UCT scholars get international recognition in library assessment

09 November 2012 | Story by Newsroom

Karin de JagerLifetime achievement: Karin de Jager with the certificate acknowledging her contribution to library assessment in the recently restored Jagger Library.

Libraries sometimes have to do a little navel-gazing, figuring out the whys and wherefores of what they do.

Two recently retired librarians from UCT were honoured for their contributions to that contemplation. Former Associate Professor Karin de Jager of the Library and Information Studies Centre, or LISC, and Joan Rapp, former executive director of UCT Libraries, have received 2012 Library Assessment Career Achievement Awards from the US-based Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in the US.

Each year, the ARL recognises individuals who have made "substantial contributions to effective, sustainable and practical library assessment through presentations/publications, methods, service, advocacy and other work."

De Jager and Rapp were two of the four 2012 recipients, the other two winners hailing from Canada and the US.

De Jager has been a teacher and researcher at UCT and a pioneer in the field of library assessment and evaluation for more than 20 years, both in South Africa and internationally. In South Africa, her assessment work has included information literacy, research commons, information technology in libraries, a framework for assessing library quality, and working with public library staff to strengthen the role of libraries in the community.

Prior to joining UCT - she served here from 1998 to 2011 - Rapp had held senior positions in several American university libraries. The ARL commended her on her "optimistic, grounded" view of library assessment.

After braving Superstorm Sandy to attend the 4th Library Assessment Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia where she received the award, De Jager commented, "The award came as a tremendous surprise and honour. It brings substantial international recognition both to UCT and to me."

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