In Memoriam: Prof Anna Louw

It is with sadness that we share the news of the passing of Prof Anna Louw.  She will be remembered as a loyal and active LIASA member and former lecturer at UNISA Department of Informati0on Science.  We extend our condolences to Prof Louw’s family, friends and colleagues; our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Prof Anna Louw, a former lecturer in the Department of Information Science and president of SAIBI sadly passed away earlier this week. She was actively involved in the establishment of LIASA and is fondly remembered by her colleagues and friends. The Department of Information Science offers its sincere condolences to the Louw family on her passing.

Dr Madely du Preez

Deepest sympathy to Prof. Anna Louw’s family, friends and colleagues.  She was a stalwart in our profession and will be sadly missed.

Denise Nicholson

2017 seem to be starting as a year in which SA Librarianship is loosing  some of its stalwarts. Prof Louw served with Mr Haffajee on many professional bodies and has enriched the professional lives of many young students and budding library and information workers.

It was indeed a privilege to work with such an esteem colleague.

My prayers go out to her family and friends.

Sally Witbooi

The news of Anna Louw’s death will come with great sadness to every one of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students who had the privilege of studying under her at Unisa from the 1970s through to the 1990s, when she retired, and to all the colleagues with whom she worked tirelessly in the former SALA  and SAILIS, and in the very active Special Libraries interest group of the former Southern Transvaal branch, as well as her Unisa colleagues. She became a member of LIASA and in her retirement worked actively in the field of children’s books and as a member of Somerset West Library where she used to shelve (very efficiently, I have no doubt!). She served as a role model for all, and though she had a sharp tongue, she was never too busy to help and advise her students at all levels, when she would always go ” the extra mile” no matter how trying that sometimes was. Anna was a true stalwart and committed servant and leader within the South African LIS academic and organizational profession, who contributed in every sphere for many decades. Her approach as a postgraduate supervisor and her rigorous, dazzling editorial methods which she applied to professional journals, publications and the work of her students, remain the gold standard for anyone in LIS in South Africa today who was fortunate enough to experience her skills. As I have personally acknowledged on many occasions, it would not be far from the truth to say that Anna made me the professional I became, and I walked in her shadow from my Higher Diploma to my Masters, and throughout my role in SAILIS, where I am glad to say she was a member of my Exco.  Her example is one I have tried, and often failed, to live up to. Elizabeth and I kept some contact with her after her retirement and were able to visit her, enjoy her indigenous garden, & share good red wine and lunch with her on many occasions. I learnt only a few weeks ago that she had moved to the frail care section of Helderberg Village, where I believe she had very much enjoyed more than a decade of retirement, surrounded by many family members and friends who shared her wide interests. She lived a rich full life, was frustrated by her decline in strength, and will be remembered with honour and affection by all who knew her.

Clare Walker

I was a student of Professor Anna Louw and remember her good method of teaching. Deeply sad about her passing.

Ruth Skosana


Deepest sympathy to the family of Prof Louw.She indeed contributed to the training of many library and information professionals in the country. She never missed Liasa conferences even after her retirement. May her soul rest in peace.

Rachel More

In response to news of the sad passing of Professor Anna Louw, I would like to add the following:

Anna Louw was an exemplary librarian and a leader of our profession. She was active in special librarianship and played a leadership role in professional groups in that field and in local branches of SAILIS and the SAILIS Council, before joining the then Department of Library and Information Science at UNISA. Former students will remember her as a dedicated and conscientious lecturer who took great pains to provide them with constructive feedback on their essays — which was at the time the main form of tuition at UNISA — and helped steer them through the challenges of master’s theses. While at UNISA she continued serving in leadership positions in the profession, ultimately as President of SAILIS.
She was a wonderful role model for women in a profession at a time when the more senior positions were dominated by men.

I got to know Anna when I joined the Department in 1986 and found in her a kind, loyal and supportive colleague and friend. I salute her memory.

Peter Lor

I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing away of Prof Anna Louw. I was one of her students. I can bear testimony to what Dr Peter Lor has mentioned below about her being a dedicated and conscientious lecturer. I found her feedback always constructive. It was well thought out and helpful.

I wish to convey my deepest sympathy to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.

Robert Moropa