Thursday, September 15, 2011

HICSA meeting of 5 August 2011 MINUTES

WHO Offices, 7th Floor Metropark Building, 351 Schoeman Street, Pretoria

Friday, 5 August 2011, 14:00 - 16:00


Carina van Zyl, Marguerite Nel, Erica van der Westhuizen, Susan Marsh, David Swanepoel, Suzy Nyakala, SailasNyareza, Michael Chimalizeni, Alfred Masiteng


Antoinette Lourens, Berry Pflugler, TertiaCoetsee, Susan Dickinson, Ina Fourie, KabeloNzima, Anna-Marie Young, Anneline van der Gryp

1. Marguerite Nel welcomed all members and attendees at the meeting.

2. Alfred Masiteng of WHO Pretoria gave a brief introduction and explained the purpose of the meeting. Everybody present introduced themselves.

3. Michael Chimalizeni of ITOCA then gave a presentation on The Association of Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA): background, conferences and the importance in Africa. He also presented a proposal for the establishment of an AHILA chapter in South Africa.

The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) is a professional association founded in 1984 with now 46 country members and many partners and collaborators worldwide. AHILA aims to improve the provision of up-to-date and relevant information to health and medical workers in Africa. It also strives to encourage the professional development of librarianship and to promote the development of resource-sharing and exchange of experiences and information among African health information professionals. It further aims to promote the development, standardisation, and exchange of national databases of medical and health literature produced in the African countries in the form of an African Index Medicus ( recently, there was no formal, active AHILA chapter in South Africa. The most active chapter currently is Kenya.

Bi-annual congresses are held. The 2010 conference was in Burkina Faso and in 2012 it will be on the Cape Verde islands.

The AHILA-Net Listserv (Managed in Brazzaville, Congo) is a very active communication tool for members. WHO hosts the database in the Congo.

Partners for Health Info (PHI) is based in the UK. They are planning to set up a permanent secretariat in SA. ITOCA will give the AHILA secretariat physical space. Further funding and international partners are amongst others HIFA (Health Info for All) and WHO.

It was proposed to form a steering committee to start working on the constitution and terms of reference for AHILA, South Africa.

The proposed steering committee consists of the following members:

- Alfred Masiteng (WHO)
- Michael Chimalizeni (ITOCA)
- Suzy Nyakale (University of Pretoria)
- Marguerite Nel (representing HICSA)
- Hope Kabamba (United Nations Library)
- Erica van der Westhuizen will act in an advisory capacity

The ideal is to attend the AHILA 2012 conference in Cape Verde as a fully functional country chapter.

Alfred Masiteng will coordinate the activities of the steering committee and will inform all members of the first committee meeting.

It was asked if HICSA still needs to exist after the establishment of an active AHILA chapter in South Africa – as these two associations strive more or less towards the same goals. It was therefore suggested to arrange an annual general meeting for all HICSA members where the future of HICSA needs to be discussed. The date for this meeting was not set yet.

4. Marguerite Nel gave a brief presentation on her recent visit and internship in the United States of America. She also highlighted that she wants to apply these learning experiences and knowledge gained in the USA in supporting the information needs of Africa.

5. Due to the absence of the secretary as well as a large number of other HICSA members, it was decided to postpone the business meeting to the next HICSA meeting.

6. The meeting concluded and was dismissed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HICSA meeting Friday 5 August 2011

You are kindly invited to the next meeting of the Health Information Community of South Africa (HICSA), which will take place at

the WHO Offices,
7th Floor Metropark Building,
351 Schoeman Street, Pretoria

on Friday, 5 August 2011, 14:00 - 16:00

14:00 Welcoming

14:10 - 14:30 Brief report back on US visit (Marguerite Nel)

14:30 - 15:00 The Association of Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA): background, conference and importance in Africa (Alfred Masiteng (WHO) and Michael Chimalizeni (ITOCA)

15:00 - 15:30 Discussion: The forming of an AHILA Country Chapter in South Africa

15:30 - 16:00 HICSA Business meeting (Agenda will follow later)

Please invite other professionals in the field of health information to also attend the meeting and join the HICSA community.
RSVP: On or before 2 August 2011 - Marguerite: 012 529 8474 or

In order to arrange parking, we also need to give the number of vehicles - so, let me know if we need to book a parking space for you.

Your attendance will be highly appreciated.

Kind regards
Marguerite Nel (Chair)
Jotello F Soga LibraryFaculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of PretoriaPrivate Bag X04ONDERSTEPOORT 0110SOUTH AFRICA
Tel: +27 12 529 8474
Fax: +27 12 529 8302

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HICSA meeting of 24 November 2010 MINUTES


Acacia room at Coffee @ Burgundy's, Klubsaal,
University of Pretoria, Hatfield Campus

Tuesday, 24 November 2009, 12:30



Antoinette Lourens, Carina van Zyl, Neil Heslip, Marguerite Nel, Erica van der Westhuizen, Susan Marsh, , Tertia Coetsee, Vimbay Hungwe, Susan Dickinson, David Swanepoel, , Susan Scheepers, Ina Fourie, Kabelo Nzima, Suzy Nyakala, Anna-Marie Young, John van Niekerk

Berry Pflugler

Sue Dickinson welcomed all members and attendees at the meeting.

Prof. Ina Fourie reported on the 10th International Congress of Medical Librarianship (ICML) 2009, Brisbane, 31 August - 4 September 2009.

She identified some areas for further studies in the field of medical librarianship. The following were discussed:

- Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and Librarianship
- Collaboration with faculty for EBM
- Getting research findings into practice
- Information management – how do you manage your own information?
- Information behavior of people writing guides
- EBM websites
- Performance and quality measurement
- How can we improve our own searches?
- Research performance indicators
- Health Informatics
- Publishing trends and challenges
- Professional development
- Hospital libraries
- Technologies / Web 2.0 – Does it really make a difference?
- Disaster management and planning
- History
- Google Books
- Medical Biographies

Tertia Coetsee and Marguerite Nel gave feedback on the 6th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS) they attended in Brisbane as well as the libraries they visited during their time in Australia.

The main purpose of the visit was to attend the 10th International Congress on Medical Librarianship in Brisbane, Australia. This Congress is held every four or five years giving the health library sector an opportunity to meet together to address major issues confronting the profession. This has been the second time the ICAHIS Conference was held in association with the ICML and following on from the 5th Conference held in South Africa in July 2005, and hosted by the University of Pretoria, it was a great opportunity meeting again other librarians specialising in animal health from around the world to discuss a range of issues relevant to our profession.

The presentations at the ICAHIS conference covered a wide spectrum of topics, including usage studies, partnerships and collaboration, management of grey literature, challenges of technology in libraries and services for the NetGen, institutional repositories and user studies.

Visits to the University of Queensland as well as Sydney were discussed.

Marguerite Nel gave a presentation on “The role of health and medical library associations in the facilitation and sharing of information and knowledge”.

Some of the challenges are the changing role of librarians, the role of the internet, social networking and web 2.0 as new ways to share knowledge and ideas. Referring to a few international health and medical library associations, the role, benefits, strengths and weaknesses of HICSA were discussed. Thereafter everybody was invited to share opinions and ideas regarding the future of HICSA.

The following were decided:

- HICSA must continue to exist
- HICSA need to expand and invite librarians from the pharmaceutical companies as well as the Department of Health to join
- We must become more virtual but also have an annual meeting and a conference
- Need more workshops
- Must convey a survey to investigate the possibilities to join LIASA
- Make use of technology – blog/ wiki/ discussions on listserve
- Electronic newsletter – more regular
- Webpage – need to be updated
- Suggestion that we become an AHILA chapter
- Need to consider partnerships – LIASA / AHILA

Treasurers report

Neil discussed HICSA’s balance sheet. We have a positive bank balance in the FNB account. It is suggested to close the ABSA account due to the high amount of interest needed to be paid. However, the next treasurer can decide on this.

Election of 2010 - 2012 Management Committee

The following members were elected:

Chair: Marguerite Nel
Secretary: Kabelo Nzima
Treasurer: Susan Marsh
Liaison officer: Erica van der Westhuizen
Additional member: Vimbay Hungwe

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

HICSA Chair on internship in the USA

We wish Marguerite Nel, Chairperson of HICSA all of the best for the 3 months' internship she will be following this year in the USA.
There are 9 librarians selected from university libraries in South Africa who will be participating in this event arranged by the Mortenson Centre of the University of Illinois.

Marguerite says the purpose of her trip is as follows:

1. To attend a development programme at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, 1402 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, Illinois 61801. (14 February – 1 March 2011).
2. To carry out a training visit to gain hands-on experience in Library research support at the University of California, Davis. Shields Library, 100 NW Quad, University of California, Davis, Davis CA 95616 (7 March to 29 April 2011).
2. To attend the ACRL 2011National Conference at the PA Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA. (30 March to 2 April 2011).

We are looking forward to hearing all about her experience at a HICSA meeting to be held after her return.