May 20, 2022

South Africa: Innovative Library Statistics Database Goes National

From Cape Peninsula University of Technology:

Universities across South Africa will soon make use of an innovative statistics database that was developed by CPUT Libraries.

This comes after Library Director, Dr Elisha Chiware signed a Memorandum of Understanding on sharing the statistics database with the Chairperson of the Committee for Higher Education Librarians of South Africa (CHELSA), Pateka Ntshuntshe-Matshaya.

The database was developed at CPUT Libraries for the recording and managing of library statistics and is the first such initiative in Africa.

It provides a platform for the collecting of common statistics from all academic libraries in South Africa, forming a national database of academic library statistics.

The database provides insight into a national profile of these libraries, ensuring best practice, collaboration and benchmarking among South African academic libraries. It also provides the opportunity for member libraries to collect institutional library statistics for their own purposes.

The development of the database began in 2011 in order to record local library statistics. It proved such a success and was then further developed to accommodate the other CHELSA libraries. As part of the MOU, the database is currently hosted and supported by CPUT Libraries, developments are financed by CHELSA.

Working with international donors, CPUT Libraries is planning to share their expertise with other African higher education libraries and in September 2015 during the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Conference a workshop on library statistics will be held for fellow African librarians.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.