Membership of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) among library and information science workers in KwaZulu-Natal

  • Musa Khomo Library and Information Studies Programme, Durban University of Technology
  • Jaya Raju Library and Information Studies Programme, Durban University of Technology
Keywords: Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), professional associations


A study was undertaken in 2007 among library and information service (LIS) workers in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to investigate LIASA membership trends. The objectives of the study were to investigate: 1) the extent to which workers in library and information services in KwaZulu-Natal are members of LIASA; and 2) the reasons for non-membership, if there are substantial numbers of LIS workers who are not members. The purpose of this paper is to report on the main findings of this study. The study surveyed three types of library services in KwaZulu-Natal, namely, academic, public and special libraries with 330 LIS workers participating in the study. A census was done of LIS workers in special libraries and in academic libraries of public higher education institutions in KZN. Simple random sampling was used to select public libraries in KZN for participation in the study. All staff in the selected sample of public libraries were surveyed. A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather the required data from the target population. It was established that a significant number of LIS workers in all three types of libraries surveyed in KZN are not members of LIASA for various reasons. LIASA has been unable to draw significant membership from the support staff category in LIS services despite its constitution claiming to embrace all LIS workers. The study recommends that LIASA market itself more aggressively to increase membership levels particularly in the public library sector and among support staff in all LIS services. It also recommends that LIASA should consider involving itself in the industrial concerns of the LIS sector.
Research Articles