The Research Libraries Consortium Project commenced in 2006 with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) to build capacity and capabilities in the libraries of the Universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand, KwaZulu Natal, Pretoria, Rhodes and Stellenbosch in support of the information and research needs of emerging researchers.
This Project has three core components, which are considered significant and important for the development of researchers in South Africa:
- The design and location of a Research Commons in each of the libraries
- The development of a corps of librarians who are equipped with the appropriate understanding and skills for in support of the needs of postgraduates and researchers
- A collaborative initiative to develop and jointly manage a web-based research portal
In recognising the importance of this Project to its strategic research endeavours, the University has made a more than eighty percent financial top-up for the construction of the Research Commons and other leadership & training facilities within the Merensky II Library. It is believed that together with this stimulating environment and a corps of skilled research librarians, the Library will be able to redefine its support and services to researchers, and contribute to nurturing the next generation of South African scholars at the University of Pretoria.