Now into big strides: report on statutory status for the South African Library and Information Services (LIS) sector

  • Reggie Raju Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Sally Witbooi University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Annamarie Goosen Library and Information Association of South Africa, South Africa
Keywords: LIASA, Statutory status, Library and information services.


The road to acquiring statutory status for the LIS sector has been traversed numerous times over the last sixty to seventy years. In more recent years, there has been renewed vigour to explore the acquisition of statutory status for the sector in South Africa. As part of this process of acquiring statutory status, a number of studies have been conducted. This paper examines the latest drive by Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) to solicit the views of a cross section of LIS personnel with regard to the sector acquiring statutory status. This issue of the acquisition of statutory status is earmarked as a priority in the recently developed Strategic Directions 2010-2014 document of LIASA. At the 2009 LIASA Conference, a clear mandate was given for a national survey to be conducted to solicit the views of personnel that work in the LIS sector with regard to the said issue. The authors administered a short questionnaire to a sample population representing all categories of staff irrespective of whether they belonged to an association or not. The questionnaire was administered using Survey Monkey. This paper reports the results of that survey. Given the overwhelming support for the acquisition of statutory status, the authors examined significant elements that would be crafted into the governance structures of a statutory body for the sector.
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