Developing a GIS-based inventory of South Africa's public libraries: The Public and Community Libraries Inventory of South Africa (PaCLlSA) project

Peter Johan Lor, Paul Van Helden, Theo J. D. Bothma


During 2000-2004 a project was undertaken to create a comprehensive and informative inventory of South African public and community libraries, the Public and Community Libraries Inventory of South Africa (PaCLISA). The project was executed in two phases, initially under the guidance of the Libraries Working Group of the Print Industries Cluster Council (PICC). Phase 1 was carried out during 2000-2001 and funded by The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Foundation for Library and Information Service Development (FLISD), through the National Library of South Africa. The Centre for Geo-Information Science of the University of Pretoria was contracted to carry out the project. In light of the response to Phase 1, a consultative process was followed to redesign the inventory questionnaire, after which Phase 2 was carried out during 2003-2004 as a project of the Department of Information Science and the Centre for Geo-Information Science of the University of Pretoria. Although the project was not an unqualified success, it was a valuable learning experience. The article provides an overview of the project with special emphasis on the lessons that have been learned and what these imply for future efforts to inventorise South Africa's public libraries.


PaCLISA; public and community libraries in South Africa; GIS-based inventory

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ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
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