May Seminar 2018


The Draft National Policy for LIS has come at a time when IFLA and AFLIA interventions embark on the development agenda on libraries. National policies for libraries arise out of the political, economic and social needs and conditions of a country. The recognition of the role that libraries can and do play in the information society, in bridging the digital divide and in their unique ability to support a country’s development goals has led to renewed interest in the establishment of national library policies. LIASA is broadening strategies of keeping up with new trends as a Professional Body of LIS in South Africa.

South Africa’s response to the intention of finding the balance between meeting both present and future needs it is found in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030. Libraries among other relevant stakeholders have a critical role to play within the National Development Plan to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the next 12 years. The eradication of information illiteracy and building of a modern, efficient and equitable library and information system respectively were highlighted as important developmental actions by the LIS Transformation Charter. Libraries are uniquely positioned at the heart of local, campus and school communities, enjoying public trust as repositories of knowledge and offering democratic access.

There is a need for strengthening youth service programmes and introduce new, community-based programmes to offer young people life-skills training, entrepreneurship training and opportunities to participate in community development programmes. Libraries organize various programs that focus on skills development, including helping small business to develop products and strategies and markets, libraries provide access to information that allows users to develop themselves. They also provide access to computers, including the Internet, online databases and word processing tools, enabling users to develop their IT and information literacy skills and Libraries provide assistance in writing CV’s. Libraries should become more reflective of, connected to their communities, and achieve a domino effect of positive results, including stronger relationships with local civic agencies, non-profits, and corporations, and greater community investment in civility, collaboration, education, health and well-being. LIASA also hopes to shift Libraries discourse away from past themes about crisis and toward talk of libraries as agents of positive change.

The big question is what libraries can do to be more relevant to communities of this time where information overload has become part of the societies. How do we broaden social cohesion and to address national imperatives including: social and economic development, poverty eradication, social cohesion and inclusion, nation building, diversity and responsiveness, entrenching a culture of reading and developing a national literature in South Africa’s indigenous languages.

Goals of the seminar:

  • To enhance skills of librarians
  • To redefine the role of libraries within the UN 2030 Agenda and the SA NDP 2030

The topic to be covered:

Redefining the future of libraries through SDGs and national development plan

Expected outcomes:

  • Positioning of the South African libraries ecosystem as partners to government in the attainment of SDG’s and ensuring enhanced visibility of the South African LIS sector, its function and role in supporting government to meet targets laid down in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and South Africa’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030 respectively
  • LIS sector to supports society’s information needs and assists in the attainment of South Africa’s development imperatives