EXPERT OPINION: ReImagine! RePurpose!and ReDiscover!

South African Library Week:14-18 March 2022

Library and Information Association (LIASA) is celebrating South African Library Week (SALW) for the 20th time in 2022, with the theme ReImagine! RePurpose! ReDiscover!

LIASA through its diverse membership is driving the process to make SA Library Week a celebration of our country’s intellectual and literacy heritage.   Libraries across the country use this annual event as an opportunity to market their services to the users, the broader community, civil society and also decision makers.

SA Library Week was initiated in 2001 by LIASA to be a commemorative period recognized by government when all types of libraries across the country use it as an opportunity to market their services in an effort to contribute to the understanding of the important role that libraries play in a democratic society, advancing literacy, making the basic human right of freedom of access to information a reality, and to promote tolerance and respect among all South Africans.

Academic libraries do not only house brilliant works of authors and researchers within research and learning spaces around the world, they are places to learn, discuss and meet like-minded collaborators. Their services, whether online or traditionally face-to face, cannot be overemphasised in the career lives of undergraduate and research communities.

Sensitizing users of such wealth of knowledge hubs, underscores their role even to those individuals populating the institutions of higher learning yet shying away and not keenly interested in them [libraries]. Events such as the South African Library Week Celebrations, go a long way in building futures of curious minds and provocative, sometimes controversial dialogues.

I hope that the University of Zululand Community sees the ambition and good intentions of the library in putting together such an interesting programme during the 2022 South African Library Week and will ReImagine, ReDiscover and RePurpose libraries in their University lives and beyond. Overall, the theme is a clear call to action.

Furthermore, we celebrate Human Rights Day on 21 March and our Bill of Rights recognizes the freedom of access to information as a basic human right.   We are therefore able to link an important historical event with a crucial date in our new democracy.

Prof. Velile Jiyane

Professor: Department of Information Studies

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