Research Assistant

Sonto Mtolo

BA Library and Information Sciences

Sonto Mtolo is originally from KwaZulu-Natal and completed her BA Degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Zululand in Empangeni. She joined the Plant Conservation Unit in April 2018 as a DST-NRF intern to assist in processing historical photographic collections, including scanning, input of metadata, archiving collections, getting the collections online, finding locations of historical images using available gazetteers and Google Earth.

In 2016 she conducted a study on the provision of Library and Information services to students with disabilities at the University of Zululand. She said, “It was quite a challenging experience because during the data collection process I had to inform the target population about the study. Certain students felt uncomfortable; they did not like to be made conscious of their disabilities as some do not even consider themselves disabled. During the entire experience I gained a lot of skills and knowledge that have turned me into a better individual.”

During her third year of study, she performed field research at Trenance Park Secondary, her former high school. She visited the institution in order to investigate awareness of the Library and Information science degree, the purpose of the research was to determine the number of grade 11 and matric students who were familiar with the Library and Information science course, as they had begun applying to study for different courses at various institutions. There were 362 learners and results indicated that only 12% were aware of the Library and Information science course. Among the most preferred courses were teaching, social work and nursing.

Sonto is interested in expanding her research skills and acquiring new expertise and knowledge. During her spare time, she enjoys reading romantic novels and participating in religious youth activities.