South African Librarians’ Day 2016

The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) observes SOUTH AFRICAN LIBRARIANS’ DAY annually on 10 July, the date of its 1997 launch. In 2016 it will be celebrated on Friday 8 July.

The Library and Information Services (LIS) Transformation Charter recognizes the key role of Library and Information Services in the knowledge economy and in sustainable development.  It notes further the impact of access to information: improved efficiencies, more effective workers and an engaged, responsible citizenry.  The Charter extols the value of libraries as the main provider of actionable and transformative information, urging for the library to be accepted as an integral part of society and the economy.  Yet it notes that libraries are under-appreciated.[1]

South African Librarians’ Day (SALD) is dedicated to the LIS profession, its services and, the scores of dedicated staff who work tirelessly at times in challenging conditions – all of which are directed to serving communities. Librarians have several images, many of which are negative and which in turn results in perceptions about the profession. 2016 SALD aims to shed light on #librarianshipasacareer. 

Celebrate Librarianship as a career.  The career path of a LIS practitioner is not well known and often, it is presumed to be what it is not. In addition, the profession needs to attract young dynamic people to contribute to this vibrant, ever evolving field of work. It might not be known that the skill set needed in this line of work is varied and aligned to the sector being served: academic, public, school or special libraries. Or, that there are several Library Schools nationwide that offer entry level academic qualifications and that information in this regard is widely available. Furthermore, the conversation about LIS qualifications needs to include the topic of skills development and continuing professional development.

Career Opportunities – Vigorous and creative awareness campaigns are needed to shine a spotlight on the job opportunities available in this career.  The ranges of job types and areas of specialization may be little known.  A thesaurus lists 113 synonyms for the word ‘librarian’[2] albeit that the relevance of some of these could be questioned. Nevertheless, librarians can be amongst others:

Archivist, Bibliographer, Cataloguer, Classifier, Database designer, Freelance information worker, Indexer, Information consultant, Information manager, Information technologist, Internet navigator, Knowledge manager, Librarian, Museologist, Online searcher, Registry clerk, Records manager, and many more.

Career expo day @ Schools /Branches – LIASA Branches will celebrate 2016 SALD by acknowledging the contribution of all librarians and, advocating for librarianship. This will entail outreach activities that include focusing on the upper Grades of learners preparing for career paths. Partnerships are encouraged with Library Schools, Academics, Practitioners and Business in this endeavour that showcases librarianship as a career and encourages the attainment of a professional (academic) qualification.

Dedication to Nelson Mandela – July, the month of his birth, is dedicated to Nelson Mandela. His contributions to South African society and to the world at large are honoured with the celebration of Mandela Day that urges ’67 minutes for Mandela’. His view that the ability to change the world resides within each person is echoed in the concept of ‘library activism’. Libraries, providers of information that could change lives, assist with the administration of social justice; 2016 SALD highlights this.


The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) was launched on 10 July 1997. LIASA is the SAQA recognized Professional Body for LIS in South Africa, uniting and representing institutions and people working in libraries and information services; and millions of users and potential users of libraries in South Africa.  It represents the interests of and promotes the development and image of library and information services in South Africa. More information can be found at:

Read the Media Release

For enquiries and information please contact:

Nikki Crowster, LIASA National PRO

Tel: 021 763 7103

Cell: 082 822 2120



Segametsi Molawa, LIASA President

Tel: 012 302 2935

Cell: 082 853 8702