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Title: Employment practices of student library assistants in academic libraries in KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Mthembu, Queen Ncamisile 
Keywords: Academic libraries;Academic libraries in KwaZulu-Natal;Employment practices;Part-time employment;Student employment;Student library assistants
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Employing student library assistants (SLAs) has been a time-honoured tradition of
academic libraries. In the library, SLAs help to staff the circulation desk during hours
when librarians are not available, to answer directional or reference questions and to
carry out special projects that benefit the library in various ways (Wu 2003: 141). SLAs
also benefit from working in the library, not only through financial gain, but university
libraries are the best training grounds for the development of their personal and
professional competencies.
The purpose of the study was to compare the overall employment practices of student
library assistants (SLAs) in academic libraries in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The research
project is intended to provide an understanding of the factors that affect the selection
and recruitment of SLAs, their hours of work and the rate of pay. This study used the
survey method as the data collection method. Two sets of questionnaires were
designed for two types of respondents, namely student library assistants as well as
their supervisors. The information was extracted from the questionnaires and
presented in the form of graphs and tables. The study revealed that many academic
libraries follow a similar pattern when selecting and recruiting student library
assistants; however, issues such as duration of training provided to SLAs, and having
a library guide prepared for students, tend to differ. The research findings could
contribute towards assisting academic libraries in improving their service delivery and
achieving their organisational mandate. Recommendations and suggestions where
differences were discovered are shared.
Description: Dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the Master's Degree in Technology: Library and Information Science, Durban University of Technology, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Accounting and Informatics)

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