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16th Annual LIASA Conference
22-26 September 2014

The annual LIASA conference has emerged as the highlight on the library and information services (LIS) calendar. It is an opportunity for practitioners to engage with international and local experts on current trends, share best practices, locate libraries on the national development agenda, library schools, and enhance skills and competencies at pre-conference workshops. The conference attracts between 550 and 700 delegates and is actively supported by LIS vendors and service providers. It strives to unite, develop and empower all people in the library and information field into an organization that provides dynamic leadership in transforming, developing and sustaining library and information services for all people in South Africa. LIASA's membership consists of individuals interested or working in libraries and information services and institutions or organizations that maintain or are interested in libraries and information services.

The 16th LIASA Conference was opened by Ms Rejoice Thizwilondi Mabudafhasi, the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture; Ms Ujala Satgoor the LIASA President and Honourable Cllr Mondli Gungubele, the Executive Mayor. The National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of South Africa, Professor Rocky MD Ralebipi-Simela was formally introduced to the LIASA membership.

The conference was held from 22-26 September 2014 in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, at the Birchwood Hotel and O R Tambo Conference Centre with the theme 'Celebrating libraries in 20 years of democracy: continuing the dialogue…'. The following themes were covered:
  • Celebrating the development and role of libraries in the 20 years of South African democracy
  • Highlighting how libraries are making the right to freedom of access to information, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, a reality
  • Enhancing nation building and community development by opening the doors of learning to all
  • Showcasing libraries as desired spaces for:
    • connecting people to each other, learning resources, communities, government, the world and the environment
    • advancing literacy through the intellectual and aesthetic development of all ages
    • providing access to global knowledge and information in different formats to advance research and create new knowledge
    • fostering a spirit of enquiry and desire for lifelong learning
    • challenging one’s own beliefs and inculcating a respect for diverse beliefs, opinions and views
    • contributing towards the development of an informed nation, and South Africa becoming an information society
Since 1994 great strides have been made to build new public and school libraries, merge academic libraries and upgrade historically disparate library facilities throughout the country. The burgeoning of the LIS sector in South Africa has resulted in a wide network of libraries that currently aims to serve all South Africans. The current status quo of libraries includes:
  • The National Library of South Africa (Pretoria and Cape Town)
  • The South African Library for the Blind
  • 5 Legal Deposit Libraries
  • Library of Parliament
  • 23 Higher Education libraries
  • 1993 public libraries (1612 provincial/381 metro)
  • Approx 3000 school libraries
  • Corporate libraries; law libraries and special libraries which include Research Council Libraries; Government libraries; Prison libraries; etc.
This tangible national web of libraries gives predominantly free access to information and knowledge from all types of libraries around the country and has created the opportunity for a dynamic networked and connected society.


LIASA is the national professional association that represents libraries and information institutions; all library and information workers; and millions of users and potential users of libraries in South Africa. LIASA aims to unite, develop and empower all people in the library and information field. 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:

LIASA 16th Annual Conference: Centre for the Book poster presentation

The 16th LIASA Annual Conference was held from 22-26 September 2014 at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, Ekurhuleni. The LIASA Annual Conference Poster Session offered the Centre for the Book an opportunity to showcase and promote its programmes.

Anita Shaw and Sue-Adrie Jefthes designed the poster titled: 'Centre for the Book'. Using text and photographs, the poster outlines the role and mission of the CFB; its various programmes; and some of the CFB's outstanding projects and events. The poster illustrates the theme: 'Celebrate your library'.

The impact of the poster is that it will serve as a promotional tool for the CFB, not only at the LIASA Conference, but also at other events which the centre hosts, exhibits or participates in. The poster will raise the general public and other organisations awareness of what the centre does and how they can benefit. This will contribute to the centre's mission to promote a culture of reading, writing and publishing. Anita Shaw (Deputy Progamme Manager, CFB) presented the poster and handed out brochures and bookmarks.

Anita Shaw
Deputy Programme Manager, Centre for the Book


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