Facilitating the Continuing Education Needs of Professional Cataloguers in South Africa: A Framework for Self-Directed Learning


  • Maria A. D. (Tienie) De Klerk University of Pretoria, Department of Information Science
  • Ina Fourie University of Pretoria, Department of Information Science




Cataloguers, continuing education, descriptive cataloguing, framework, self-directed learning, South Africa


Global changes in the cataloguing environment, training needs of cataloguers, the professional profile of cataloguers, and concerns about the future of the cataloguing profession have been widely noted over many years. Document types are published in a variety of formats, and are accordingly recorded in metadata formats other than conventional MARC. Expanded cataloguing theory to include the digital environment has required cataloguers to adjust to new job content. This necessitated training of qualified newcomers and non-qualified individuals in cataloguing practice. Life-long learning and mastering new skills are inescapable. These circumstances also apply in South Africa. This article reports on a mixed methods study about the continuing education needs and learning patterns of contemporary cataloguers in South Africa. The purpose of the study was to meet continuing cataloguing education needs by designing a self-directed framework for this purpose. Data were collected between April and May 2015 by means of an electronic semi-structured self-administered questionnaire and focus group interviews. Members listed on two professional, electronic distribution lists – LIASA-IGBIS and SabiCat – were invited to participate. Fifty-nine useful questionnaires were returned, and three focus group interviews were conducted with 17 participants overall. A self-directed learning framework was designed based on findings from the literature review and empirical study. The framework was influenced by models on professional practice, the spheres where continuing education originate, the work of Knowles (1975) and Brockett and Hiemstra (2012) on self-directed learning theory, and the personality trait of self-directedness as understood and constructed by Oddi (1984), another self-directed learning theorist.


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How to Cite

De Klerk, M. A. D. (Tienie) and Fourie, I. (2017) “Facilitating the Continuing Education Needs of Professional Cataloguers in South Africa: A Framework for Self-Directed Learning”, Mousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies, 35(1), pp. 90-113. doi: 10.25159/0027-2639/2144.



Received 2017-02-12
Accepted 2017-07-11
Published 2017-11-06