Conference Rationale

Library & Information Services (LIS): Agents of community development and of social transformation

The role of the LIS is evolving constantly and consequently, through the expansion of services to align with users’ needs, has shifted from a passive supplier of books to a key partner in community and social development. The LIS Transformation Charter which had been guided by the values of the Constitution and shaped by the imperatives described in Sustainable Development agendas both locally, continentally and internationally, presents a vision of transformed LIS which act as agents of community development and of social transformation. It proposes the model that cuts across the LIS sub-sectors, and has these collaborate seamlessly to ensure a borderless LIS ecosystem which offers equity of service provision for all citizens.

To achieve this intention, the following attributes are required:

  1. Library and Information Services (LIS) which are within reach of all South Africans and which provide spaces for engagement, learning, leisure and development.
  2. LIS which are forces for social cohesion and justice.
  3. LIS collections, ICT, spaces and programmes provide physical and intellectual access to the information society and, the LIS provide support for information literacy as a means of redress and of development so that more citizens can participate in our society.
  4. Furthermore, LIS cater for the marginalised persons in our society among others, those living in under-resourced areas e.g. rural areas, the aged, the unemployed, those incarcerated, people with learning disabilities and the poor. There is a focus also on children and youth services and this group forms a large part of the South African population and who are confronted with significant social, economic, health and educational challenges.
  5. LIS take their place in the learning society to contribute to the development of life-long learning. In addition, support national development as driven by academic research.
  6. LIS staff are committed competent professionals and are respected as such by their parent institutions, government bodies and user communities. They are appropriately qualified and remunerated. They are engaged in continuous professional education and development. Each staff member adheres to the profession’s code of ethics.
  7. In keeping with South African democratic values, LIS are places for free thought and debate. The free access to information is a fundamental value of the South African Constitution.

Library & Information Services (LIS): agents of community development and of social transformation


  • Libraries: Agents of change
  • Libraries: Policies for social change, Transformation & Sustainable Development agendas
  • Libraries: Community Development
  • Libraries: Social transformation
  • Libraries: Transformation of the scholarly and academic curricula
  • Libraries: Technology for social transformation
  • Libraries: The reading culture in South Africa
  • Libraries: Early childhood development and youth services
  • Libraries: Inclusion and Accessibility
  • Libraries: Supporting Indigenous languages
  • Dual purpose libraries (school / public libraries)

About the Conference
The 2018 LIASA Conference offers the opportunity for practitioners, scholars, researchers, academics and interested parties from the LIS sector as well as other areas to engage on matters that pertain directly to our society. It presents varied views and research on the sociological, political, economic and technological aspects of our society and provides insights into the practices that support transformation and community development. Thought-provoking keynote addresses, well-rounded presentations and robust discussions underpinned by mindfulness from participants from all walks of life are some of the exciting offerings of the 2018 Conference.