The momentum for the creation of the Research Commons was set-off by funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). CCNY has funded the Research Libraries Consortium in South Africa. There are three different components in the Consortium which include the development of specialised facilities (the physical construction of a research commons), shared technologies and highly trained professional librarians. Each of these components is considered significant to growing a new cadre of researchers in South Africa.
The University, recognising the potential of a highly sophisticated postgraduate research environment supporting its mission of increasing postgraduate throughput and research output, has made a more than eighty percent financial top-up for the construction of the research commons. This cutting edge and stimulating environment is supported by the development of a cadre of skilled research librarians and improved access to information resources via the federated search tool, Primo.
OPTIMAL SUPPORT AND FACILITATION OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS
"Provide institutional support to sustain and grow, monitor and report research output and quality in order to improve our standing at national and international levels - the major focus is on acquisition of resources and infrastructure."
(Strategic Plan for the Environment of the Vice-Rector Research, 2009)
"Develop the Library as a vibrant and inviting physical and virtual space that will promote collaboration, social networking, as well as private study and reflection. - Continue to grow postgraduate and researcher learning spaces such as that of a state-of-the-art Research Commons that provides specialised and focused support to such user communities."
(Goal and action plan, Strategic Directions 2010-2015 of the Library and Information Service)