Lucky seven voted into library association

02 October 2006

Five out of Seven: Recently voted onto the Library and Information Association of South Africa are (from left, back) Ingrid Thomson, Julian Hindley, Amina Adam and Celia Walter. (Seated) Busiswe Khangala.

Seven UCT library staff have been elected to the committee of the Local Branch and Interest Groups of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA).

Staff from all levels of the libraries are part of the management of this professional association. They are: Busisiwe Khangala, (librarian in the African Studies Library), secretary for the branch; Nthabiseng Kotsokoane, (library manager at the Graduate School of Business), chair of the Western Cape Higher Education Interest Group; Warren Hansen, (network manager in library IT), chair of the ICT in Libraries Interest Group); Celia Walter, (senior librarian in humanities information service) is the blogger/editor for the ICT in Libraries interest group; Julian Hindley (senior library assistant at health sciences library),chair of the Western Cape Support Staff interest group; Amina Adam (senior library assistant in humanities information service) is the PRO for the Western Cape Support Staff interestgroup; Nadia Jabaar (senior library assistant in bibliographic services [aka cataloguing]) is the treasurer for the Western Cape Support Staff interest group); Jean Uys, (librarian in circulation, access services) is the convenor for the Interim Committee for the Research, Education and Training interest group). Ingrid Thomson has been elected national public relations officer.

LIASA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation and the UCT staff must be commended for their dedication. There are 2 000 LIASA members nationally and 300 in the Western Cape. There are 10 active national interest groups and seven of these are in the Western Cape.

Adam said that support staff form the library's backbone, seeing to all the shelving and cataloging. Adam arranges workshops to build their skills. She works toward creating greater visibility and recognition of all the support staff in the organisation.

Khangala is secretary of the LIASA's Western Cape Branch and feels that the organisation's role is to raise public awareness of the profession and to provide assistance to the librarians themselves. Khangala has a master's degree in information and knowledge management.

Walter says ICT is being used in libraries to create a dialogue between lecturers, students and librarians, an interactive relationship that never existed before. Walter is already assisting psychology students on a blogging site she set up, helping them with their practicals and covering topics that will further assist them.

She says that Library 2.0 (the name of the blogging course she teaches) is an example of ubuntu in the library community.

"It is so gratifying to see what effect you are having by helping people."

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