ENC librarian Erin McCoy and colleagues visited South Africa Nazarene University in Swaziland to install a new automated system for the university’s library.

The demand for a new updated system was called for after the university merged three smaller colleges to create a larger, more cohesive institution. The three colleges combined in 2010 were Nazarene Nursing College, Nazarene Bible College, and the Nazarene College of Education.

Prior to this new system, the college’s library used manually-produced materials such as card catalogs. In this system, everything was tracked on paper. The International Board of Education for the Church of the Nazarene saw that the library was in poor shape and decided to send seven representatives to help change the system.

The group consisted of librarians from the United States and one from the United Kingdom. Their goal was to implement the Open Source Automated Library system, as well as to train the librarians of the South African Nazarene University how to use it.

Working 10 hours a day, the team worked side-by-side installing the system, barcoding books, and setting up the website. McCoy commented on how great the collaboration worked. She knew there were bound to be issues, seeing as it was a group project and there were four library directors; however, everyone remained extremely humble. Everyone was very skilled in their abilities and they were able to learn from each other.

“Those [Malawi and South African] librarians were doing all of it. We just trained them,” said McCoy.

Training the librarians allows them to be able to train other librarians at other Nazarene libraries, such as in Mozambique, to install the same system.

This trip made McCoy even more thankful for the Church and hopeful because this shows that complicated projects such as this can happen and be successful.

She was very grateful of how supportive the staff at ENC was and their willingness to help out in her absence.

The group is still communicating with each other via email, and the library is making great progress with the new system.