|At right, Paiki
Muswazi, deputy client services librarian at the University of the
Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, meets with, from left, Jody
Schenker, library assistant; Barbara Jones, the Caleb T. Winchester
University Librarian; Graziano Kratli, international program support
librarian at Yale University;
Alec McLane, music librarian and director of the World Music Archives; and
Diane Klare, head of reference, during his visit to Wesleyan April 14.
South African Librarian Learns about Research Methods at Wesleyan
A librarian has traveled from the other side of the world to experience ways
librarians in the United States aid researchers.
Paiki Muswazi, deputy client services librarian at the University of the
Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, included Wesleyan on his U.S.
library tour. He visited several library departments on April 14.
“I’m interested in knowing how librarians get data from researchers, and how
libraries support the use of data,” Muswazi explained during his visit. “I’m learning how U.S. libraries
research and how libraries give public access to this research.”
Muswazi is one of six librarians from universities of Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal
and The Witwatersqand visiting various research libraries in the United
States for six weeks. He is part of the Research Libraries Consortium
project, which aims to “transform and enrich support to researchers offered
by South African academic libraries.”
“One of the program expectations is for Paiki to visit other libraries in
the area, and it is a really nice honor that he had the opportunity to visit
Wesleyan,” says Barbara Jones, the Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian
at Olin Library. “Most international librarians only see the big research
libraries, and it is important when they get to see the vast array of types
of U.S. libraries.”
The program requires its international visitors to return with an
understanding of how librarians interact with researchers; experience
day-to-day interaction between librarians and researchers; gain a clear
impression of why researchers use the library; shadow research librarians
and participate in research activities; participate in discussions where
changes in policy are being addressed with regard to research services; and
be exposed to and gain an understanding of how technology is used to support
At Wesleyan, Muswazi toured the library’s reference collection, the
Information Commons and the Quantitative Analysis Center. At the University
of the Witwatersrand, he is involved in planning a library-based research
center called the Research Commons for graduate students and faculty. His
university library serves 25,000 students, including 7,000 graduate
At lunch, he joined the Academic Technology Roundtable discussion.
“The A(T)R is a shining example of the ways departments collaborate at
Wesleyan,” Muswazi observed.
Muswazi arrived in the United States in mid-March and spent two weeks at the
University of Illinois. On March 28, he went to Yale, where he’s being
hosted for the duration of his time in the U.S. On April 16, Muswazi gathered with his peers in San Francisco, Calif. to discuss their
The Research Libraries Consortium project is funded by the Carnegie
Corporation of New York. Andrew Carnegie, for whom the corporation is named,
spent over $56M to build 2,509 libraries throughout the English-speaking
world during his life.
By Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection