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Emeritus Professor Peter Underwood

Peter UnderwoodPeter G. Underwood is Emeritus Professor of Librarianship at the University of Cape Town, having occupied the Chair from 1992 to 2010.  He is now retired but still professionally-active.Prior to 1992, he spent twenty years as Lecturer in the Department of Information Studies, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.

He is the author of Managing change in libraries and information services: a systems approach and Soft systems analysis and the management of libraries, information services and resource centres, and co-author of Basics of data management for information services.

In 2010, with Dr Colin Darch, he published Freedom of information in the developing world: demand, compliance and democratic behaviour (Woodhead/Chandos).  His teaching and research focuses on information literacy, information systems management and organizational behaviour in the context of libraries and information services.  He is also an Honorary Professor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Senior Associate with a consulting group, Knowledge Leadership Associates (  He is a graduate of the Cranfield School of Management, having completed an MBA there in 1980, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Selected Publications

Kahn, M. & Underwood, P. 2013. Issues related to the adoption of e-books in academic libraries: a literature review. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science. 79(2): 10-17. DOI: 10.7553/79-2-141.

Skelly, L., Eidelman, J. & Underwood, P. G. 2012. Web 2.0 technology as a teaching tool. In Library Automation and OPAC 2.0: Information Access and Services in the 2.0 Landscape. J. Tramullas, & P. Garrido, Eds. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. 187-205. DOI:10.4018/978-1-4666-1912-8.ch010.

Kwanya, T., Stilwell, C. & Underwood, P. G. 2012. A competency index for research librarians in Kenya. African journal of library, archives and information science1 April. Available:

Kwanya, T., Stilwell, C. & Underwood, P. G.  2012. Library 2.0 versus other library service models: a critical analysis. Journal of librarianship and information science 44(3): 145-162. DOI: 10.1177/0961000611426443.

Darch, C. & Underwood, P. G. 2010. Freedom of information and the developing world: the citizen, the State and models of openness. Oxford: Chandos.

Kwanya, T., Stilwell, C. & Underwood, P. G. 2010. Library 2.0 principles and Ranganathan’s Law #5.Mousaion 28(2): 1-16.

Lawal, V., Underwood, P. G., Lwehabura, M. & Stilwell, C. 2010. Information literacy for higher education institutions in Nigeria and Tanzania: efforts and prospects for educational reform and teaching.Innovation: journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 41: 42-61.