Webinar series

The Academic & Research Libraries Section Standing Committee of IFLA is hosting a series of webinars to engage in discourse on issues relating to academic and research libraries. Please join us!!

Our next session is:

On social justice, diversity and inclusion in academic and research libraries

Date: 29 March 2023

Time: 10:00-11:00 (CET)


Libraries have a foundational mission to contribute to the right to information and education, serve communities on the margins and provide safe spaces for the vulnerable. Their role extends beyond merely advocating for social justice, diversity and inclusion but they are spaces where social justice struggles are fought and are themselves active participants in the social justice arena.

Academic libraries provide access to spaces and information to university students and staff irrespective of religion, dis/ability, race, political beliefs, social standing and class with many extending their services to unaffiliated users from the local communities. That way, they democratize access to information for all persons.

The aim of this webinar is to accentuate the contributions academic and research libraries as advocates and actors in the social justice arena. Presenters will share their perspectives and actions taken to address issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion in various academic and research libraries. We hope that their actions may be replicated or customized by other libraries so together, libraries create even stronger impact.

Speakers (see speakers’ biographies below)

Neli Tshabalala

Director: Shared Services, North-West University Library and Information Service, South Africa

Man Yi Helen Chan
Lecturer, The University of Hong Kong, China
Chair: IFLA Professional Committee (Division F)

Please click on this link to register.

The webinar will be recorded and shared.

Please look out for announcement when videos and presentations are uploaded.

Series organisers:

Chair of ARL: [email protected]

Speaker biographies

Helen Chan

Helen is a lecturer (P/T) of the Master of Science in Library and Information Management Program, as well as the founder and lecturer (P/T) of the Bachelor of Science in Information Management module, Accessible Information For All, at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Helen is the recipient of 16 awards, including the IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section Bursary in 2019.  Currently, Helen is the IFLA Professional Division Committee Chair (Division F), Chair of the IFLA Action Plan Working Group, IFLA Professional Council Committee Member, and IFLA WLIC Sub-Committee Member. She was the IFLA Dynamic Unit and Impact Award (DUIA) Jury, IFLA Emerging Leaders Grants Assessor, IFLA WLIC 2022 Sub-Committee Member, and IFLA Section Review Committee Member in 2022, in addition to the Co-Principal Investigator of the ASIS&T Award-bearing Project, “International Digital Story Writing Competition: AI and Health” in 2021.  Starting from 2021, Helen is the Board Member of International Advisor, Journal of Librarianship & Information Science.  She is the Director of the Hong Kong Lions Club of Jardine’s Lookout and the Committee Member of Rotary District 3450 Interact International Understanding.  Helen is the author of a best-selling book, Hong Kong School Libraries in the Reading 2.0 Era (in Chinese) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.

Neli Tshabalala

Neli is the Director: Shared Library and Information Services at the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa. She has extensive experience in Library and Information Services in academic and special libraries. Her expertise includes managing library resources, systems and operations including administration, fiscal management, and project management. Other competencies include the application of customer-based software and development for processing, content discovery, and access services. In addition to the NWU LIS, Neli has worked in various capacities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Library, University of Johannesburg Libraries, the Johannesburg Bar Library and the South African Library for the Blind, among other institutions. Prior to that, she served as an intern (experiential learning) at Georgia State University Law Library and at the 11th Court of Appeals Library, Georgia State

She holds a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Service from Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, USA; a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; a bachelor’s degree in Education as well as a Certificate in Project Management from the University of South Africa. 

She has presented and published papers in national and international conferences and journals. Her areas of interest are library services to the disabled, ethics, social justice and scholarly communications.