LibGuides as a collection development tool : the case of North-West University, South Africa
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This paper uses informetrics methods to explore the use of LibGuides to benchmark and select books at the Mafikeng Campus of the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa. The books selected or recommended by librarians in all public university LibGuides were identified and compared with those of NWU Library and Information Services-Mafikeng Campus. A list of all books that were not available at the Campus but conform to the collection development policy of NWU Library and Information Services was sent to the relevant academic departments for selection. The books that were recommended for purchase by the departments were then ordered. This study reports the results of this exercise. The availability of the books at NorthWest University, extent of their usage, their users and the publishers are determined. Among the findings is that 60.6% of the titles have been checked out in the last six months or so. The check-out rate was 0.93 times per title. Books published by publishers that have a strong local content performed well in terms of check-out rates. Another finding was that undergraduate students were more likely to borrow the books than the other user groups. The results of this study will add to the growing body of literature on the impact of LibGuides in academic libraries. It will also provide a new perspective of how LibGuides are used as a collection development tool in the developing world.
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