About Liasa 2016

homepage picIt is indeed a great pleasure to welcome all of you to the 17th Annual Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) conference in Durban from 10 to 14 October 2016. This yearly event was deferred as LIASA, the library and information services (LIS) community and relevant stakeholders hosted the 81st IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town in 2015. Notwithstanding the high praise received for this, Conference 2016 is causing great excitement and feverish planning is underway.

The theme of the LIASA conference 2016: Libraries in Action: Transformation and Development towards 2030 seeks to capture the focus of librarians; the library and Information community at large; decision makers; and relevant stakeholders to the fact that it cannot be business as usual if a significant impact is to be made on national development.

The South African National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, launched on 15 August 2012 aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality within the next fifteen years by uniting South Africans, unleashing the energies of its citizens, building skills to contribute to growing an inclusive economy, and enhancing the capability of the state and leaders to work together to solve complex problems. The ongoing challenge of access to information in developing countries negatively impacts the intended development and remains a worrying factor that cannot be left to continue.

The NDP Vision 2030 provides library leadership with the opportunity to redefine their role within this context and for librarians to translate this into meaningful actions that demonstrate the value libraries add to eradicating poverty, illiteracy and unemployment with special emphasis on educational, economic and social priorities that include early childhood development, youth services, women’s health and local economic development.

Alongside the NDP 2030 imperatives, other conference themes examine the response of the LIS sector following the launch of the LIS Transformation charter; and, the economics of library management in response to the realities facing the academic sector that include the student protest campaigns such as #feesmustfall and, the current negative sentiment of

emerging economies as seen in the harsh depreciation of the Rand. Practitioners and library leaders have the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate the value of libraries in how national, continental and global priorities are being met.

The LIASA Conference programme is planned to allow robust debates on policy, best practices, technologies and innovations in relation to the conference theme. The topics are designed to challenge attendees and to draw out contribution to these critical discussions.

Networking and collaboration are conference opportunities that are of mutual benefit. 

On behalf of the LIASA Representative Council, we look forward to meeting you at the conference.

 

Segametsi Molawa- LIASA President 2014-2016

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