Tuesday, June 19, 2007

LIASA Annual Conference 2008 : Theme

It is time once again to identify an appropriate theme for the 2008 LIASA Conference. We hereby call for suggestions from the LIASA membership.

You will find a motivation below with some suggested themes as proposed by the 2008 LIASA Steering Committee.

The Executive Commitee's recommendation is:

Looking ahead: the changing role of LIS

Please respond directly to Naomi at naomi@tlabs.ac.za with your vote or suggestion by no later than 28 June 2007.



LIASA is entering into its second decade of existence. It is therefore appropriate do some introspection; to measure how far along we have come in meeting the vision and mission we have set for ourselves in LIS in South Africa. It also an opportune time to re-visit the vision and mission, to evaluate these in our current situation, 10 years into a unified professional body, and ask the question whether the vision stillencapsulates what we dream of professional body to be, does the mission still relevant to what we have become and what we want to do? We should be setting a strategy for LIASA into its second decade and into the new millennium.


In South Africa in the different LIS sectors we have experience the South African Society in transition. We are now seeing the fruits of a long process where funding has finally come available for the Public Library sector and will relieve some of the pressure that public librarians have carried for a decade. What do we dream about for public libraries and the communities that the serve; what does the ideal public library look like and how do we make that a reality?

The School library sector has had significant policy developments. How will these policies be implemented to maximize the benefit the learners whom it should serve? What is in place, what should be in place?

Academic libraries have gone through a series of changes, most notably in South Africa, the mergers. What lies beyond academic libraries carrying out the mandate of providing research, teaching and learning whilst at the same time maximizing the technology to serve a multi-campus, multi-language community?

How well had the LIS sector fared in contributing to a democratic South Africa, nation building and the creation of a society that values and respects diversity. The LIS sector in South Africa should position itself to the strategic objectives of our parent body and at the same time the ideals of our country.

LIS in Africa and globally

How do we position ourselves for the next decade in the transformed society of South Africa? How do we contribute and benefit from our place in Africa?
What is the role of LIS on the African continent in the second decade of the new millennium? What is role of South Africa and African LIS in the global space and how do we realize it?

In short we are looking at the future, with an awareness from where have been and what the demands and challenges are on all levels of our South African, African and global society in the new millennium.

Below are some of the phrases we hope express the essence of the argument.

Looking into the crystal ball: libraries for the 21st century

- Unlocking the future: the role of libraries in meeting the challenges of the new millennium
- Libraries for the future: challenges ahead
- Libraries in the 21st century: Quo Vadis?
- Looking ahead: new models for libraries in Africa
- Libraries for the 21st century: past, present and future?
- The future, now: new library models
- Libraries in the new millennium
- Throw the bones: millennium libraries
- Reading the bones for libraries
- Listening to the drums: libraries in the millennium

Naomi Haasbroek
National Secretary