LIASA Librarian of the Year Award

About this Award

The Librarian of the Year is a role model for the Library and Information Services community and a person whose contributions make a lasting impact on the sector. This accolade is granted by peers in recognition of the achievements and accomplishments of inspiring and exceptional public, academic, school and special librarians.

You may be an inspiring leader; a knowledgeable & dynamic subject librarian; a creative school librarian who makes learning a pleasure; a techno-savvy finger-on-the-button social media librarian; a caring and approachable public librarian who goes the extra mile; the possibilities are endless.

The award may be used for any educational purpose (either visits to relevant institutions locally or internationally, attending relevant conferences or further studies). All finalists receive a certificate of achievement.

Award Recipients

2017 Steve Mokhabukhi
2016 Laila Vahed & Ina Smith
2015 No Award (IFLA)
2014 Flippie van der Walt
2013 Therese de Young
2012 Theresa Denton
2011 Julia Paris
2010 Denise Nicholson
2009 Busi Dlamini
2008 Dora Ackerman
2007 Rene Schoombee
2006 Fatima Darries


  1. Branch Nominations: Members submit nominations to the Branches. The Branches organize their own adjudication process and announce their Branch winner and finalist at their Annual General Meetings, prior to conference.
  2. Branch Winners: All Branches submit the details of the Branch winner (finalist) to the LIASA National Office.
  3. National Adjudication: All Branch winners (finalists) are adjudicated at national level by an independent panel.
  4. Final Announcement: The three finalists and the overall winner of the LIASA Librarian of the Year Award are announced at the LIASA Conference Gala Dinner.

Selection criteria

All nominations submitted are treated with the strictest confidence. All nominees are evaluated on the following criteria. The nominee should:

  • Be a current paid-up LIASA member for a minimum of 5 consecutive years;
  • Demonstrate high levels of professionalism;
  • Currently be engaged in the LIS sector with a minimum of 5 years practice in the field;
  • Proven experience of engagement at a LIASA Branch or Interest Group level; and
  • Must have a recognized LIS qualification.


Previous winners of the Librarian of the Year Award are not eligible for this award. Members of service providers of library related products are not eligible to participate in this award.

Members of the EXCO/ Representative Council/ and BRANCH BEC are eligible for this award.

Rules and Conditions

At least 5 Branches should have chosen Branch winners to compete in the national adjudication process. Branches should organize their own adjudication process by an independent panel and one nominee (finalist) should be submitted to the National Office by a given date.

The nomination form must include:

  • Nomination form to be completed and signed by the nominator;
  • A motivation statement, maximum 200 words signed by the nominator;
  • The motivation must be accompanied by a profile of the nominee which outlines the nominee’s  opinion on the following:
    • LIASA’s role in the LIS sector and the future role that the nominee believes LIASA should play;
    • As the prestigious award winner, what would the projects/issues be that you would like to see addressed in the LIS sector.

Additional requirements:

The Branch finalist submission to the LIASA National Office must also include a short profile and photograph of their candidate. This information will be used to publicize details of the nominees prior to the awards ceremony.

Important things to note for the 3 successful awardees:

  1. Upon submission of travel/conference/training arrangements to the LIASA National Office by the successful individual, the money will be deposited into her/his account;
  2. The award is not redeemable for cash;
  3. On return/completion of trip/conference/training, they will:
  • Submit a formal report to the LIASA EXCO;
  • Write an article for LIASA-in-Touch within a year of receiving the award;
  • Make a presentation at the following year’s LIASA National Conference/AGM;
  • Contribute to the regular Librarian of the Year column in the LIASA-in-Touch.