LIASA: the Professional Body for Librarians and Information Workers

What is a ‘Professional Body’?

The NQF Act 67 of 2008 defines a professional body as any body of expert practitioners in an occupational field, and includes an occupational body.

What is the purpose of Professional Bodies?

 

LIASA was awarded Professional Body Status in accordance with the SAQA Professional Body recognition and registration criteria and the NQF Act 67 of 2008. Professional Body recognition allows LIASA, as the acknowledged national LIS professional body, to strive for excellence in the practice of librarianship as a profession by:

  • Regulating qualifications and the code of conduct;
  • Endorsing new qualifications as part of the SAQA process;
  • Monitoring professional appointments according to professional body regulations;
  • Setting professional standards for ethical practice;
  • Establishing professional agreements with employer institutions;
  • Implementing and monitoring CPD;
  • Endorsing CPD service providers;
  • Determining additional designations

As the Professional Body LIASA is entrusted with regulating the code of conduct and practice of librarians, ensuring compliance of registered members to continuing of professional development, and the ethical and responsible use of information for the public good.

LIS Statutory Body

The National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS) is the Statutory Body for the LIS profession, and it is governed by the National Council for Library and Information Services Act (No. 6 of 2001).  However, the NCLIS Act does not make provision for the regulation of the sector, but ensures the Council advises the Ministers of Arts and Culture, Basic Education and Higher Education and  Training on matters related to libraries and librarianship.

What is a ‘designation’?

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Professional designation means a status conferred by a professional body in recognition of a person’s expertise and/or right to practice in an occupational field.

LIASA as the Professional Body will be conferring the designation of  “Professional Librarian” to qualifying members with an educational qualification of either the three- or four-year Bachelor of Library and/or Information Science/Studies degree (NQF 7 or 8) or a Bachelor’s degree plus a post graduate diploma in Library and/or Information Science. This is an entry level into the LIS profession requiring at least one year experiential learning and practical experience in the relevant field.

Criteria for members being awarded the designation

  • Meet the academic requirements of the designation as above;
  • Being able to display an understanding of the LIS environment, legislation and the ethical use of information for the public good;
  • Demonstrate competence and skills in the use and management of information and knowledge resources in all formats and for all purposes;
  • Ability to function effectively as an information worker in rapidly changing environments;
  • Commitment to continuing professional development (CPD) and to abide by the Disciplinary Code of Conduct.

Which qualification/s are required to be acknowledged as a professional librarian?

To be acknowledged as a professional librarian, you need the following qualifications:

  • a three- or four-year Bachelor of Library and/or Information Science/Studies degree (NQF 7 or 8); or
  • a Bachelor’s degree plus a post graduate diploma in Library and/or Information Science.

A Diploma in LIS on its own is insufficient to be acknowledged as a professional librarian. Other inquiries can be directed to the LIASA Professional Body Advisory Committee.

Confirmation of Qualifications

To be awarded the designation LIASA members must be:

  • A current paid-up member in good standing
  • Upload certified copies of their
    • national ID;
    • relevant academic LIS qualifications;
    • proof of employment.

Click here to upload your documentation by 30 June 2018. Please contact the LIASA Office for any further inquiries.

Will non-LIASA members also be awarded the designations?

At this stage only current paid-up members of LIASA will be awarded the applicable designation.  It is strongly advised that all librarians meeting the criteria of the designation join LIASA as the professional body so that the designation Professional Librarian may be conferred  on them.   SAQA Guidelines stipulate that to be awarded a designation the member must:

  • have the underlying qualification;
  • have the required number of years of experience;
  • abide by the Professional Body’s Code of Ethics and Conduct;
  • engage in Continuing Professional Development; and
  • pay the annual membership fees of the Professional Body.

Proof of LIASA Membership

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LIASA members (of which membership payments are up to date) will be issued with a membership certificate. This certificate will be issued for every new year, once membership is renewed. Below an example. Only the LIASA member and the LNO have access to this certificate, which is stored in a personal vault, protected with a unique username and password which must be kept secure at all times. Members are required to manage their passwords.

Personal Details on LIASA Membership Database

Privacy Statement: LIASA hereby states that the names and email addresses (and other personal information) entered in this LIASA membership database will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this professional body and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party, unless agreed upon with the members. The information will also be used to generate annual member certificates, a SAQA requirement, due to LIASA being registered as a professional body. The Protection of Personal Information Act, No 4 of 2013 promotes the protection of personal information by public and private bodies. Please contact manager@liasa.org.za should you have any questions regarding the protection of your personal information by LIASA.

It is the responsibility of individual members to keep their personal information updated on the LIASA membership database at all times. In addition to this, it is the responsibility of all members to keep usernames and passwords to all LIASA systems, secure at all times.

The above is agreed upon by the member when renewing/applying for membership with the organisation.