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South Africa: ‘It’s Creating Havoc’ – Western Cape Library Headache Persists Five Months After System Crash

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The computerised database used by Western Cape libraries crashed in November 2022, but the operating system has yet to be fully restored, causing administrative problems for many librarians.

Non-metro Western Cape librarians continue to deal with administrative headaches because the important SITA Library Information Management System (SLIMS), which crashed on 15 November 2022, has not yet been fully restored.

The system is used by the Western Cape Provincial Library and Archive Service.

The operating system crashed due to a storage failure, resulting in the loss of a substantial amount of data, according to Tania Colyn, head of communications in the Western Cape’s department of cultural affairs and sport. The hosting environment for SLIMS became unavailable, which negatively affected the availability of the Western Cape SLIMS, said Tlali Tlali, head of corporate affairs at the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

SITA hosts and maintains the operating system and also provides support for SLIMS solutions to various government departments, according to Tlali.

“The system [is] used by the department for managing the selection, procurement and cataloguing of books and is used by all public libraries for issuing and returning books,” said Colyn. “It provides an online public access catalogue that enables anyone to search the database to find out which books are held in which libraries.”

Since a system failure such as this had not occurred before, it presented a…

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