May Seminar 2015

Introduction

In 2015, the LIASA EXCO agreed to retain the president’s theme:Libraries for development:  Action, integration and collaboration”Building on the immediate past president’s theme  “Libraries in dialogue…” we saw LIASA strengthening, informing and initiating the long envisaged collaborations of the LIS sector with relevant stakeholders – the library schools, government, the vendors and other suppliers in the LIS sector, to address critical issues.

Libraries for development

Libraries for development” focus on the fact that libraries, through the resources they provide and services rendered by librarians, cater for the information needs of people and can assist in responding to their urgent challenges.  In a country like South Africa we are facing challenges such as:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Poverty
  • Low literacy levels
  • Xenophobic attacks, just to mention a fewHow do we see the Libraries and librarians responding to the issues of National development? At the end of the Millenium goals in 2015, the country set targets within the National Development Plan as a post Millenium strategy. Libraries and Librarians have to position themselves properly to ensure that their impact is felt and assist the country in achieving the set goals.  What is our strategy?

Action

The 7th draft of the LIS transformation charter has been accepted by the former Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, and ten priorities set for implementation. How do we see the LIASA fast tracking the process of achieving the set priorities with special reference to:

  • LIS Transformation Implementation Plan
  • LIS education and training, responding to the 21st century employers needs
  • LIS qualifications
  • Strategy to stimulate research in the LIS sector towards increased knowledge production.
  • “Getting South Africa to read”- Recommend actionable innovative projects to advance reading and information literacy.

Integration and Collaboration

Defining “integrated library and information services” is not easy, but the phenomenon of integrative efforts is abroad in government, taking many forms and calling for clearer understanding. By “integration” in the LIS sector, is meant practitioners and administrators working together to pool their resources, methods, insights and objectives with the hope of gaining and presenting new understandings, as well as providing services in a more efficient and effective way that could not be derived from working in silos in a fragmented and highly differentiated  How can we:

  • Promote inter-sectorial collaboration at various levels- what are the dynamics to be dealt with in the process?
  • Who do we need to partner with towards achieving our goals? How can we collaborate?