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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend all its essential service workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the DUT community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Waheeda Peters spoke to the Manager: Campus Library and Sites (Alan Pittendrigh, Indumiso and Riverside Libraries), Siza Nicholas Radebe who joined the university in January 2004.

Q: Kindly tell me your role at the Library?

A: “I am the Manager: Campus Library and Sites (Alan Pittendrigh, Indumiso and Riverside Libraries). My portfolio oversees the management of library operations and services, management of facilities and infrastructural development for the sites indicated above as well as convening library middle management, environment/health safety and COVID-19 Response committees, several working groups and task teams and human resources activities for all DUT Libraries.”

Q: How long have you been at DUT in that role?                                                                                             

A: “Since January 2004.”

Q: How would you describe yourself?

A: “I am a humble, goal driven and hard working person.”

Q: How do you cope with student requests for research at the library or borrowing of books, especially with COVID-19?

A: “In my capacity as the convener of the COVID-19 Response Team, I have assisted the library management to adjust service operations, and access to resources and facilities to be in line with lockdown levels as instituted countrywide. Further to that, we have ensured that the following are in place:

  • Several measures are in place to ensure that our learning spaces are re-organised to comply with the COVID-19 regulations.
  • That business continuity is maintained equitable through various lock-down levels.
  • We acquired funds to procure UV Light Technology for disinfecting collections in order to limit the quarantine period for the book collection.
  • DUT library provides virtual services and The Ask a Librarian chat facility.
  • We maintain reasonable turn-around time in handling user queries.”

Q: What challenges do you face daily?

A: “Library is an entity within a larger university community and to a larger extent rely on the support services from other departments in order to carry-out its roles. One of my responsibilities is to ensure library spaces are safe and conducive for learning. From time to time there are infrastructure issues that are beyond library management control that compromise our roles, for e.g. COVID-19 and inadequate ventilation in one of the big site libraries that has resulted in the library lengthy closure among others and disruption of services.”

Q: How do you de-stress?

A: “I do early morning jogging.”

Q: A typical day entails…

A: “Waking up early I check my calendar and emails, set priority tasks e.g., library operations and management responsibilities. I am a member of the library management team, and that comes with a lot of responsibilities that are assigned to my portfolio.”

Q: If you had one wish what would it be?

A: “The ability to make meaningful contribution to the development of our communities.”

Q: What do you treasure the most in life?

 A: “It is my family.”

 Q: What are your favourite things to do when not at work?

 A: “I like gardening.”

Q: Your favourite part of your day?

A: “I prefer early morning when my spaces and time is not crowded.”

Q: Are you a radio, series or reality TV person?

 A: “I am not much of a fan of all the above but I do listen or watch the news and sports.”

Q: Your practical advice or mantra you follow and would impart to students is?

A: “My practical advice is informed by my religious beliefs and determination. Determination is a positive emotional feeling that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles. It occurs prior to goal attainment and serves to motivate behaviour that will help achieve one’s goal.”

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