National initiatives : role of the National Library of South Africa
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Paper presented at the Stellenbosch University Library 2010 Symposium / IFLA Presidential Meeting. Knowing is not enough: Engaging in the knowledge economy, 18 to 19 February 2010. Libraries and information services are significant in the provision of information for socio-economic development and sustainability. It is through these institutions that information is organised, preserved and disseminated to society. This starts from basic life skills information to entrepreneurial information. Through knowledge derived from these institutions, the world is capable of improving human lives and as a result strengthens economies of the world. The growth in the global production of knowledge has necessitated new inventions to facilitate universal availability and access. This paper discusses broadly the role of the National Library of South Africa as a key custodian of published documentary heritage. The focus is however, on the NLSA’s national initiatives contributing towards a knowledge-based economy. The NLSA’s role is expressed in terms of the value the library has in contributing to the development of a knowledge-based economy. As a national heritage institution, the NLSA is a central point facilitating access to the world’s information resources and contributes immensely to human development which ultimately drives the knowledge economy. The enabling political environment lays a solid foundation for the active participation within the knowledge economy.