Professor Deresh Ramjugernath and Mrs Joyce Myeza officially open the new Research Commons at the EG Malherbe Library.

UKZN Launches New Research Commons

A new Research Commons has been launched at the EG Malherbe Library on UKZN’s Howard College campus.

A high-level research facility, the Research Commons is intended for the exclusive use of master’s, doctoral and PhD students, as well as researchers and academic staff.

Speaking at the opening, UKZN Libraries and Special Collections Director, Mrs Joyce Myeza said: ‘We had a serious capacity problem with the old Research Commons as it wasn’t big enough for our postgraduate students and it didn’t cater for their needs.’

Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, reminisced on his time as a UKZN student and his visits to EG Malherbe Library. Commenting on UKZN’s efforts to change the structure of libraries by evolving spaces and getting people to engage with them differently, Ramjugernath said: ‘I’m very glad to see that our libraries – which are the custodians of knowledge, content and material – place a high priority on transforming their spaces.’

With the significant growth in the number of postgraduate students at the University and as the largest producer of PhDs in the country, Ramjugernath highlighted the need for UKZN to realise its vision of being a premier university of African scholarship and a world-class institution by producing world-class administration support and infrastructure. ‘We’ve got to start focusing on creating the right kind of infrastructure and environment where postgraduate students can be successful,’ he said.

Principal Librarian at the College of Humanities, Mrs Faith Magwaza, thanked Myeza for her support and for making the finances available for the project. She also thanked the Information and Communication Services (ICS) department for its guidance, support and equipment provided for the facility.

Thanks was also given to the Subject Librarians team, who bought into the vision and came together to provide their input, as well as the Health and Safety Committee for its active participation throughout the project.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Sethu Dlamini