Executive Director: UJ Library and Information Centre
Dr Rookaya Bawa
Dr Rookaya Bawa is the new Executive Director: Library and Information Centre. Before joining UJ, she was a programme officer at the Carnegie Corporation of New York where she led the Corporation’s investments in the USA and five countries on the African continent. She was the lead officer in the Corporation’s library development programme where her focus was on the establishment of large public libraries, the Global Digital Library, and the foundation of the African Journal Archive which has led to the digitisation of some 250 African journals.
Her main legacies are the development of 6 model public libraries, including the National Library of South Africa in Pretoria, and the establishment of high-end support for researchers at Research Commons in eight universities in Africa.
She has been on the judging panel for I love my Librarian Award for several years selecting the best academic, school and public librarians in the United States. She has been on the advisory board of the McCauley Honours College for exceptional students within the City University of New York system and has also been on the Advisory Board of World Libraries.
She has a Master’s degree in Education from Durham University in the UK and a PhD in Information Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She completed her undergraduate studies as well as a number of professional qualifications at UKZN. Prior to her appointment at Carnegie, she was the head of the KZN Provincial Library and Information Service and in this capacity she led the building and renovation of more than 60 public libraries in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal. Some of these libraries have won architectural awards for innovation and design. As head of library service she introduced automation, free internet access and training for public librarians – driven by the mission that the “poor deserve the best services we can offer”.
Dr Bawa is known as a mover and a shaker and her view is that challenges are opportunities not to be missed.