Thursday, November 13, 2014

Report by Justice Leshilo: LIASA 2014 Conference

LIASA 2014

The 16th annual Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) Annual Conference was held at the Birchwood Conference venue in Boksburg.

Justice Leshilo, Information Librarian from the SABC Information Library, reporting on his experiences.
Justice Leshilo


LIASA president, Ujala Satgoor welcomed everybody to the 16th LIASA conference, saying that we are still celebrating libraries and continuing the dialogue of social cohesion.

She introduced Prof Rocky Ralebipi Simela, CEO of the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) as the National Librarian. Prof Rocky said the traditional library is shifting but it doesn't mean it is the end of librarianship, but that we have to move with the times. The issues of conditional grant and further education and training for librarians need to be reviewed . In terms of technology and digital library the NLSA spends R3bn for ICT annually.

Later we were introduced to the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi who is a former librarian of the then University of the North  (now University of Limpopo) who praised the efforts made by LIASA and the National Library of South Africa in 20 years of democracy by eradicating illiteracy and development of communities.

Read more: Notes from workshops


Impact assessment in a South African public library: a practical study library (young researcher-librarian induction) by Mr.Janus Skarzynski: 
The impact of public libraries on their users and their community: mostly they look at the outcome to assess the impact to individual users, for example when a student has improved research skills or passed a particular subject with the help or use of the library.

Building on dreams: investment in youth through libraries and education by Ms Elizabeth Pierre Louis:
Elizabeth presented her story of youth movement live from Haiti via Skype. The youth created some of the reading centres and libraries. This movement was formed post 2010 earthquake to give hope to the young people of Haiti. It includes teachers and other parents who help with facilitating the reading groups and debate clubs. The youth only have basic library training and they are not qualified, but the future looks bright because they seem interested in reading and development of their country.


The update and final version of the Transformation Charter: During road shows they discovered that libraries are more than books and information. The Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development was confirmed to have been signed by NLSA, IFLAand LIASA. The Declaration has now been translated into 13 languages.

South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is in the final stages of registration and recognition of LIASA as a professional body.

Collaboration with SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition): the Africa chapter should be explored more and more. President-elect Segametsi Molawa calls for research librarians to move from "collection to connection”.


Nelson Mandela Bay LIS e-reading rooms for teen and kids (NMBM) - Ms Bongiwe Chigumbu:
The library catalogue has a filter option where you can view collections for teens, kids and adults.

Social media in libraries: a practical perspective by Ms Nikki Crowster:
Users are social media savvy and librarians need to go out and meet them and their needs using social media enablers and share links to their catalogues and new material.

Joining the buzz: the role of social media in raising research visibility by Ms Eileen Shepard:
They introduced the Altmetric Toolbar, which is the core to the function of an academic librarian for accessing and sharing research with other librarians and researchers. Using, academic research and Researcher ID.

The role of social media in uplifting communities by Mr Molefi Nyofane and Ms Santha Geduld:
A generation born for the internet. Social media for community upliftment where people meet on social networks to help with school work and reading clubs.


Teaching and learning cataloguing and classification modules: experience of lectures and students at University of Limpopo by Rachel Mahlatji:
Rachel said both cataloguing and classification are different to their actual practical application. The theory seem to be stressing students a bit because as a course they cover the whole, general or broader part as compared to specific cataloguing and classification policy of a library. Rachel stressed that resorting to copying cataloguing because it is easier is not always the best way.  National Library of South Africa delegate applauded University of Limpopo for continuing with their traditional teaching of cataloguing and classification.


Librarians as inspired readers instead of just custodians of knowledge: getting your mojo back by using books to shift your mindset, increase your communication skills, and help others to do the same. By Phillipa Mitchell, Phillipa.
Phillipa Mitchell  motivated librarians by saying that libraries may offer access to incredible amounts of information, but beyond that they offer refuge and hope to many people. They are the perfect place for librarians to encourage reluctant readers, surprise super-readers and create a sense of community and belonging for everyone.

Who wants to be an activist librarian? Re-calibrating the professional LIS mindset by Peter Sharpe:
This was another moving presentation by Peter Sharpe talking about being an activist librarian: librarians don’t have to be neutral but active! He also mentioned that we have to do away with the collection centred mindset and start being active.

eBooks: new agenda for new delivery by Mills, Colleen: (EBSCOHOST)
Colleen Mills about eBooks in public libraries in South Africa. Colleen explained various subscription packages for different libraries (academic, public and special) and training that accompanies the subscriptions.

Career change by students at University of Limpopo, Faculty of Humanities by Mr Lefose Makgahlela:
Lefose Makgahlela said that most students register for information studies (library science), not as their first choice, but as second choice. The findings also revealed that learners at high school level have little or no information about Information Studies as a career. Another big challenge is that the majority of the student who changed from B.Inf to other degrees do come back and register a Post graduate diploma. LIASA, the Department of Arts and Culture and the provincial department of Sport, Arts and Culture should also play a key role in marketing the profession.

AGM President about the agenda:

LIASA corporate projects:
South African Library week
Annual LIASA conference
Open access week

LIASA publications:
LIASA in touch
South African journal of libraries and information science

Membership fees 2015
Individual Membership:
South African Individual - R495.00
SA Full time students - R275.00
SA Pensioners - R275.00
African Individuals - US$55.00
International Individuals - US$115.00
Institutional Membership:
South African Institution - R2500.00
African Institution - US$110.00
International Institution - US$250.00

Next LIASA conference:  Cape Town 15-21 August 2015

The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) is a professional non-profit organisation, uniting and representing all institutions and people working in libraries and information services in South Africa. The annual conferences are important for libraries to connect, correct and develop themselves.
This year the theme was “Celebrating Libraries in 20 years of Democracy: Continuing the Dialogue “which correlated with South African library week theme.

Another interesting part of the conference is that we meet reliable book suppliers and library systems and companies at the exhibitions. The exhibition connects the libraries with the security systems, barcode code scanners, and stock taking machines.

Related post: 

- 16th LIASA Annual Conference (22-26 September 2014) - report by Thelma Nonhlanhla Hlapolosa #liasa2014

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