Dear colleagues and students
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Ms Ujala Satgoor has been appointed as the new Executive Director: Libraries. She will take up the position from 1 January 2019.
Ms Satgoor brings with her years of experience in the higher education environment. She is currently the director of library services at Rhodes University, a position she has held since 2012. Prior to that, she was the deputy director of library services at the University of Pretoria (UP) from 2008 to 2012.
With a master’s degree in information technology and a postgraduate diploma in library and information science, she is more than suited for the position. However, it is her leadership ability that makes her the ideal candidate.
Her current leadership roles include being the chair of the Committee of Higher Education Libraries of South Africa (CHELSA), deputy chair of the South African National Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC), chair of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) Professional Body Advisory Committee, and a member of the Council on Higher Education Reference Group: Library and Information Science. She is also the former president of LIASA (2012–14) during which time she accepted the bid to host and co-chaired the National Committee for the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) held in August 2015 in Cape Town.
Ms Satgoor believes that the greatest asset of an institution is its diversity and human capital, and that success depends on a work environment that values and develops its employees. As a leader she recognises the importance of staff development as a strategic imperative for institutional alignment and responsiveness.
Beyond academia she has served as a partner to the Mortenson Centre for International Library Programs, University of Illinois, and a consultant to various international and national organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries project, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) programme, the African Library Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the World Library Partnership and the Goethe-Institut.
Her research has focused on the South African library and information services landscape from both a historical and current perspective (post-1994), looking at the context within which libraries function, library governance, government funding for redress, library technologies, library and information services education and the professional association. She believes that libraries are important in meeting the goals of the national development agenda towards entrenching a strong democracy and an educated and informed nation.
Led by Ms Satgoor and with the support of the libraries team, I am confident that UCT Libraries will continue to grow and have a positive impact not only on our students but also the greater community.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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