In an unfolding knowledge society, information is at the heart of development and economic growth. The seamless flow of information is critical for creativity and innovation, invention and discovery, knowledge production, and for the facilitation of democracy generally. Knowledge is a national economic asset, playing an important role in national, social and individual development. Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals systematically organise knowledge resources, which they also mediate by various means for their effective use by constituencies across all sectors. LIS education, through teaching and learning, continuing education and research programmes, is necessary to provide such professionals with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively mediate the information environment in a rapidly evolving and digitally oriented knowledge society.
Founded as the School of Librarianship in 1935, the Library and Information Studies Centre (as it is known today) at the University of Cape Town, is the oldest school of LIS professional education in Africa. The last year this School celebrates 75 years of service to LIS education in Africa. It is appropriate then that the theme of the conference convened to commemorate this milestone spotlights education as well as research in an evolving information landscape deeply penetrated by digital technologies.
We warmly welcome both our international visitors and our local delegates to South Africa’s beautiful mother city and to the University of Cape Town, scenically set on the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain. We trust that this heady cocktail of scenic beauty, warm Cape hospitality and conference intellectual inspiration will leave you with an experience not easily matched elsewhere in the world.