The new library at Rhodes Universityis a world-class facility.(Image: Rhodes) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jeanne BergerDeputy Director: Library Services+27 46 603 8063 RELATED ARTICLES • Soweto’s state-of-the-art library • Rhodes hosts world journalism meet • First university for Mpumalanga • Open access to SA journals• Education focus of Mandela Day 2010Janine ErasmusThe new R75-million (US$11-million) library at Rhodes University opened earlier in November 2010, and is expected to significantly boost the learning environment and quality of graduates at the Eastern Cape institution.Speaking at the opening event, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande expressed his approval of the facility and said he was pleased by Rhodes’ commitment to building the library and fostering traditional ways of learning in today’s digital era.The value of a top-quality library that offers access to digital and printed learning resources, and will enhance both learning and research, cannot be understated, said Nzimande, adding that a good library is an important factor in the quality of teaching and research output, and will benefit academics, students and researchers.“I hope that this new library will be a central station for knowledge-building at Rhodes University,” said the minister. “Good libraries are a key of continued investment for universities.”Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat said earlier this year that the state-of-the-art library will play a vital role in the university’s goal of remaining “one of Africa’s outstanding universities, committed to the production of knowledge and graduates who are knowledgeable, critical, competent, ethical and compassionate”.Despite the fact that it’s a comparatively small university, Rhodes is one of the country’s top academic institutions in terms of research output, said Nzimande. “I have no doubt that the improvement of the library will allow this output to continue.”Cutting-edge facilitiesRhodes’ brand new facility, which covers an area of 4 500 square meters, has almost doubled the current library floor space. The previous library, which was severely overcrowded, with computer terminals vying for space among the books, is to be refurbished and will later house the greater part of the book collections.New features include a round-the-clock reading room, group study rooms, and a number of collections categorised under social sciences, science and pharmacy, commerce, and humanities and education.The as yet unnamed library offers seating for at least 20% of the student body, in line with international standards. The old building seated fewer than 10% of students.Students have the use of a 54-workstation information commons for online research, a 26-seat laboratory which offers information literacy training to users, and the much-lauded Carnegie Research Commons. This project received a R2.8-million ($407 493) grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funds the establishment of learning institutions.The Research Commons accommodates about 40 staff and users. It offers a quiet space where senior students and academics can carry out their specialised work using cutting-edge electronic equipment, with experienced library assistants on hand to help with research. Scholars may also use a seminar room with audio-visual facilities.The building has been designed with care of the environment in mind. It features thicker, more insulating walls, an energy-efficient air-conditioning system, and an automated system that controls and optimises the flow of fresh air.Disabled and partially sighted users have not been neglected. “This is an area which I am particularly interested in,” said Nzimande, “as I have asked the Department of Higher Education and Training to highlight the needs of students and staff with disabilities.”Impressive achievementThe library’s budget was originally set at R86-milion ($12.5-million), but final costs are expected to total around R75-million, said Badat.He attributed this massive saving to sound management by the project team, well as key components that cost less than expected. He added that the achievement is all the more impressive because the bulk of planning and building took place during South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup preparations, when the country was still struggling to climb out of a recession. Building started in 2008 and took about two years to complete.The national Department of Education granted R50-million ($7.3-million) on condition that Rhodes contributed the balance, whether by fundraising or from its own financial reserves.The university’s development office has managed to raise some R20-million ($3-million), but because the final costs should come in at 13% below budget, this means that just R5-million ($727 385) is outstanding.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Every summer, Washington D.C. is turned blue and gold as FFA members from across the country travel to the nation’s capital as participants of the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC). The conference focuses on developing students into motivated citizens who desire to make a difference in their home communities. This year over 2,000 students attended including Ashley Garlick, a senior member of the Evergreen FFA Chapter in Fulton County and Gracie Hinkle, a junior member of the Highland FFA Chapter in Morrow County.On the first day of the conference, FFA members were introduced to the idea of citizenship and what it means for them as high school students. They began to meet one another and learn about what their week would entail. For many students this was their first time in a big city and nerves were still pretty high.“When I first arrived to WLC, I felt very overwhelmed. I knew that my experience was based on how social I was going to be, I just took one deep breath and started talking,” Garlick said.On day two of WLC, all 300 students loaded onto the D.C. metro and traveled to Arlington National Cemetery. They got to see the Changing of the Guard and the somber setting inspired discussion about their purpose. This was followed by an afternoon of considering needs the attendees could address in their home communities and then a visit to the National Mall to admire monuments and memorials.A trip to D.C. wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Capital building and on day three students had the chance to meet with their local Representatives and/or state Senators and tour the Capital. That afternoon, students discussed why diversity is an essential part of being an engaged citizen and what that looks like. They learned more about their fellow conference attendees and begin developing what’s called a “Living to Serve” or LTS plan. This plan focuses on an area they hope to improve in their local community and what actions they can take.Hinkle chose cyber bullying as her LTS plan focus.“Cyber bullying is a problem back in my home town and my passion is to spread the kindness even if it is the littlest bit, because that can start a chain reaction in a school, or a community,” she said.Garlick’s LTS plan is focused on feeding the people in her community.“Every year our FFA packages around 30 meals for people in our area during Thanksgiving,” she said. “I know more need our help, but we do not get to hear about them. I want everyone to engage in a meal everyday like I can.”Day four of WLC was focused on the topic of advocacy. Students traveled into the city to visit the Newseum, a museum focused on the First Amendment and they applied what they learned there to positively advocate for agriculture, FFA and their local communities. By the end of day four, attendees had completed their Living to Serve plans and had determined how they could best serve their hometowns.On the final day of the conference students participated in a service project, packing meals for families right there in Washington D.C. This summer 424,457 meals were packaged through the hard work of FFA members. Students were also given time to explore the city and make stops at the White House, Smithsonian museums and souvenir shops before they wrapped up their time in the nation’s capital.“I am very glad that I attended Week six of WLC. My roommates and my community group changed my entire life. Just what I want to achieve and how I see myself changed,” Garlick said. “They had no idea who I was, yet they supported me from the moment I stepped through the door.”Hinkle also had a life-changing experience while in D.C.“I am overjoyed that I attended and I couldn’t have asked to be around a more dedicated, caring group of individuals. The impact WLC leaves on an individual is amazing,” Hinkle said. “The whole time you are there you can’t help but smile even in the early mornings or the late nights, because they keep you pumped when you need it, but also bring you to a level to reflect on the awesome day you just had. WLC has been an absolute blessing in my life, I now have the courage and the power to do something great, big or small.”Every summer, Ohio is well represented at the Washington Leadership Conference. More information about the 2018 conference dates can be found on the National FFA Organization’s website.
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Roma wing-back Florenzi: Champions League qualification our goalby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAS Roma wing-back Alessandro Florenzi says their target is Champions League qualification.Florenzi admits trophies are on the agenda.He said, “The Coppa Italia could be a very important objective for Roma. We mustn’t take dreams out of our minds.“Even if we know Serie A is impossible, we have another objective, which is the Champions League.“I’m not saying it’s a utopia, but it would really be a dream to retrace what we did last season and improve on it, even if it won’t be easy.“I don’t think we lack malice. Sometimes we haven’t been clinical enough. I’m not just talking about the strikers but rather everyone, myself included.“We’re lacking a bit in this regard, similar to how we’re lacking in desire to not concede goals.“I’m not just talking about the defenders but rather the whole team. These are things that we had last season and we have to find them again.”
Disney, Marvel Studios, Dolby Laboratories, Synchrony Bank, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Broadcom MASTERS and Society for Science & the Public are pleased to present the nationwide MARVEL STUDIOS’ THOR: RAGNAROK SUPERPOWER OF STEM CHALLENGE in conjunction with the November 3, 2017 theatrical release of Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.THOR: RAGNAROK SUPERPOWER OF STEM CHALLENGEMarvel Studios is, once again, encouraging young girls to explore the superpower of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) with the MARVEL STUDIOS’ THOR: RAGNAROK SUPERPOWER OF STEM CHALLENGE.This program, supported by American Association for the Advancement of Science, Broadcom MASTERS, and Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young girls to use the superpower of STEM to help their family, community or the world be safer, healthier or happier. MARVEL STUDIOS’ THOR: RAGNAROK SUPERPOWER OF STEM CHALLENGE invites girls nationwide, between the ages 15 – 18 and in grades 10 through 12 living in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, to use the superpower of STEM to create an original Do-It-Yourself project that can be replicated by others.Five finalists will be selected to come to Los Angeles and present their projects, in person, to a panel of experts and to attend the Red Carpet Premiere of Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK. Each finalist will receive: Two round-trip tickets to Southern California for the finalist and her parent or guardian, including scheduled meals, ground transportation to and from organized activities, hotel accommodations, from October 8 through October 11, 2017; the opportunity to be on the red carpet at the Premiere of Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK, the once-in-a-lifetime peek behind-the-scenes with Dolby Laboratories on what new technology they are working on, a tour of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California; and more. Synchrony Bank is committed to the development of women in technology; in partnership with Marvel, the finalists will have the chance to work with the Synchrony Technology Team ideating and learning. In addition, Synchrony Bank will award $1,000 deposited into a high-yield savings account for each of the finalists to start each of them on the road to future success.One grand-prize winner will be selected from the five finalists to attend an immersive three-day mentorship in New York City with Disney Imagineering to build her STEM story, creating a professional-level video teaching other young people how to recreate her Challenge-winning project. The winner will also have the opportunity to demonstrate her Superpower of STEM project live to the nation with a brief appearance on Good Morning America. (The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Good Morning America / ABC News.) The video created during her mentorship will be made available to students, teachers and families worldwide on the American Association for the Advancement of Science education resource website ScienceNetLinks.com.Entries are currently being accepted now through 6:00PM PT on September 23, 2017. For application forms, eligibility requirements, official contest rules and more information about MARVEL STUDIOS’ THOR: RAGNAROK SUPERPOWER OF STEM CHALLENGE, please visit www.marvelstudiosstemchallenge.com.In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok — the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization — at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger — the Incredible Hulk!About the Contest NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Challenge ends at 6:00PM PT on September 23, 2017. Open only to girls between the ages of 15 and 18, in grades 10 through 12, as of August 23, 2017, who are legal residents and physically living in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Limit one entry per person. Winners must be able to travel on or about October 8, 2017 through October 11, 2017. See Official Rules at www.marvelstudiosstemchallenge.com for full eligibility and entry requirements, prize description, conditions, and limitations. Void where prohibited. The official contest sponsor is Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.