The 4th Industrial Revolution & Library Practices in South Africa

Date: Oct 23, 2018 | 4th Industrial Revolution, News

The University of Johannesburg Library hosted a Colloquium on Friday 19 October at the University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Campus under the theme: The 4th Industrial Revolution & Library Practices in South Africa.

Amidst a technological revolution that will alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another, the colloquium seeked to understand the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution/Industry 4.0 on the library system and more generally, on society as a whole.

Uj 4ir Conference

Professor Maria Frahm-Arp (Executive Director: UJ Library) opened the event and explored the first steps in implementing the 4th Industrial Revolution in the Library Space and why libraries should adapt and embrace the change.

”One of the things we need to do is to begin to embrace what the world of work looks like in this 4th Industrial Age. New opportunities for Libraries include Uber; book to desk / B2D for academics; Mobile worklist alerts; and push information for academics.”

The 4th Industrial Revolution comes which much excitement and uncertainty, but what is known is that the response to this change must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

Prof Johannes Cronje

Professor Johannes Cronje (Dean of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology)


Keynote Speaker Stafford Masie, a South African ‘techpreneur’ and former head of Google SA addressed the topic of AI and Humanity’s Re-imagining.

”Artificial Intelligence is about unleashing human intelligence. It is a metamorphosis of a society. We are moving from an era of owning things to an era of accessing things.”

Professor Johannes Cronje (Dean of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology) spoke about the transition of the 4th industrial revolution and what libraries should be looking at for in the 5th industrial revolution.

“5.0 is a return to humanity. It is a shift from knowing your collection to knowing your connection.” The role of the librarian changes from knowledge of the collection, to knowledge of the users. The libraries can receive large volume of information that they can use to design better solutions for users. He also explains how the need to approach libraries physically are diminishing.

Professor Sinha Saurabh (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Internationalisation) spoke of Industry 4.0 and Higher Education, maintaining that as an institution, UJ is committed to upskilling at all levels to ensure students and staff are future-fit.

”Our intent as the University of Johannesburg is threefold. Firstly, we are striving to develop more graduates that are ready & relevant to enter and engage with Industry. Secondly, we have put in place measures to ensure that there is continued professional development. Lastly, we are continuously aiming to be thought leaders in the 4th Industrial Age.”


Prof Sinha
Professor Sinha Saurabh (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Internationalisation)

Prof Sinha

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