Hiddingh Library's Ingrid Thomson wins LIASA-Sabinet Influential Library Leader Award

19 Oct 2023 | By Ujala Satgoor
Group photo with Ingrid Thomson holding an award certificate. Stands next to joint winner Karin Muller
19 Oct 2023 | By Ujala Satgoor
Portrait poster of Ingrid Thomson winner of LIASA SABINET Influential Library Leader of the Year

It is with immense pleasure I share the news that Ms Ingrid Thomson, Branch Librarian of Hiddingh Library was announced as a joint winner of the 2023 LIASA-Sabinet Influential Library Leader Award at the gala dinner of the Annual LIASA Conference held from 10-13 October in picturesque Somerset West. Ingrid shares this award with Ms Karin Muller, Divisional Head: Library and Information Services for the City of Ekurhuleni.

The Influential Library Leader Award shines a spotlight on a remarkable librarian, recognising their achievements, exceptional contributions and exemplary leadership during their career in the Library and Information Science (LIS) field. This prestigious award, sponsored by Sabinet, pays tribute to librarians who are role models and champions of the LIS profession. They are also visionaries who not only inspire but also lay the foundation for a lasting legacy and their potential to shape the future of the profession, benefiting not just themselves but the entire community of LIS practitioners.

Since 1982, Ingrid Thomson’s career as a librarian was shaped by her time spent in the public, school and academic library sectors. Ingrid has been a Senior Librarian in the Research & Learning Division at UCT Libraries with subject responsibilities including Historical Studies, Linguistics, Psychology, Film and Media Studies, Education and Librarianship. She held this position until she assumed in 2022 the role of Branch Librarian: Hiddingh Hall Library where besides the subject responsibilities for Fine Art and Drama, History, Film and Media Studies and Psychology, she manages the branch and the team.  She also served as the Acting Head of Circulation managing a large team; Stock Management Librarian and Senior Library Assistant at the Education Library.

Professional Involvement

Ingrid has been a longstanding member of LIASA (the Library and Information Association of South Africa) since 1999. She has served in various roles either within the Western Cape branch, Higher Education Libraries Interest Group (HELIG)  and at national executive roles since 2000. These included:

  • Current PRO: National HELIG  having served previously in various capacities on the HELIG committee (National HELIG Convenor, and WCHELIG Convenor)  
  • LIASA National PRO
  • Additional Member: LIASA National Executive Committee (Social Media and Advocacy)
  • Chair: Western Cape branch, and WC Branch PRO and Treasurer.   
  • Represented LIASA in the Higher Education Research Chamber of the Education Training Development Practitioner (EDTP) SETA from 2013 - 2018.

Awards received

  • 2023 – Full scholarship to attend WIkimania in Singapore
  • 2010 - LIASA Western Cape Branch Librarian and was named 2nd runner up in National of that year.   
  • 2004 - Selected for the South African Library Leadership Programme (SALLP) and became a Mortensen Center Fellow as part of that programme.    
  • 2002 – recipient of the first LIASA-EBSCO Travel Award to attend the IFLA 2002 Conference.

Ingrid acknowledges that most of her professional opportunities were realised through LIASA. Although she has not been part of a formal mentoring programme, she believes in sharing the learnings and experiences (the a-ha moments) of these professional opportunities with others (either informally, or formally at local and international conferences, webinars, workshops and so on) so that others can, in turn, take these a-ha moments and make them their own.    

Ingrid Thomson stands next to Karin Muller as joint winners of the 2023 LIASA-Sabinet Influential Library Leader Award

In addition,

Since 2018, Ingrid has been actively working with Wikipedia, driving the #1lib1ref campaign here in South Africa. Through an IFLA project, she has been working closely with AfLIA as a guest presenter on the Wikipedia in African Libraries course.

In 2016, Ingrid was co-opted on to the Executive Committee of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) where she still currently serves.

Her diverse research interests include Digital Humanities; Research Data Management;  Info Lit;  FYE;  Marketing of Library Services;  Social Media; Continuing Professional Development and Wikipedia and its sister projects.

Our congratulations to Ingrid – a well-deserved accolade!

Best regards
Ujala Satgoor

UCT Libraries Executive Director