Developing an e-Strategy for the South African Astronomical Observatory Library and Information Service: A case study
South African Astronomical Observatory
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Published online: 27 July 2018
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Library and Information Service (LIS) forms part of the SAAO - which is a business unit of the National Research Foundation (NRF) in South Africa. Until recently each business unit had a library service that operated independently. With the formation of the NRF Knowledge Center (KC) this is set to change. Previously it was possible for a library service to conduct its processes and procedures in isolation as long as the LIS aligned with the business unit. This paper covers the study that investigated the needs and possible guidelines for an e-Strategy for the SAAO LIS that is both aligned to the broader NRF strategy but which also incorporates recommendations to upgrade the library products and services offering. The pool of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) -based products and services is growing. ‘Upgrading’ therefore requires that it is acknowledged that ICT provides essential infrastructure for the relevant the library. Library focused trends show continuous development. Bringing the SAAO LIS up to standard will require that these developments are continuously monitored for relevance and incorporation. This paper provides information about the SAAO LIS and its history. Both ‘SWOT’ and ‘PESTEL’ analyses were used to direct the discussion on the internal and external influences on the SAAO LIS. The analyses also provided insight into the challenges the SAAO LIS faces, the strengths that could be capitalized and the opportunities that could be exploited. The paper recommends that the SAAO LIS, before engaging in a strategic change, addresses the challenges of sustainable funding and accessibility to core resources. It is also recommends that the SAAO LIS uses its e-Strategy to ‘fast track’ the process of bringing it up to the standard required of world-class astronomy libraries.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.