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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 sponsored by UKS, SAPnet and Sabinet may be used for any educational purpose (either visits to relevant institutions locally or internationally, attending relevant conferences or further studies).


  1. Branches call for nominations.
  2. The Branches organise their own adjudication process – taking into account good practice and fairness. Branches will submit details and relevant documentation of the Branch winner to the LIASA National Office.
  3. All Branch winners will be announced simultaneous by the National PRO.
  4. National adjudication of the Branch winners as national finalists will take place on the Monday of the LIASA Annual Conference. The adjudication committee will consist of Sponsor and LIASA representatives.
  5. The National winner, first runner-up and second runner-up of the LIASA Librarian of the Year Award will be announced at the Gala Dinner at the LIASA Annual Conference.

Selection Criteria:

All nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: The nominee should:

  • Be a current LIASA individual, paid-up member for a minimum of 3 consecutive years
  • Have a recognised LIS qualification
  • Currently be engaged in the LIS sector with a minimum of 5 years in the LIS field
  • Not be older than 50 years of age
  • Be knowledgeable about the LIS sector and its resources
  • Demonstrate high levels of professionalism
  • Have made an impact to the sector
  • Be passionate, enthusiastic and have good presentation skills
  • Be willing to act as an ambassador for LIASA and the sponsors.


The following groups of people are not eligible for this award:

  • LIASA Executive Committee members,
  • LIASA staff,
  • sponsoring companies’ staff,
  • members of service providers of library related products
  • Previous national winner of the Librarian of the Year award.

The following groups of people are eligible for this award:

  • Members of the Representative Council,
  • Branch and Interest Group Executive Committees
  • Previous Branch winners provided they have not won in the past 3 years,
  • All other paid-up LIASA members who meet the criteria.


The nomination must include:

  • Nomination form to be completed and signed by the nominator and the nominee
  • A motivation statement of a maximum of 200 words (1.5 spacing, 12 point font) by the nominator indicating the motivation for the nomination
  • A profile of the nominee not exceeding 500 words (1.5 spacing, 12 point font)
  • An essay by the nominee, not exceeding 700 words (1.5 spacing, 12 point font) which opines on:
    • LIASA’s role in the LIS sector and the future role that the nominee believes LIASA should play
    • The projects/issues that the nominee – the prestigious award winner – would like to see addressed in the LIS sector
    • What the nominee would do to promote LIASA and Librarianship during their year as Librarian of the Year
  • A clear, colour digital head and shoulder photo (in .jpg, .jpeg, or .png) that will be used for promotional purposes.

Additional requirements:

  • All national finalists should be able to attend the interviews and the Annual Conference
  • It will be required from all national finalists to produce a poster on why they would be a good ambassador for LIASA and Librarianship.
  • Important things to note for the 3 successful awardees
  • Award winners will need to engage with sponsors to agree on the use of the award money
  • Upon agreement with the sponsor and submission of travel/conference/training arrangements with a corresponding budget to the LIASA National Office by the successful individual, the money will be deposited into her/his account
  • Within six weeks after their return/completion of the trip/conference/training, they will submit a formal report to the LIASA EXCO which will also be shared with the sponsoring entity
  • The National winner will present a report of how the prize money was applied, the value gained for the sector and the community at the following year’s Annual Conference Gala Dinner
  • The two runners-up might be required present reports of how the prize money was applied, the value gained for the sector and the community at the following year’s Annual Conference during a parallel session.
  • The National winner might undergo training/mentoring to support the ambassador role
  • The National winner may be requested to attend and present at certain key LIASA events and meetings during the year
  • Write an article for the LIASA-in-Touch within a year of receiving the award
  • All three national winners will present a poster at the following year’s Conference to highlight their use of the prize money
  • Submit articles on topics related to your field of interest for each of the 4 issues of the LIASA-in-Touch.

This award is made possible through the generous sponsorship of:

more Calendar

A Digital Heritage Session: Public Libraries in Africa in the Digital Age

Featured Members
Mandla M. NtombelaImmediate Past President Mandla Ntombela was appointed as Director SALB. Congratulations!
Sanele A. KuneneSanele Kunene was appointed as the Library Director at TUT. Congratulations!

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