Librarianship And Information Science In South Africa: Reflections On The Parting Of The Ways

Archie L. Dick, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of South Africa Visiting Professor, Wayne State University

Thursday, 27 February 1997

8:30-9:00 Coffee and Donuts
9:00-11:00 Presentation

OCLC Auditorium
6565 Frantz Road
Dublin, OH 43017

While a theme of reconciliation characterizes a national healing process in South Africa, a contrary theme of secession is emerging in the field of library and information science. This parting of the ways between librarianship and information science is shaped, in part, by the special historical changes in a transitional period. Archie Dick will sketch the emergence of information science in South Africa, its alliance with librarianship and subsequent efforts to establish a new disciplinary identity. Archie Dick discussed this theme at an international conference in Copenhagen in October 1996, and is himself involved in curriculum changes in the Department of Information science at the University of South Africa.

Dr. Dick has been keenly involved in the transformation exercise in South Africa on both the broader higher educational and narrower professional educational fronts. In March 1995 he was a member of a high-profile delegation to visit the Open University in the United Kingdom to investigate cooperation between long-distance teaching institutions. In 1996 he served on a subcommittee of the National Commission for Higher Education (NCHE) that is seeking to effect fundamental changes in South Africa's higher education structure. He currently serves on a National Committee investigating the proper governance at national level of libraries in South Africa. He has held various positions in professional committees, and is currently assistant editor of the South African Journal of Library and Information Science and chairman of the Research Committee of the South African Institute of Library and Information Science (SAILIS). He has worked in public and academic libraries, and holds a MLS from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town.