Peter Underwood

Peter Underwood

Designation Honorary Professor
Qualifications Master of Business Administration (Cranfield); Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (FCLIP)
Email pgunderwood@wol.co.za
Tel 021-761 8463
Fax 021-761 8463

Professional education and qualifications

  • 1992 Elected Professional Member of the South African Institute for Librarianship and Information Science, later the Library and Information Association of South Africa.
  • 1979 – 1980     Master’s Degree in Business Administration – School of Management, Cranfield Institute of Technology. The Programme consisted of core courses and electives which allowed me to concentrate on Organizational behaviour, Management of change, Managing people at work and Interpersonal relations.
  • 1978 Elected Member of the Institute of Information Scientists.
  • 1974 – 1977 Fellowship of the Library Association – research topic: Public library service statistical data: the influence of circulation control methods on its collection and analysis. The research consisted of the development of a model of the functions of circulation control systems followed by an analysis of its data collection characteristics. The model was then compared with working systems to identify a core set of data which all could collect.  Particular attention was given to a comparison of automated with manual systems to determine if they offered greater facility for data collection. The significance for resource management of each item in the core set of data was discussed. The results influenced the design of the Plessey On-line Circulation Control System installed for the London Borough of Havering on which I had been working prior to moving to the College of Librarianship Wales (CLW).
  • 1968 – 1969     Associateship of the Library Association – College of Librarianship Wales.

Present position and description of duties

  • Senior Associate, Knowledge Leadership Associates
  • As part of the networked team of consultants, designing and running workshops, consultancy and other advice, systems analysis and design
  • Emeritus Professor of Librarianship, Centre for Information Literacy, University of Cape Town.
  • Supervising higher-degree students, contract teaching, designing and running workshops, as required.
  • Honorary Professor, Department of Information Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal Supervising higher-degree students
  • Professor of Librarianship, Centre for Information Literacy, University of Cape Town
  • Position held from January 1992 to December 2010. The Centre is responsible for the institutional development of information literacy; it works within the Centre for Higher Education Development and liaises with faculties and with

Former position

  • the UCT Library Service. The Centre also provides a Programme in Library and Information Science, consisting of a Postgraduate Diploma, an Honours degree and supervision for higher degrees in library and information science, working for this purpose through the Faculty of Humanities.  During 1995-6 an extensive revision of the curriculum was undertaken with a view to developing aspects of information science in all programmes.
  • Retired on 31 December 2010 and subsequently appointed to Emeritus status.

Internal administration

  • Head of the Department of Information and Library Studies and Director of the Centre for Information Literacy 1992-2007.
  • Acting Dean of the Faculty of Education, July 1995 – January 1996. Deputy Dean, serving until December 1998.
  • Member of Senate, Dean’s Advisory Committee, Programme Committee.
  • Serving on the Board of the Faculty of Humanities, Senate Library Committee, Physical Planning Working Group.
  • Acting Deputy Dean of the Centre for Higher Education Development, serving for 2002.

Personal research

  • The management of change in libraries and information centres is a major topic within several of the modules for which I have been responsible. Automation is an important aspect of change but consideration of its effects on staff and users of information services is also vital if such development is to be effective. In addition there is the consideration of strategy: how best can changes to services be achieved? These, and other factors, are considered in two books commissioned by the Library Association and published, respectively, in October 1990 and July 1996.
  • Edward Wyndham Hulme spent his working life as a librarian in the Patent Office, the latter part of his career as Chief Librarian (1894-1919).  His work on the arrangement of the collections led to the development of two ideas of major importance. The first, the concept of evolving classification schemes for library materials from actual collections of books rather than from a philosophical plan of knowledge, was seminal in influencing the modern theory of classification as developed by Ranganathan and others. The second, statistical bibliography, is the forerunner to the concept of bibliometrics. Hulme, in his capacity as Sandars Reader in Bibliography in the University of Cambridge, prepared a set of lectures outlining his theories.  It is interesting to note that W. E. Whitehouse, Lecturer in Mathematical Geography in the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, was also involved in this project.  I have examined materials in the Bennett-Woodcroft Collection of the UK Patent Office Library with a view to discovering the origin of his ideas and seeking to assess their impact. Further work on this project is being done to try to establish the influence of Hulme’s ideas on collection management.

Supervision of research

  • Ph. D thesis: “The potential of library 2.0 for research libraries in Kenya”, by Thomas Kwanya (2007-2010) (co-supervision with Professor Christine Stilwell, University of KwaZulu-Natal).
  • Ph. D thesis: “An investigation into the practices, procedures, and challenges of knowledge management in government-owned organisations in Kenya”, by Ezra Ondari-Okemwya (2005 – 2007) (co-supervision with Dr J. Gretchen Smith).
  • Ph. D thesis: “Information retrieval interaction and the undergraduate student at historically disadvantaged higher education institutions in the Western Cape: a cognitive approach”, by Gavin R. Davis (2002 – 2006) (co-supervision with Professor George Fredericks, University of the Western Cape).
  • Ph. D thesis: “A theory of the use of information for environmental planning: the case of Botswana”, by Athulang Mutshewa (2002 – 2004) (consultant, with overall supervision by Professor D. Roode, Department of Information Systems).
  • Ph. D thesis: “Internet searching as a study aid for Information Technology and Information Systems learners at a tertiary level”, by Melius Weideman (1999 – 2001).
  • Ph. D thesis: “What’s the use of the library?: the role, performance and value of an academic library in South Africa in the 1990s”, by Karin de Jager (1992 – 1995).
  • Ph. D thesis: “The communication of professional information among a group of South African natural scientists and engineers engaged in pure and applied research, with particular reference to the role of informal communication in the information transfer process”, by J. Gretchen Smith (1990 – 2006) (supervision taken over from Prof. J. G. Kesting, from 1993).
  • Ph. D thesis: “The primary dimension: a comparative study of orientation and meaning in the classification of knowledge”, by John R. Edkins (1989 – 1994) – supervision was passed to a colleague in Aberystwyth.
  • Ph. D thesis: “Communication and use of geoscience literature by geoscientists in Jordan”, by
  • N. M. Al-Shorbaji (1986).
  • M. Phil thesis: “Archiving social survey data in Africa: an overview of the role of Survey Data Archives in data sharing and data quality, and an investigation into possibilities for the establishment of a network of African Survey Data Archives”, by Lynn Woolfrey (2006 – 2010) – supervision shared with Associate Professor Karin de Jager.
  • M. Phil thesis: “Information literacy with regards to the use of legal materials: a case study of third year undergraduate law students of the University of Jos, Nigeria, and University of Cape Town, South Africa”, by Victoria James Lawal (2006-2009).
  • M. Phil thesis: “The English editions of the Trattato della Pittura by Leonardo da Vinci”, by Richard S. Pooler (2002-2003).
  • M. Phil thesis: “The development of the notion of libraries in the ancient world with special reference to the Middle East, Greece, the Roman Republic and the Royal Alexandrian Library”, by Niels Ruppelt (supervision taken over from Prof. J. G. Kesting, in 1993) (199I supervised who graduated in4).
  • M. Phil thesis: “Automation of museum libraries in South Africa, with emphasis on art libraries”, by Peter B. Dennis (1992 – abandonment).
  • M. Phil thesis: “Need for investment in data-processing equipment in small special libraries in developing countries”, by Ursula Küsters-Schah (1987 – 1991).
  • M. Phil thesis: “The role of automation in the reorganization of the National Library of Greece”, by George Bokos (1989).
  • M. Bibl minor dissertation: “Possibilities of applying some knowledge management techniques within the higher education domain in South Africa: a literature survey”, by Susanne Noll (2004–2010).
  • M. Bibl minor dissertation: “The role of the public library in HIV/AIDS information dissemination in Swaziland”, by Joy Shabangu (2007-2010) – supervision shared with Associate Professor Mary Nassimbeni.
  • M. Bibl minor dissertation: “Metaphor: Library”, by Catherine Kennedy (2006-2007).
  • M. Bibl minor dissertation: “Service provision satisfaction of under- and postgraduate students at the Medical School Library of the University of Cape Town”, by Ronan Ntseane (2004-2005).
  • M. Bibl minor dissertation: “An investigation of the role played by the BOTEC Library in supporting the Engineer’s information requirements”, by Oonayang Dilebanye (2004-2005) – supervision shared with Dr J. Gretchen Smith.
  • M. Lib dissertation: “Management of retrospective conversion of academic library catalogues with specific reference to CD-ROM”, by Dorette Biggs (1990 –   ) – supervision passed to another colleague in Aberystwyth.
  • M. Lib dissertation: “The impact of the quality revolution on the role of the commercial information professional: an analysis of communications industry experience”, by David Byrne (1990 –      ) – supervision passed to another colleague in Aberystwyth.
  • M. Lib dissertation: “The management of change in the Hong Kong academic library in the run-up to 1997”, by Mary Leong (1990 –       ) – supervision passed to another colleague in Aberystwyth.
  • M. Lib dissertation: “Human factors in library automation”, by Dylan I. Evans (1991).
  • M. Lib dissertation: “The human aspects of the management of technical change in college libraries”, by Jane Core (1990).
  • M. Lib dissertation: “Developing a marketing strategy for a small industrial library in the energy sector”, by Margaret Wetenhall (1990).
  • M. Lib dissertation: “Automation of the index of Probate Records of the National Library of Wales: a feasibility study”, by Anne Taylor (1989).
  • M. Lib dissertation: “Management of change in an international organization: progress towards a NATO scientific and technical information service”, by Christine Walker (1989).
  • M. Lib dissertation: “The social implications of automation in academic libraries in the United Kingdom”, by Julie Parry (1989).
  • M. Lib dissertation: “A microcomputer system as a management tool for British Council libraries overseas”, by Patrick J. Villa (1988).
  • M. Lib dissertation: “Aspects of the management of change with particular reference to the introduction of computerised circulation control in the University of Nairobi, Kenya”, by Joseph Mulwa (1987).
  • M. Lib. dissertation: “The role of the librarian as a facilitator in the self education process”, by Elizabeth Nelson (1981).

External examining

  • Ph D thesis: “Developing a model for predicting customer satisfaction in relation to service quality in university libraries in Sri Lanka”, by Chaminda Chiran Jayasundara, University of South Africa (UNISA) (2010).
  • Ph. D thesis: “A history of the University of Natal Libraries 1910-2003”, by Nora Buchanan, University of KwaZulu-Natal (2009).
  • Ph D thesis: “The affect of the crisis in scholarly communication on university libraries in South Africa”. by Ruth G. M. Hoskins. University of KwaZulu-Natal (2009).
  • Ph. D thesis: “Information literacy of incoming undergraduate Arts students at the University of the Western Cape: assessment of competencies and proficiencies”, by Lizette King, University of the Western Cape (2007).
  • Ph. D thesis: “Unionising library and information staff in the tertiary sector: a feasibility study”, by Rajandren Raju, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (2005).
  • Ph. D thesis: “Academic staff college libraries in India: emergence, services and problems” by Sri Thota Sai Ramesh, Andhra University, India (2004).
  • Ph. D thesis: “First level library and/or information science qualifications at South African universities and technikons: a comparative study of curricula” by Jayarani Raju, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (2003).
  • Ph. D thesis: “Guidelines towards integrated information management curricula in South African universities”, by Felicité A. Fairer-Wessels, University of Pretoria (1995).
  • Ph. D thesis: “A comparative study of interlibrary loan functions and the development of a model interlibrary loan network among academic libraries in Saudi Arabia”, by Moid Ahmad Siddiqui, University of Natal (1995).
  • M Bibl thesis: “Factors in the establishment of institutional repositories: a case study of the Western Cape higher education institutions”, by Jill Claassen, University of the Western Cape (2010).
  • M Bibl thesis: “Users’ attitudes towards the Library of the University of the Western Cape”, by Arnoldus Rudolph Davids, University of the Western Cape (2000).
  • M Inf Studies dissertation: “Undergraduate students’ perceptions of the quality of service at Chancellor College Library, University of Malawi”, by Naomi Dalitso Kachoka, University of KwaZulu-Natal (2010).
  • M Inf Studies dissertation: “User perceptions of service quality and the level of user satisfaction at the Mangosuthu University of Technology Library, Umlazi, Durban” by Yegisthree Naidu, University of KwaZulu-Natal (2009).
  • M Inf Studies dissertation: “Preservation of, and access to, legal deposit materials at the Msunduzi Municipal Library, Pietermaritzburg”, by Zawedde Nsibirwa, University of KwaZulu (2008).
  • M Inf Studies dissertation: “User perceptions of the quality of service at Iringa University College Library, Tumaini University, Tanzania”, by The Reverend Cornelius Asyikiliwe Simba, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, (2007).
  • M LIS dissertation: “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) within the Public Library System in Botswana (BPLS)”, by Habtom Tekle, University of Botswana (2005).
  • M LIS dissertation: “Information literacy skills needs assessment for students: the case of Molepolole College of Education”, by Florence M. Molebatsi, University of Botswana (2003).
  • M LIS dissertation: “The educational role of the public library: Kuils River as a case study”, by Sarah Loretha Witbooi, University of the Western Cape (2001).
  • M LIS dissertation: “Information needs of lecturers at Tlokweng College of Education”, by Moseki University of Botswana (2001).
  • M LIS dissertation: “An assessment of the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the financial sector: a case study of the Mozambican banking system”, by Flatiel Fabiao Vilanculos, University of Botswana (2001).
  • M LIS dissertation: “Management of change: an assessment of the effects of economic hardships on the UZ and the attitudes of staff towards change”, by Zanele Constance Hadebe, University of Botswana (2001).
  • M LIS dissertation: “The role of print media in conflict resolution: a case of civil war in Northern Uganda”, by C. Acayo, University of Botswana (2001).
  • M LIS dissertation: “An assessment of user education in academic libraries: the case of the University of Zambia”, by Akakandelwa Akakandelwa, University of Botswana (2000).
  • External Examiner for the Department of information Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (2004 – . . . .).
  • External examiner for the Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Zambia (1993 – 1996)
  • External examiner for the Department of Library and Information Studies, University of the Western Cape (1994 – )
  • External Examiner for the Faculty of Information Science, Moi University, Kenya (1999 – 2002)
  • External Examiner for the Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Botswana (1998 –        ) – minor dissertations and course work.

Overseas teaching and consultancy experience

Reports on visits and consultancies, mostly undertaken at the request of the British Council, have been submitted to the host organizations which have, in some cases, published them.

  • November 1981          British Council Special Tours Visit to Lima, Perú. Five lectures given at the Second National Librarianship and Information Congress of the Association of Peruvian Librarians.  Consultancy on prospects for automation of the National Library of Perú.
  • Jan/Feb 1983     British Council Course on User Education given at the Catholic University, Lima, Perú.
  • August 1983     British Council Course on Developments in University Library Services, given at the National University of San Augustine, Arequipa, Perú.
  • Aug/Sep 1983   Course on Developing Academic Library Services, for the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education, given at Sirs el Layyan, Menoufia, Egypt.
  • April 1984         Documentation and Library Training Course, for Zakum Development Company, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • August 1984     British Council Course on Developments in University Library Services, given at the National University of Trujillo, Trujillo, Perú.
  • August 1985     Consultancy and training course for University of Guadalajara, Library Institute, Mexico, on the feasibility of automation.
  • April 1987         Computer applications in libraries course given as part of the teaching programme of the Catholic University of Lima, Perú.
  • April 1988         Consultancy to advise the British Council and Overseas Development Administration on the feasibility of establishing a joint course-writing arrangement between the College of Librarianship Wales and the Allama Iqbal Open University (Pakistan) for the development of a Masters Degree in Librarianship through Distance Learning suitable for Pakistan.
  • April 1991         UNESCO consultancy to the Botswana National Library Service, Gaborone, to advise on the feasibility of automating their services.
  • September 1994 UNESCO consultancy for the African Development Bank on the development of a human resources project involving information literacy in Namibia.
  • February 1999   Consultant for the University of Namibia Human Resource Development Project (continuing)
  • July/August 1999        Visiting Professor for the International Graduate Summer School, Aberystwyth, UK.
  • November 2008          INASP-funded Information Literacy Workshop, National University of Rwanda (NUR) in cooperation with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), NUR Main Library, Butare, Rwanda.
  • August 2009     INASP-funded workshop on finding and using scientific and technical information, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • September 2009          INASP-funded workshop on information literacy, The Library, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho.
  • November 2009          INASP-funded workshop on finding and using scientific and technical information, Uganda Management Institute, Jinja Road, Kampala, Uganda.

Other consultancy

  • Spring 1979     Analysing operations and advising on the feasibility of introducing automated procedures at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
  • July 1990        Advising on the choice of an integrated library system for Westminster College, Oxford. There was a continuing requirement to aid with staff training prior to automation.
  • December 1992         Advising the Independent Development Trust about the need for, and feasibility of, developing a Resource Centre.
  • February 1993 Development of the University of Transkei Library for the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
  • February 1993 Development of a Resource Centre for the Border Technikon, Ciskei, for the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
  • April 1993       Developing a resource centre network for colleges of education in Transkei and Ciskei for the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
  • 1993 – 1995     Development of a plan for the extension of the Library of the University of Botswana
  • June 1994        Re-development plan for the Resource Centre of Technikon Mangosuthu
  • July 1994         Advice on the development of libraries and resource centres for the Department of Works and Energy, Transkei
  • October 1994  Development of a Human Resources Project at the Library of the University of Namibia for Unesco and the African Development Bank.
  • April 1995       Development of a staffing plan for the Library of the University of Venda
  • May 1995        Overview of support for development of computer  systems at the South African Library
  • April 1996       Advisor to the Shared Automated System Project Management Team of the Cape Library Cooperative section of the Western Cape Tertiary Institutions Trust
  • May 1996        Advisor to the Working Group on Libraries and Information Technology of the National Commission for Higher Education
  • February 1999 Facilitator for joint meetings of the Boards of the State Library and the South African Library.

Other teaching areas

  • Centre for Open Learning, University of Cape Town. Course 101/102: “Finding information on the Internet”, offered in 2006 and 2007.
  • Department of Adult Education and Extra-Mural Studies, University of Cape Town. Course 345: “Management and motivation for library and information system managers”, offered in 1993 through the Extra-Mural Programme.
  • International Graduate Information Summer School (formerly the International Graduate Summer School): contributions to various courses dealing with automation. Tutor-in-charge for the courses Management and motivation (1981, 1988 – 1991), Management of change (1989 – 1991) and The Computer and the library (1983).
  • British Council: Tutor for the course The Management of library and information services (1983 and 1985).

Papers delivered at local conferences

  • “Subject indexing and thesaurus construction”.  Introductory workshop, 15 April 1992.
  • “Overview of the structure of library associations in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia”. South African Institute for Librarianship and Information Science (Western Cape Branch) Workshop “Whither SAILIS?”, 29 April 1992.
  • “Managing the information centre”.  South African Serials Interest Group (Western Cape) Workshop on Streamlining Serials, 8 May 1992.
  • “The rationale of cooperation”. Association for Library and Information Science Education and Research (ALISER) Workshop on Cooperation between Library and Information Science Educational Institutions in the Western Cape in the post-Bunting Era, 17 June 1992.
  • “To have and to hold?: the future of information supply”.  South African Serials Interest Group (Western Cape) Seminar, 26th August 1994.
  • “Hands across the sea: the role of Friends in supporting libraries in other countries”. Friends of the South African Library, 27th September 1994.
  • Coordinator and facilitator for Association for Library and Information Science Education and Research (ALISER) Symposium on Learner drivers: LIS curriculum and the ‘information superhighway’, 9th October 1997.
  • “The new learning space”. Paper delivered at the CALICO INFOLIT Capacity Building Workshop, 22 October 1997.
  • “Another part of the wood”.  Keynote paper at the SAILIS (Western Cape)/ South African Library CD-ROM Seminar, 23 October 1997.

Papers delivered at national conferences

  • “Managing the future: daydream or nightmare?” Hong Kong Library Association and Urban Council Public Libraries Conference, 23-24 November 1990 [later published in HKLA journal 14, 1990, 87-91].
  • “Change: its nature and management”.  Greek Library Association Conference on the Role of Automation and New Technologies in Libraries, 22-23 November 1990.
  • “Breaching the walls: what skills will our students need?” Association for Library and Information Science Education and Research (ALISER) session “Beyond the walls: the market for library and information professionals outside the conventional library/information centre”, at the South African Institute for Library and Information Science (SAILIS) Conference, 7 – 11 September 1992.
  • “The information environment”. Tertiary Institutions session “Management of change: perspectives for academic libraries in a changing South Africa”, at the South African Institute for Library and Information Science (SAILIS) Conference, 7 – 11 September 1992.
  • “Checking the net: a soft systems approach to information handling”.  Full Conference sessions “Aspects of information management session”, at the South African Institute for Library and Information Science (SAILIS) Conference, 6 – 10 September 1993.
  • “The Consortium of African Schools of Information Science (CASIS)”. Report delivered at the Association for Library and Information Science Education and Research (ALISER) session held at the South African Institute for Library and Information Science (SAILIS) Conference 19 – 23 September 1994.
  • “Finger on the button: knowledge management in South Africa”. South African Serials Interest Group session at the South African Institute for Library and Information Science (SAILIS) Conference, 19 – 21 September 1995.
  • “Books versus electronic media”.  Paper delivered at Bibliophilia Africana VII, the Seventh Conference of South African Bibliophiles, 8 – 10 May 1996.
  • “‘Hard Times’ or ‘Great Expectations’?  How professional education must change: a view from South Africa”. Conference of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand and Aotearoa, “Exceeding expectations”, Christchurch, New Zealand, 15-18 October 2000.
  • Available: http://www.conference.co.nz/LIANZA2000/papers/Underwood.pdf
  • “Information literacy in the academic setting of the University of Cape Town”. Paper delivered at a seminar of staff of the Library of the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 24th October 2000.
  • “Treading carefully: developing information literacy in an academic environment”. Open lecture delivered at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 24th October 2000.
  • “The INFOLIT project as a collaborative venture”. Paper delivered at a seminar of the staff of the libraries of the Tertiary Alliance, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 27th October 2000.
  • “Aspects of collaboration over the development of automated library systems”. Paper delivered at a seminar of the staff of the libraries of the Tertiary Alliance, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 27th October 2000.
  • “Information literacy within a consortial framework”.  Paper delivered at the 6th Southern African Online Information Meeting of the South African Online User Group, 19-21 June 2001 (The Powerpoint presentation accompanying the paper is available at http://www.saoug.org.za/underwood.ppt [site visited 13 July 2001] and the paper is to be included in a forthcoming issue of Mousaion).
  • “The Gateway project”.  Paper delivered at “Mastering indexing skills: steps along the way”, the Annual Conference of the Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers (ASAIB), 27-28 June 2001.
  • “Avoiding the breakers: making the best use of the Web to ensure you have easy access to legal material”.  Paper delivered at International Institute for Research conference for Law Librarians, Johannesburg, 20-21 November 2001. Available at: http://www.lawlibrary.co.za/notice/conferences/iir_2001/iir_conf_2001_11_underwood.html   
  • “e-what?”: a paper for the Second Southern African Library Acquisitions Conference of the LIASA Acquisitions Interest Group (LACIG), 30th September 2002.
  • “Portals to information: the role of public libraries in providing access to business information”: a paper for the 2002 Conference of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (with Janine Ontong).
  • “Pointing the way: information literacy and indexing” a paper for the Conference of the Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers (ASAIB) Signposts to Knowledge: Indexing in the 21st Century Cape Town, 14 – 15 April 2003 (with Marion Walton).
  • “E-access – the future of books and information”.  Paper delivered at Papyrus to Print-out : the Book in Africa Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Bibliophilia Africana VIII, the Eighth Conference of South African Bibliophiles, 11-13 May 2005.
  • “Right Click, Copy, Paste: Digital Ethics “.  Paper delivered at the Libraries & Information Management Africa 2006 Conference & Workshop “Shaping the African librarian’s mindset on information handling and dissemination” 25th – 27th October 2006.
  • “Library and information literacy skills as the stepping stones towards the management of information”.  Paper delivered at the Libraries and Information Management Africa 2007 Conference and Workshop, 7-9 February 2007.
  • “The fatal equation: I – L = C”.  Paper delivered at the LIASA 12th Annual Conference, 27 September- 1 October 2010.

Papers delivered at international conferences

  • “Change: opportunity or problem?” Conference of the National Librarians of Southern Africa, 27-30 July, 1992.
  • “Information systems: the logic of enquiry” [Contributed paper]. 58th General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations, New Delhi, 30 August – 5 September 1992.
  • Guest editor (with Kathryn Baker) for the Coalition on Reinventing Information Science, Technology and Library Education (CRISTAL-ED) listerver discussion on Producing leaders (vol. 22), 3 December 1995 – 18 December 1995.  [Online] http://www.si.umich.edu/cristaled/postings/V22.html
  • “Knowledge navigation and information management: new rules for an old game”, with Cathy-Mae Karelse. Conference on Information Technology in Tertiary Education, Cape Town, 10-12 April 1996. [Online] http://www.uct.ac.za/conferences/citte/underwoo.zip [27/11/1996]
  • Guest editor (with Mary Nassimbeni) for the Coalition on Reinventing Information Science, Technology and Library Education (CRISTAL-ED) listerver discussion on Convergence and the library business (vol. 61), 20 July 1997 – 2 August 1997.  [Online] http://www.si.umich.edu/cristaled/postings/V61.html
  • “Information literacy: empowerment or impoverishment?” Africa-wide Library Fellows Conference on Information for Democracy in Africa, Cape Technikon, 4-6 May 1999.
  • “Hitting the mean: the need for a strategic framework for Information Literacy and User Education”.  Seminar on User education for user empowerment of the Commonwealth Library Association, Christchurch, New Zealand, 19-20 October 2000.
  • “Information literacy in the academic setting: a South African experience”. Seminar on User education for user empowerment of the Commonwealth Library Association, Christchurch, New Zealand, 19-20 October 2000.
  • “Information literacy in the academic setting: what value does it add to the student profile?” Paper presented at the Society for Research into Higher Education/Education Policy Unit Conference “Globalisation and higher education: views from the South”, Cape Town, 27-29 March 2001. (Abstract available: http://www.srhe.ac.uk/southafrica/abstracts/paperUnderwood.htm [site visited 13 July 2001])
  • “Orality and information literacy”.  Paper for the Symposium on Language, Politics and Communicative Reality: Plurilinguism in Africa and Switzerland presented by the Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (SAGW)/ Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS) and the Schweizerische Afrika-Gesellschaft (SAG) / Swiss Society of African Studies (SSAS), Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland, 3 April 2003.
  • “The invisible web: searching for information on fine arts” Workshop given as part of DARTS – Discover Academic Research Training and Support: Annual Conference of the South West Branch of the University, College and Research (UC&R) Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), 23rd –24th July 2005, Dartington College of Arts at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, UK.
  • “Supporting the information needs of small and micro businesses: a South African case- study” (with Gail Jacobs).  International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), “Libraries for the future: progress, prospects and partnerships”, World Library and Information Congress, 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council, Durban, South Africa, 19-23 August 2007. [Online] Available: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla73/papers/101-
  • Underwood-Jacobs-en.pdf (12 pages).
  • “Times of crisis: the need for knowledge management at a national level” (with Dr J. Gretchen Smith). Paper for the XIXth Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) 7th – 10th September 2010, Gaborone, Botswana.

Previous positions and description of duties

  • 1969 -1973     Senior Library Assistant, London Borough of Havering. Supervision of public library service points, trouble-shooting, planning of services.  Responsible for planning and implementation of computer-assisted circulation control system throughout service.
  • 1973 – 1982     Lecturer, College of Librarianship Wales, Aberystwyth. Supervision of courses and dissertations.
  • 1982 – 1989     Senior Lecturer, College of Librarianship Wales, Aberystwyth. Supervision of courses and dissertations, together with administration. Associate Programme Director for the Postgraduate Diploma Programme. The College of Librarianship Wales (CLW) was founded in 1964 and formally merged with the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1989.  Since the late 1960’s it enjoyed a close relationship with the University, which was the validating body for the diplomas and degrees offered by CLW. Throughout this period CLW was funded for teaching: no allowance was made for research or work on publications and staff had few opportunities to make a contribution in this area.  Staff were, however, encouraged to engage in professional activities in the United Kingdom and overseas by undertaking the provision of short courses, consultancy and advisory work. Staff who accepted transfer to the University were appointed to a position and grade equivalent in salary terms to their former positions with CLW.
  • 1989 – 1991     Lecturer, Department of Information and Library Studies, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. Position held from merger in 1989. The Department places a considerable emphasis on the development of teaching aids and innovative approaches to the delivery of courses.  Much of my work involved the facilitation of self- tuition as well as the more conventional seminar and practical work. Subject tutor for Postgraduate Programme core courses: The organisation of knowledge and Studies in management. The re-design of the core course ‘The organisation of knowledge’ necessitated the development of a new strategy, based on the concept of the database as a fundamental component within a manual or an automated information system. I concentrated on developing teaching materials to support exploration of the database environment and the use of automated information retrieval. I started to define a set of modules concerned with traditional techniques of classification and cataloguing to be offered within a modular Programme. Within the core course ‘Studies in management’ my role was to develop the elements of systems analysis and design as modules. Tutor for M. Lib (Design and evaluation of information systems) course: Information systems analysis and design. Tutor for M. Lib (Use of computers in libraries and information units) course: Planning and management for automation. These courses are mostly guided study but the absence, for some topics, of suitable readings and other material necessitated the development of several items.  In particular, I developed a module exploring techniques of quantitative analysis to support the formal analysis of systems. The expansion of the courses to accommodate the techniques of ‘soft’ systems analysis, so necessary for modelling socio-technic systems, was accomplished. Tutor for, and author of, M. Lib Distance Learning (Library management) Programme module: Systems studies. This Programme was a major innovation in library education in the UK and remains a market leader. The ‘Systems studies’ module, one of four, comprises eight taped lectures with supporting written materials, exercises, assignments and readings. Tutor for, and author of, MSc Distance Learning (Information systems and services for health care) module: Information systems analysis and design. This was another innovation, at a time when the National Health Service in the United Kingdom is undergoing major changes in emphasis and arrangements for funding and management. The team who developed the course perceived a growing and buoyant market for a Programme aimed at administrators within the health services environment. The course stated in 1991 year; an initial evaluation suggested that it had met the expectations and needs of its target audience. Tutor for BSc (Information science) course ‘Systems analysis and design’. This was a new course on the second year of a new Programme. The course included practical systems analysis and was further developed to include structured approaches, soft systems methods and project planning techniques. Director for Masters Degree in Librarianship Distance Learning, second year. This involved leading a small team of tutors, coordinating course development and the running of a Summer School.

Professional interests, specialisation and activities

  • Use of computers in libraries and information work. Organizational behaviour.
  • Management of human resources.
  • Systems analysis, systems design and the human/computer interface.
  • Committee Member of the West Wales Branch of the British Institute of Management, 1987 – 1989.
  • Staff Governor for the College of Librarianship Wales 1981 – 1989. During the period leading up to the merger with the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, this duty included membership of several ad hoc working parties and frequent meetings of the College Planning Group.
  • Advisor to the Friends of Central Library (Cape Town) 1992 –
  • Chair of the Committee for Non-Formal Education of the South African Institute for Librarianship and Information Science (SAILIS) 1994-1997 and ex officio member of SAILIS Council. On amalgamation of this Committee with the Committee for Formal Education, became a Corresponding Member of the Committee for Education.
  • Member of the Editorial Committee of the South African journal of library and information science, 1997 – to date. Appointed as Editor 2006-2010.
  • Member of the Editorial Committee of Education for information, 2002 to date.
  • Member of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 2007 to date.
  • Member of the Programme Committee for the i3 Information: Interaction and Impact Conference, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK, 2007 onwards.
  • Honorary member of the South African Special Libraries Interest Group, elected in 1997.
  • Project director for the development of the Yenza! Subject-Based Information Gateway for the National Research Foundation, May-December 1998.
  • Project Director for Indigenous Knowledge database (NRF-funded project) 2004-2006.
  • Project Director for the Carnegie-funded Focus on Access: Africa International Workshop on Building Digital Collections and Services (the Project ran from 2007-2009).
  • Trustee of the Western Cape Orchestral Trust. Director of the UCT Press.
  • Use of online bibliographic systems in teaching, with A. G. Curwen and others. London: British Library Research and Development Department Report no. 5523, August 1979. 219 p.
  • “Are the priorities wrong?”, with J. E. Spink. Paper for the Workshop on Information Science and Technology for Developing Countries, 26-28 June 1984, Polytechnic of Central London [private circulation].
  • “La realidad: reflections on library and information science in Perú”.  Focus on international and comparative librarianship 18(3), 1987, 26-27.
  • Encyclopedia of Associations on DIALOG [video-cassette]. Aberystwyth: College of Librarianship Wales, 1987.  18 mins; sound and colour.
  • Managing change in libraries and information services: a systems approach. London: Library Association, 1990.  180 p.
  • “Managing the future: daydream or nightmare?”, Hong Kong Library Association journal 14, 1990, 87-91.
  • Computerization of the Botswana National Library Service. UNESCO, 1991. (Technical report PP/1990-1991/II.C(i); serial no. FMR/CII/PGI/91/106)
  • “End of a dream?: the role of a professional association”, SAILIS newsletter 12(4), May 1992, 6-7.
  • “Devices and desires: the temptations of an information manager”.  Inaugural lecture, 3 June 1992. University of Cape Town, 1992 [New series; 173].  16 p.
  • “IFLA 1992”, Contact, October 1992, 10-15.
  • “Information systems: the logic of enquiry”, IFLA journal 19 (1), 1993, 27-34. [Reprinted in Global trends in library and information science, edited by S. C. Biswas (New Delhi: Gyan, 1995) 416-425.]
  • Basics of data management for information services, with R. J. Hartley. London: Library Association, 1993. 119 p.
  • “We shall all be changed’: professional development, manpower education and training in the Republic of South Africa”.  In P. S. Kawatra (Ed.), World encyclopedia of library and information science education, New Delhi: Crest Publishing House.
  • “Checking the net: a soft-systems approach to information auditing”, South African journal of library and information science 62 (2), June 1994, 59-64.
  • “The same old problems still dog the information age”, Sunday independent 18, 22 October 1995, 15.

Publications

  • “The advance from neutrality: LIS education in South Africa”, Library Association record, 98 (3), March 1996, 146-148.
  • “Travelling the superhighway”, (with Cathy-Mae Karelse) Sunday independent higher education review, 2, 5 May 1996, 6. [Online] http://www.inc.co.za/online/hero/may_5/trav.html [27/11/1996]
  • “Seeking answers on the superhighway”, (with Cathy-Mae Karelse) Sunday independent higher education review, 3, 12 May 1996, 8. [Online] http://www.inc.co.za/online/hero/may_12/super.html [27/11/1996]
  • “Alternative routes on the superhighway”, (with Cathy-Mae Karelse and Colin Darch) Sunday independent higher education review, 3, 19 May 1996, 9. [Online] http://www.inc.co.za/online/hero/may_19/hiway3.html [27/11/1996]
  • Soft systems analysis and the management of libraries, information services and resource centres.  London: Library Association, July 1996.
  • “First steps: reconstructing library and information science education in South Africa”, (with
  • M. C. Nassimbeni) Education for information 14 (3), 1996, 1-9.
  • “Total quality management in libraries: fad or fact?”, (with J. H. Viljoen) South African journal of library and information science 65 (1), March 1997, 46-52.
  • “Books versus electronic media.” In The love of books: proceedings of the Seventh South African Conference of Bibliophiles held at the South African Library, Cape Town, 8-10 May 1996. Edited by P. Westra and L. Twentyman Jones. Cape Town: South African Library, 1997. [Bibliophilia Africana VII; South African Library general series; no. 26.] 50-58.
  • Guest editor for a commemorative edition of the South African journal of library and information science 65(1), March 1997.
  • Guest editorial, “Adamastor reclaimed: some aspects of the transformation of the South African library and information science scene.”  Journal of librarianship and information science 29(3), September 1997, 117-119.
  • “Dreams and realities: building a new information society in South Africa” (with M.C. Nassimbeni). In Libraries: global reach — local touch. Edited by K. de la Peña McCook, B.J. Ford & K. Lippincott. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998.  157-164.
  • “‘We shall all be changed’: professional development and training in the Republic of South Africa” (with M. C. Nassimbeni). In Education for librarianship and information science in Africa: IFLA Advancement of Librarianship Programme project report no. 14.  Edited by Michael Wise.  Uppsala: Uppsala University Library, 1999. 179-198.
  • “Academic library consortia in contemporary South Africa” (with C. Darch and J. Rapp).
  • Library consortium management: an international journal 1(1/2), 1999, 23-32.
  • “Dirt road or Yellow Brick Superhighway?  Information and communication technology in academic libraries of South Africa” (with Colin Darch).  Library Hi-Tech 17(3), 1999, 285-
  • 297.  [This paper was selected as the Most Outstanding Paper of 1999, by the MCB Literati Club]
  • “Information see Learning: the role of information literacy”. In Indexing for Africa: papers read at a conference held in Johannesburg on 6th October 1999.  Edited by Reuben Musiker. Johannesburg: Association for Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers, 2000. 13-20.
  • “Unfinished  business:  the  INFOLIT  Project  of  the  Adamastor  Trust”. Innovation  21, December 2000, 15-21.
  • “The Gateway project”. In Mastering indexing skills: steps along the way, the Annual Conference of the Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers (ASAIB), 27 June 2001, 23-31.  Edited by J. A. Kalley.  Johannesburg: ASAIB, 2001.
  • “South Africa: a case study in development through information literacy”, White Paper prepared for UNESCO, the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, and the National Forum on Information Literacy, for use at the Information Literacy Meeting of Experts, Prague, The Czech Republic. July 2002. Available at: http://www.nclis.gov/libinter/infolitconf&meet/papers/underwood-fullpaper.pdf
  • “Recognition of Prior Learning and the development of the Library and Information Service profession in South Africa”.  South African journal of libraries and information science 69(1), 2003, 49-54.
  • “Building informed communities”, Mail and guardian 19(9), 28 February – 6 March 2003. Available: http://archive.mg.co.za/MGArchive/FrameSet.asp?xhitlist_q=Underwood
  • “Pointing the way: information literacy and indexing” a paper for the Conference of the Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers (ASAIB) Signposts to Knowledge: Indexing in the 21st Century Cape Town, 14 – 15 April 2003.  Edited by Elna Schoeman.  Johannesburg: ASAIB, 2003.
  • “Papyrus to pixels”, Cape librarian 49(1), January/February 2005, 8-10.
  • “Are pre-compiled citation indexes of peer-reviewed journals an adequate control for research quality? A case study of library and information science” (with Colin Darch).  South African journal of libraries and information science 71(1), 2005, 1-10.
  • “Freedom of Information legislation, state compliance and the discourse of knowledge: the South African experience” (with Colin Darch).  International information and library review 37(2), June 2005, 77-86. Available: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WGP- 4GFV5Y0-1/2/941c580d4dc2405d4debef6cefdfb584 DOI information: 10.1016/j.iilr.2005.05.003.
  • “Automatic indexing”, In: Indexing for Southern Africa: a celebration of ASAIB’s first decade 1994-2004, edited by Jacqueline A. Kalley and Elna Schoeman.  Johannesburg; Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers, 2006. 111-116.
  • “GAELIC Institutional Members survey 2005, conducted by the Centre for Information Literacy, University of Cape Town, on behalf of the Gauteng and Environs LIbrary Consortium (GAELIC)” (with J. Gretchen Smith). 2006. 78p. [Unpublished].
  • “Two societies: duality, contradictions and integration: a progress report on South Africa” (with Mary Nassimbeni).  International information and library review 39(2), 2007, 166-173. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iilr.2007.02.006.
  • “Editorial: Libraries and information in Southern Africa”.  IFLA journal 33(2), 2007, 83-86. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0340035207080299.
  • Libraries for the future: progress and development of South African libraries (co-editor, with Theo Bothma and Patrick Ngulube).  International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), World Library and Information Congress, 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council, Durban, South Africa, 19-23 August 2007.  IFLA, 2007.
  • “Libraries, literacies and learning: retrospects and prospects” (with Karin de Jager and Mary Nassimbeni), In: Libraries for the future: progress and development of South African libraries (edited by Theo Bothma, Peter Underwood and Patrick Ngulube). International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), World Library and Information Congress, 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council, Durban, South Africa, 19-23 August 2007.  IFLA, 2007. pp. 133-147.
  • “An overview of South Africa”, (compiler) In: Libraries for the future: progress and development of South African libraries (edited by Theo Bothma, Peter Underwood and Patrick Ngulube).  Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) and International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), World Library and Information Congress, 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council, Durban, South Africa, 19-23 August 2007.  LIASA, 2007. Annexure 1: 221-226.
  • “Namibian library and information service sector strategic assessment study: baseline study – interim report” prepared by J Gretchen Smith (project leader), Ben Fouché, David Muirhead and Peter G Underwood. Windhoek: Republic of Namibia, Ministry of Education, Directorate of Namibia Library and Archives Service, October 2008. [Unpublished].
  • “Namibian library and information service sector strategic assessment study: baseline study – final report” prepared by J Gretchen Smith (project leader), Ben Fouché, David Muirhead and Peter G Underwood. Windhoek: Republic of Namibia, Ministry of Education, Directorate of Namibia Library and Archives Service, October 2008. [Unpublished].
  • “An evaluation of the information architecture of the UCT Library web site” (with Susan H. Mvungi and Karin de Jager). South African journal of libraries and information science 74(2), 2008, 171-182.
  • “Final report on an international workshop: Focus on Access: Africa international workshop on building digital collections and services 2007; Carnegie Corporation grant: B8145 (1 March 2007) (with C. J. Armstrong and R. E. Lonsdale). 2008 [Unpublished].
  • “Diffusion of professional norms: the impact of IFLA in South Africa”. IFLA journal 35(2), 2009, 131-140.
  • “Library 2.0: revolution or evolution?” (with Tom Kwanya and Christine Stilwell). South African journal of libraries and information science 75(1), 2009, 68-73.
  • “Supporting information needs of entrepreneurs in South Africa”. Library review 58(8), 2009, 569-580.
  • Freedom of information and the developing world: the citizen, the State and models of openness (with Colin Darch). Oxford: Chandos, 2009. 336p. ISBN-13: 978 1 84334 147 5.
  • “Library 2.0 principles and Ranganathan’s Law #5” (with Tom Kwanya and Christine Stilwell). Mousaion 28(2), 2010, 1-16.
  • “Information literacy for higher education institutions in Nigeria and Tanzania: efforts and prospects for educational reform and teaching” (with Vicki Lawal, Mugyabuso Lwehabura and Christine Stilwell). Innovation: journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 41, December 2010, 42-61.
  • Reviews for the South African journal of library and information science, Assistant librarian, Library review, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Education for information.

Lectures offered

  • To a specialist audience:Several lecture/seminar packages dealing with User education, Computer applications, Systems analysis, Management of change, Management of human resources, Organizational behaviour, Information literacy.
  • To a general audience: Information systems in society, the development of information literacy.

Languages

  • Lecturing: English
  • Professional discussion: English Spanish (elementary only)
  • Conversational: English Spanish (elementary only)
  • French (elementary only)

Other activities

  • Churchwarden of Holy Trinity Church, Aberystwyth, 1985 – 1987 Reader in the Diocese of St. David’s, Church in Wales, licensed in 1985.
  • Member of the Bishop’s Committee on Stewardship, Church in Wales, 1983 – 1991. Member of the Choir of St. Michael and All Angels, Observatory, Cape Town, 1992-2008. Member of the Choir of Our Lady of the Visitation, Constantia, 2008-ongoing.
  • Member and Past President of the Owl Club of Cape Town.
  • Singing (somewhat indifferently), classical organ music, cycling, industrial archaeology. 21 February, 2013