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Wits Library staff shine bright

- Wits University

The Library Division recognises staff members for their sterling service during the Staff Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Awards.

The STAR Awards were launched in January 2013 at Wits University with the main objective to celebrate excellent service from the employees and to motivate them to further perform better.

Caddie Hart, a Human Resources Officer at the Wartenweiler Library initiated the STAR programme. Her vision is “to ensure that Library employees are recognised for their work, and in turn, happy and motivated to support Wits mission and values.”

Hart firmly believes that highly motivated staff are vital, especially in today’s environment of in 21st Century Libraries and rapid technological change.

Wits Library staff members, Sophie Motsewabone, Gugu Mamiane and Thuli Dhlamini were worthy winners of the 2017 Wits Libraries’ STAR Awards which were presented to them at an awards ceremony.

Margaret Atsango (Senior Librarian), Caddie Hart (Library Human Resources Officer), Sophie Motsewabone (Senior Library Assistant) and Paiki Muswazi (University Librarian)

Dhlamini from the Library Education and Training won the Rock Solid Award which recognises consistent high quality, reliable and critical work which, if undone, would halt highly visible operations.

“She was nominated for being exceptionally reliable and for her ability to execute her duties successfully even under tight deadlines. This nominee’s friendly and welcoming attitude has made her popular among colleagues across campus,” says her manager Janet Zambri.

Dhlamini who is passionate about education is continuously striving to advance herself. Last year, she graduated from Wits University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education.

Motsewabone, a Senior Library Assistant from the Africana Library who has been employed by the University since 1988 won the Library Employee of the Year Award which recognises unparalleled performance and commitment to excellence. Ecstatic and surprised is how she describes the emotions at the news.

“It took me a while to believe that I have won the award. I enjoyed my moment of glory. Winning this award meant a lot to me. All along I thought the management did not appreciate my hard work but I was proved wrong,” she said.

The STAR Achiever Award was awarded to Mamiane, a Library Assistant also from Africana Library. The award recognises outstanding dedication and service beyond the call of duty.

For Mamiane, presentation is essential to improve user–experience. Maine initiated a new system for organising pamphlet size books ino rder to improve retrieval. This saved time and enabled users to find relevant books quicker. She has also been instrumental in creating more shelf space for ground floor books in the library.

Mamiane, whose golden voice when alerting library users of closing times has made her the face of the Africana Library, says she takes great pride in her work and always goes the extra mile to serve her clients.

“I have to make the library books and shelf look good at all times. Books must be shelved accordingly so that users are able to locate them in an effective and efficient way.”

Wits libraries seek to support University’s teaching and learning, research and outreach, by facilitating access to high quality scholarly information resources and services through a team of skilled and knowledgeable library staff and welcoming physical environments. The annual awards are one of the programmes that ensure that the workforce are aligned with this vision.