The application of the viable systems model to the Durban Institute of Technology Library.
Most institutions of higher learning in South Africa have had to merge because of the directive from the Department of Education enacted in the Higher Education Act of 1997, which aimed at restructuring the higher education sector. Academic libraries as departments within these institutions also had to merge as their parent organisations merged. The Durban Institute of Technology (DIT) became the first merged institution of higher learning in the country. The purpose of this study is to diagnose whether the merged DIT libraries are viable. This is tested by using the Viable Systems Model (VSM), which is based on cybernetic principles. This research project is meant to give a holistic view of the viability of the DIT libraries. Members of the library staff were asked through an interview process what their views were about the library. The interviews were semi-structured and were conducted individually so as to elicit detailed information from library staff about the library, its processes, procedures, structure and management. Observation and document analysis were also used to gather further information relevant to the study. The study concluded that the library does not have enough resources and there is confusion amongst members of the library staff about what the library goals are. Although the library does not have a single image and culture it is very active and is well represented in the Library and Information Services structures and within the DIT.