The time has arrived for leaders to make choices that will cater for libraries and librarians in a changing world.
Deputy Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, welcomed delegates at the 13th Annual LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa) Conference held at the newly constructed ICC grounds in East London on from 3 to 7 October 2011. More than 700 delegates attended the Conference, and the scope of international speakers added flavour to the dynamic debate.
The Conference theme, "Dynamic Leadership for LIS" (library and information services) was backed by the Deputy Minister, who views dynamic leadership as a crucial contributor towards sustained librarianship in the current global economic context. His challenge at delegates to become "activist" librarians was met with applause.
He also encouraged current and new librarians to review their skills, competencies and training requirements in line with the digital age and acquire new competencies.
Since its inception four years ago, the programme has made significant progress. The implementation of the conditional grant for community libraries has lead to the appointment of 600 staff members, upgrading of 170 libraries and construction of 20 new libraries. Over the next three years South Africans can look forward to an additional R1.6 billion investment in the expansion and access to libraries and information services.