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)
ROLE OF THE LIBRARY
- 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
Statistics to portray the current status of our information collection:
|INFORMATION RESOURCES || TOTALS|
|Paper books |
|- Open Collection
|| 13720 |
|- Study collection
|- Reference collection
|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|
|DIGITAL COLLECTIONS IN UPSPACE|
|- 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)
COMPUTERISED INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS
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
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
RELATIONSHIP TO THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
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.
INTERLIBRARY LOANS / DOCUMENT DELIVERY
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.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT
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
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
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
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