The new name of the JS Gericke Library at Stellenbosch University (SU) was
announced last week. In future it will be known as the Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch Biblioteek” in Afrikaans and “IThala leeNcwadi leYunivesithi
yaseStellenbosch” in isiXhosa).
In 2015 the University’s Committee for the Naming of Buildings, Venues
and Other Facilities/Premises already proposed that the name “JS Gericke
Library” undergo a process of possible renaming as part of a larger
transformation process for the furtherance of a welcoming culture at the SU.
In accordance with the policy, a task team, consisting of academic
experts, relevant administrative staff and representatives from the SRC, was
put together during an inclusive process in 2016. Thereafter, also in
accordance with the policy, a consultation process with staff, students,
community leaders and the Gericke family followed.
The task team consulted with various interest groups by means of a
questionnaire. This included staff, management and student leaders.
The majority of respondents preferred a descriptive name, as opposed to
a symbolic name or the naming after a well-known person. More than 80% of the
senior library staff preferred the descriptive or functional renaming.
The Executive Committee of the Council (ECC), which decides on the names
of buildings in accordance with the policy, approved the new name earlier this