At the SAOUG Year-end function & Special General Meeting on Friday, 30 October 2015 at The Royal Elephant Hotel & Conference Centre, we had the privilege to have as a speaker Ujala Satgoor, Director Rhodes University library. Her talk on “New Frontiers for South African Librarianship: From Collections to Connections” was a very inspirational to all of us.
The full presentation is available here: SAOUG 30 October 2015 Ujala.
Pictures from the event are available on the SAOUG Flickr album
A few thoughts and ideas from Ujala’s presentation.
What is the role of the librarians?
Let students know that we have to pay 14% on international resources. Start the conversation of where are we heading. Find new solutions for new problems. Unlimited new things are happening. Technology is not disruptive!
What it is that is driving us?
We need to have the big picture. Academic librarians are becoming slaves to the global trends. The problem and challenges are here – “The born free generation“
What is our role in the national development plan?
– youth development. 61% of our population is under 15 years
It is an exciting time for us to be disruptive. We need to go beyond our universities
“From Collections to Connections”
How do you position yourself?
How do you support the growth of your institution?
Is librarianship at a new frontier? – YES! What is this New Frontier?
“From Collections to Connections” – Greater connections for stronger community
- Librarians connecting with each other….. To create a strong cohort of librarians with a common understanding & vision of an inform Nation!
Enhance competencies & remove skills imbalance. Have a common purpose, joined resources. We need to have an element of business mindset. Biggest concern – electronic resources, management, collections – the importance of the assets
No, it is about librarians first – how well equipped are you to deal with it?
Issues and challenge – the expertise and knowledge we have is voluntarily imposed
How can I share what I know? Do a series of presentations to colleagues – be creative and innovative
Understand the context of destruction. Management and leadership – the vision is giving meaning. Demonstrate the value of the library:
– we are not support but academic
– what is the value we give to our institutions
What are we contributing to student success? What is the return of investment?
Disruption is in the profession itself. What is the new normal for the SA context? Professional responsibility:
- To initiate change
- To be innovate
- To lead
What is the DNA of a librarian?
- Setting the competences for librarians new roles that are emerging. How do we redefine?
- To make them available to the rest of the country
The value of professionalism: Who are we getting into the profession?
Are the new librarians curious enough? They need to say I don’t know show me.
Business unusual! Take responsibility
Disruptions for librarians: context; leadership; value; professionalism
How to do more with less? Provide support for public libraries. We have very fixed user group. Evolving ecosystem. Coming together…
2. Librarians connecting institutionally
- Institutional engagement: politics; positions; take the lead. How often do we engage? How do we measure?
- Stakeholders: focus groups and needs
- Collaboration: common purpose, cost, resources, joint projects
- Demonstrate value
3. Librarians connecting to communities for access to information
ICT skilling infrastructures are right. What programme and services do we provide?
Does people want them or are we impose on them?
Highlights of IFLA
– Post 2015 sustainable development goals
– Hot topics: research cycle – the role of the librarians; collections and content centered stewardship; OA publishing, RDM
Challenge for SAOUG:
- There is shortage of skill, to teach the new generation librarians. Lets create a learning platform for children
Be the best! Now is the time to be relevant
RE-DEFINE! RE-IMAGINE! RE-PURPOSE! RE-INVIGORATE
Be optimistic by your role! Create a new enable environment!
What can we do different? Reach out we got to become more diversified
Be an African librarian – it is OK to practice librarianship differently!