Computer workstations for library staff: 11
Printers for library staff: 7
Computer workstations for library clients: 9
Printers for library clients: 3
Ariel scanner: 1
Workstation and Scanner for library staff: 1 (Also used by clients when necessary)

The Faculty's Computer Lab which is furnished with 145 workstations and 2 network printers is used by Library Staff for Information Literacy Training sessions and by library clients to access library resources.


Study seats: 80 ; Study cubicles: 5
Group facilities: One seminar room for 10 people. Mostly used for audiovisual purposes, TV, video DVD, CD.


It is situated within the same building as the lecture halls ( 4th and 5th levels of the Sir Arnold Theiler Building) and it adjoins the Computer Aided Instruction section.


The Jotello F Soga Library is a branch library within the Department of Library Services. All functions have been decentralised so that each branch library is responsible for its own budget, ordering and cataloguing/ classification of information sources, delivery of articles for users, database searches, user instruction etc.

We are supported by the following units/departments in the Merensky Library: Executive Management, Human Resources, ICT (Systems), Finance, Library Technical Services, Facilities, Quality Assurance, the e-Service unit, the Circulation unit, Interlending unit , Bindery unit and the Specialist unit dealing with marketing, training and product and service development.

The library has its own circulation desk and technical services such as the acquisition, cataloguing and classification of information sources and interlending services are done by allocated staff members in the team.

Staff members participate in corporate projects, training events, and regularly attend meetings at the Merensky Library such as meetings of the Library Management Forum, Faculty Library Forum, General Staff, Circulation desk, Interlending Unit, Information Specialists, Technology coordinators, Library Technical Services, Web Steering Committee, Education Innovation/Library joint meeting and the E-Services Steering Committee.


Our library uses the ARIEL system enabling faster and more efficient delivery of articles requested, both nationally and internationally.

No. of documents requested from other libraries in 2010 = ?. ? documents were received.

No. of articles requested from overseas in 2010 = ? articles

No. of requests received for documents in 2010 =? of which ? were satisfied.

No. of requests received from overseas in 2010 = ? documents of which ? were satisfied.
Most of these requests (92) were to libraries in the USA. The other 59 were divided as follows - 19 to Zimbabwe, 2 to Hungary, 2 to Spain, 1 to Norway, 34 to Mozambique and 1 to the UK.


On a national basis staff members participate in activities of professional bodies such as LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa), the SAOUG (Southern African Online User Group), HICSA (Health Information Community of South Africa) and GAELIC (Gauteng and Environs Library Consortium).

Participation includes attendance of, participating in and hosting of conferences, workshops, special interest group meetings and functions and serving on committees.

Some of the staff members are often recognised for their expertise in certain areas and are approached for training or support to members of the profession.

Some personnel are members of the Rural Vet and Veterinary Wildlife listservs.

On the international front we are members of the international veterinary librarians’ listserv, VETLIB-L. It is a very effective way of sharing information with colleagues worldwide and often obtaining information and sources not available through the normal channels.

International conferences such as IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations), ICML (International Congress on Medical Librarianship) and ICAHIS (International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists) have been attended and papers have been delivered at most of these conferences. The 5th ICAHIS held in 2005, was organized and hosted by staff members of the Jotello F Soga library.

Some of the staff members have also in the past attended conferences of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA).

Through our VET BOOKS FOR AFRICA project we are helping to improve the standard of information provision in the libraries of other veterinary schools in Africa.

Our 3 unique bibliographies ( Ostrich Bibliography, African Rhinoceros Bibliography, Wildlife Rehabilitation Bibliography) have made an important contribution to facilitating the use of animal reference material worldwide.


  Library hours
Normal hours

Mon, Wed, Thu & Friday: 7:30 - 18:00
Tue: 8:30 - 18:00
Sat: 8:30 - 12:30

Vacation hours

Mon, Wed, Thu & Friday: 7:30 - 16:00
Tue: 8:30 - 16:00
Sat: Closed

Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays


  Floor plan of Level 4

Floor plan of Level 4
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