Update: Refurbishment of SU Library

The Stellenbosch University Library is undergoing renovations. We apologise for the inconvenience caused during the refurbishments.

The renovations consist of upgrading the existing facilities and infrastructure to accommodate clients’ needs and create a contemporary aesthetic for the SU Library while maintaining the integrity of the existing building. The primary focus of the project is to provide clients with comfortable and effective spaces in which to work while making it easier to use and navigate the library.

Renovations include the installation of a new client service desk, new students’ workspaces, redesign of the reading area, new furniture, flooring and new toilets for students and staff.

The work will be completed in three phases. Phase  1 of the project runs until the end of July 2021.

Phase 1 comprises renovation of the client service desk, short loans and related staff work areas and staff toilets.

The central section between Special Collections and the Law Section is boarded off. Science and AgriSciences books and printed journals are not available for the duration of the project. However, the Law Section, Special Collections and upper level toilets are still accessible. The Science and AgriSciences faculty librarians are temporarily located in the Learning Commons.

See the full announcement about the SU Library Refurbishment project.

Clients can look forward to comfortable and effective spaces when the project is complete.




Architect’s drawings of the refurbished SU Library spaces

Update: Open access publication agreements and funding

​The Library reminds researchers of the institutional open access publication (OAP) agreements reached with the following publishers, which afford article processing charge (APC) benefits, and which were communicated to the campus community on 26 February 2021:

  • Cambridge University Press (CUP) – no cost for SU authors
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) – no cost for SU authors
  • MDPI – 10% discount for SU authors
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) – 15% discount for SU authors

Regrettably, the Library’s fund in support of open access publication (OAP) funding has ceased to exist.

The Library had some funds available to support OAP author fees in 2021. However, due to the number of applications received, this amount has been spent and no further funding will be available in future. We therefore request that researchers do not submit any further OAP funding applications to the Library.

The Library will continue to administer the University’s deposit account with SpringerNature (formerly BioMed Central), which will allow SU researchers to submit open access articles to SpringerNature without having to pay author fees to SpringerNature before publication, at https://preview.springernature.com/gp/open-research/institutional-agreements/individual-institutional-agreements. Submissions under the University’s deposit account will afford researchers 15% discount on the article processing charge (APC) for some SpringerNature titles. However, in future researchers will have to refund the Library 100% of these author fees, plus 15% VAT, upon publication. By submitting an article to SpringerNature against the University’s deposit account, a researcher agrees to refund the full cost to the Library after publication. The Library will claim this refund from the researcher upon receiving notification from SpringerNature that an article submitted against the University’s deposit account has been published. (Rand value calculated at the exchange rate on the day of claiming the refund).

Queries about SpringerNature APC funding may be directed to Ms Naomi Visser, tel: 021 808 4433.

Staffing news


Mr Bruce Lewis is congratulated on completing his Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Library Science at the University of South Africa.

Dr Martha Susanna (Santie) de Jongh is congratulated on achieving her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Music from Stellenbosch University (SU). Santie’s thesis is entitled Music and militarisation during the period of the South African Border War (1966–1989): Perspectives from ‘Paratus’.

Ms Ellen Tise, Senior Director: Library and Information Service, was a recipient of the University’s Chancellor’s Award. Ms Tise’s award was in recognition of her stewardship in various national and international library bodies. She champions access to knowledge as a basic human right.


New Appointments


Mr Jeremiah Pietersen has been appointed Manager: Learning and Training with effect from 1 February 2021. Jeremiah previously worked at UCT Libraries in various positions, most recently as Librarian: Science and Engineering.



We also welcome Mr Darryl Geldenhuys who has been appointed as Administrative Officer B1 in the Makerspace at the SU Library, with effect from the 1 March 2021. Darryl previously worked as an IT Technician at Bridge House School.


Also joining the Library on 1 March was Ms Deborah Beerwinkel, who has been appointed as Administrative Officer B1 in the Library’s Finance and Maintenance Division. Debbie previously worked at the Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology on the Tygerberg Campus. Debbie has been with SU for 11 years.


We wish Jeremiah, Darryl, and Debbie all the best in their new roles.

Opening of Makerspace; and Virtual launch: Course Reading Lists

Stellenbosch University Library launched its Makerspace on 10 March 2021. While not the first of its kind at Stellenbosch University, it is the first to be housed in a non-discipline specific space.

Ms Ellen Tise, setting the scene for the Makerspace before the tour of the physical space.

In her presentation, Ms Ellen Tise, Senior Director of the Library and Information Service, articulated some of the reasoning behind having such a space in an academic library. She mentioned that the idea had already started taking shape when in 2016 at the Stellenbosch University 14th Annual Library Symposium, Jeroen de Boer presented on: “Makerspaces: a great opportunity to enhance academic libraries”. In his presentation Jeroen quoted David Lankes: “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities”. This corresponds well with the missions of academic libraries, which support the mission of the academe – that often centres around societal impact through research – and encourage being active contributors in the knowledge production ecosystem. Stellenbosch University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, Professor Eugene Cloete, commended the Library for seeing through the construction of a makerspace. “In future I would like to see many more spaces like this at the University”, he commented.

Attended by other members of the University Executive, the SRC Chairperson and various important stakeholders at the University, the launch was a success in re-emphasizing the importance of the academic library growing its span of services congruent with changes in the higher education landscape. It also showed the ways the Makerspace can enrich creativity and learning, as well as support existing curricula on campus. After the launch, guests were taken on a tour of the Makerspace with many expressing keen interest and delight at having such a space in the Library.

The first tour group comprising the University Rectorate, senior academics and other executive management.

With the space having formally opened its doors to the Stellenbosch University community on 1 April 2021, we have high hopes that it fulfills its purpose to provide a collaborative, technologically focused environment for students to invent, create and learn while sharing.

Mr Norman Hebler, Head of the Makerspace, explaining the various services and the equipment available in the Makerspace.

Jeremiah Pietersen

Photographs: Hennie Rudman

Editor: Read more about the Makerspace. / Lees meer oor die Innovasieruimte.


Virtual launch: Course Reading Lists in SUNLearn

On 17 February 2021, the Library and Information Service launched the Course Reading Lists system. Some 116 colleagues participated in the launch, of which 70 were academic staff.

In her welcome, Ms Ellen Tise, Senior Director: Library and Information Service, emphasized how this new system fulfills the need for comprehensive, structured, annotated and online reading lists available in the familiar environment of SUNLearn.

In her presentation, guest speaker Ms Amy Liakopoulos (Manager of Campus Engagement, Ex Libris North America) highlighted some of the benefits of Course Reading Lists for Stellenbosch University. It saves lecturers time in managing reading material for their courses: they can quickly and easily add diverse resource types to their lists and reuse these lists in subsequent terms or years through the rollover function. By organising resources into sections, tagging items as essential, recommended, etc. and by adding notes to resources, lecturers ensure students understand their expectations. A further advantage of the system is the integrated library support: with a single click, lecturers can send lists for Library review and students can report broken links directly to the Library. Comprehensive usage analytics measure student engagement with each resource; lecturers could leverage student feedback to improve instruction.

Two early adopters showcased their reading lists. According to Anria van Zyl (Senior Lecturer: School of Accountancy), Course Reading Lists helps her avoid clutter in SUNLearn, is easy to find, contains hyperlinks and exposes the Library resources to her students. Dr ZE Mashimbye (Lecturer: Geography and Environmental Studies) finds Course Reading Lists to be a convenient way to organise reading material and the Cite It! bookmarklet is a useful tool to quickly add resources to his list.

A demonstration of how to create a reading list and add resources, combined with a question-and-answer session, concluded the event.

Watch the launch recording.
For more information, visit the Library’s Course Reading Lists in SUNLearn webpage.

Natasja Malherbe

Editor: Read further how Course Reading Lists expands the Library’s support for teaching and learning at SU.