The Concrete Institute’s Information Centre has been growing steadily since its inception in 1957 and its collection of reference material now stands at 119 109 lending and reference items. During the past year, the Centre has had to deal with 2 713 enquiries and 402 documents were requested via the Centre’s portal search engine. The Information Centre’s portal Web site recorded 10 306 visits during the past year.
Martha de Jager, who with Susan Battison runs the Centre in Midrand, says: “The Info Centre continually strives to provide information on the latest innovations in concrete technology and our extensive collection of books, pamphlets, journals, CDs and DVDs about concrete technology are available to the public free of charge. We acquire only the most valuable information resources for use by our clients and are confident that the publications we invest in will be used and appreciated by our clients. Our clients may borrow the materials they need and can use the information when producing innovations that may result in competitive advantages for their companies.”
“At the TCI Information Centre, we have books for every type of client who may be interested in concrete – from schoolchildren to post-doctoral professors who use our collection for research. We assist students, lecturers, researchers, consultants, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, handymen, DIY enthusiasts, architects and artists – anyone with an interest in concrete. Our publications are classified according to subjects for easy retrieval.
“To ensure that every information resource in our library can find its way to the person who needs it, we market our publications and services to potential clients at exhibitions, in the media and by presenting library orientation sessions to all the students who attend courses at the Institute. Our Just in service features new additions to our collection and the Current contents service keeps academic clients up to date with developments in their field to ensure maximum exposure and use of our collection. We compile bibliographies on specific areas of research to highlight the most important information sources.
“Our clients do not have to physically visit the Information Centre, as they may request the items they require at any time of the day or night from our catalogue on the Internet. Our Portal search engine at http://www.cciinformationcentre.org/ActiveConnect2002 provides instant access to the exact information required as all our materials are fully catalogued and indexed. You may request the items you need directly from the catalogue.
“We are very grateful to The Concrete Institute’s funding members Afrisam, Lafarge and Sephaku Cement for sustaining our growth,” de Jager adds.