Creating Awareness

This target is fulfilled through school outreach programmes, seminars, conferences and the hosting of events and meetings. LDS has been disseminating information on African affairs to schools since 2005. This initiative was informed by AISA’s mandate as stipulated in the AISA Act (No. 68 of 2001). At the inception of this outreach programme, LDS visited schools individually, meeting educator librarians or school principals, and presenting in events hosted by different organisations. Presently the approach is to host schools at one central point for one outreach session. This approach cuts travelling costs and saves time. The centralised session entails information sharing through a presentation on African affairs, introducing AISA products as an additional tool to the school curriculum, and encouraging learners to take an interest in Africa. Learners are also encouraged to equip themselves by reading on their own. The first school outreach event hosted during the reporting period was held at Matatiele, Eastern Cape, on 4 June 2010. The event was attended by learners and educators representing 30 schools from around the Matatiele district. The AISA delegation shared information on African affairs, emphasising the importance of Africa Day, which is celebrated annually on 25 May. It also highlighted how the 2010 FIFA World Cup could be used as a vehicle for nation-building and the furtherance of racial and interracial harmony. The LDS delegation made a donation of 30 sets of maps to the educators who attended the event. The second outreach event was held at Sekhukhune District Municipality, Limpopo, from 2–6 August 2010. The event was attended by grade 9–12 learners, principals and educators representing 72 schools within the district. Thematerial which LDS exhibited included maps, books, catalogues, policy briefs and the 2008/2009 research report. Poster maps were also donated to educators and learners. Lastly, LDS interacted with 107 schools in KwaZulu-Natal in the Ugugu District. These schools were also presented with maps, and taught about African affairs and AISA. The LDS reached 209 schools in total during 2010/2011, as illustrated in map 1 and figure 2. Networking is another way of creating awareness about products and services. LDS participated in the commemoration of World Book Day on 23 April 2010 at the South African Army Library in Pretoria. Other LDS staff members attended collection development and file plan implementation seminars on 26 July 2010 and 3 August 2010 respectively. The Director LDS and another LDS staff member also participated in a national workshop on the development of accreditation and certification of knowledge holders and practitioners, which extended into an indigenous knowledge systems workshop, held in Durban on 26 July 2010.

Further networking was achieved through attendance at the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) conference in Pretoria in October, attendance at the LIASA branch meeting in November; and participation in the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and South African Library and Library Information Services Association in Africa (SCECSAL) in Botswana in December 2010. The LDS also hosted a records management seminar on 29 March 2011, where records practitioners shared information about good standards and practices on records management.

The AISA mandate is also promoted at various meetings attended and hosted by the LDS staff. Our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist attended a panel discussion organised by GIS Development at Burgers Park, Pretoria, on 13 May 2010. LDS staff also participated in a South African National Library and information Consortium (SANLiC) meeting on 20 October 2010 and hosted 20 Library Science students from the University of Limpopo (UL). UL students gained hands-on training on library and information science practices. LDS also hosted a task team from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and shared information about its services and products with this team. In addition, LDS capacitates itself through relevant courses.

In the year under review this included a course on cataloguing and how to improve services through mobile technology. Our GIS Specialist, together with the Head of Unit Science and Technology, attended a meeting with NEPAD on the Africa Energy project. The cartographer and GIS intern attended a GIS and mapping of community assets seminar at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The GIS intern also attended a seminar on ArcGIS 10 and ArcSever 10, a newly released GIS software program.

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