Sabinet and the National Library of South Africa partner for improved knowledge sharing

Read time 2min 40sec

Libraries across the globe support and inspire the communities they engage with. They play a pivotal role in promoting the advancement of knowledge and yet are faced with an array of challenges that affect service delivery. From limited resources to rapidly changing user needs, libraries need to constantly find ways to save time and money while improving their workflows and delivering new value to users.

The National Library of South Africa (NLSA), a founder member of Sabinet, contributes to socio-economic, cultural, educational, scientific and innovative development by collecting, recording, preserving and making available the national documentary heritage. It works to promote an awareness and appreciation of this heritage by fostering information literacy.

Formed in the early 1980s, Sabinet's core purpose was to promote resource sharing amongst libraries in South Africa. Since then, a growing number of libraries have been co-operating to build the South African National Union Catalogue (SACat), and to share resources. During the late 1990s it was decided to incorporate SACat as part of WorldCat - OCLC's worldwide union catalogue that itemises the collections of 72 000 libraries in 170 countries around the world - and WorldCat Cataloguing was incorporated into South African library workflows.

In addition to being a key contributor to the South African National Union Catalogue, the NLSA also compiles the South African National Bibliography (the comprehensive record of South Africa's published documentary heritage) on the WorldCat Cataloguing platform.

Now, almost two decades later, it is no surprise that the NLSA have decided to reinvest in their local library management practices by moving all library functions to the OCLC WorldShare platform. WorldShare provides a complete set of library management applications and platform services built on an open, cloud-based platform and offers integrated management of library workflows that create new efficiencies as libraries share work, data and resources to save money and deliver value to their users.

The NLSA have further opted to implement the hosted CONTENTdm solution that effectively stores, manages and delivers digital collections thereby enhancing resource sharing. As the largest legal deposit library in the Southern African region, the NLSA boasts extremely unique and valuable archival collections which, with CONTENTdm, will now be showcased to the rest of the world.

Bringing South Africa's finest information sources to an established, collaborative, online space means that professionals and their organisations have a say in how, as well as how widely, their information is disseminated and presented to the world. Pooling resources, catalogues and unifying information services benefits those that create the content, as well as those who use it for their business, research, or academic pursuits. Sabinet's library solutions and services have brought South Africa into the 21st century.

Sabinet, the leader in facilitating access to information throughout Southern Africa, is very proud to partner with the NLSA and OCLC to implement both WorldShare and CONTENTdm.


With a sound performance history of over 30 years, Sabinet has firmly established itself as a leader in facilitating access to a wide spectrum of high-quality and credible information sources. Over the course of the last three decades, Sabinet has built a strong local and international reputation for providing Africa's information to the world and the world's information to Africa.

Sabinet's mission to support libraries' technical processes, promote resource sharing and enable access to information sources is underpinned by its commitment, partnerships, understanding and support.

Sabinet's roots are in library support services, where it is recognised for providing central platforms for collaboration and resource sharing among libraries.

Editorial contacts
SabinetJeanine Liebenberg(+27) 12 643
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