Information Studies Lecturer at University of Limpopo (UL), Lefose Makgahlela was named Librarian of the Year at the 2019 Library and Information Association of South Africa (Liasa) national conference hosted at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban last week.
Makgahlela received a certificate of excellence to recognise his outstanding work in the Information Studies sector.
He was celebrated as a practitioner who went beyond the call of duty to promote library information services in the country. He emerged as winner among ten nominees from the nine provinces. He previously won the Liasa Limpopo Branch Librarian of the Year award for his continuous involvement in book drives, donating books to local libraries, schools and orphanages as well as promoting the culture of reading among the rural communities.
Makgahlela joined UL in 2011 as lecturer for Information Studies and has supervised plenty of Information Studies students at the university.
He holds a Master’s degree in Information Technology from University of Pretoria as well as a Master’s degree in Information and Knowledge Management from the Stellenbosch University and is currently studying towards his DPhil in Information Studies with the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Makgahlela said he was pleased to have won the national award and to have been given an opportunity to drive the reading culture in the country. “I am an ambassador for all librarians in the country and through the Library Information Service brand we promote the culture of reading in our communities. We strive to make sure that everyone has a book in their hand to read,” Makgahlela explained.
He dedicated his award to all qualified unemployed librarians in the country. He expressed the confidence that his achievement would give them hope and inspire them to keep on believing that something great will happen to them. “Unemployment affects all of us. It is painful to see the people we have trained loitering at home and literally doing nothing. With this award I am saying to them they must not give up and we will continue working hard to create opportunities for them,” Makgahlela concluded.
Also rewarded at the event was the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Library of South Africa and now part-time lecturer at UL, John Tsebe who received the South African Library and Information Trust Lifetime Achievement Award.
Tsebe is the Immediate Past President of the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions. He is a co-founding member of Liasa and served the UL Library as Head of Department for 20 years.
Story: Herbert Rachuene