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Prof Dr Peter Johan Lor to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria

Press Release
3 September 2008

Peter J. LorProf Dr Peter Johan Lor, outgoing Secretary General of IFLA and extraordinary professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, will receive an honorary doctorate, DPhil (honoris causa), from the University of Pretoria. The degree will be conferred on 4 September 2008 at one of the spring graduation ceremonies of the University. He will receive the degree for the exceptional leadership role he played in the LIS profession in South Africa and internationally and for his outstanding research contributions to this field.

Prof Lor is an alumnus of the University of Pretoria – he received both his MBibl degree (1978, with distinction) and his DPhil (1990) from this University. From 1998 to date he is also extraordinary professor in the Department of Information Science.

Prof Lor is currently (until 5 September 2008) the Secretary General of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in The Hague (the Netherlands). He is the first South African to hold this position. Prior to this he was the first National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), as well as the last Director of the State Library. He was instrumental in creating the NLSA through the amalgamation of the two campuses of the old State Library. Before becoming Director of the State Library he was associate professor and professor in Information Science at the University of South Africa (1986 – 1992) and prior to that he worked in various libraries in South Africa, inter alia as senior librarian at the University of Pretoria (1976 – 1980).

He is a member of a number of local and international scholarly associations and he served in management capacities in a number of these associations. The most important of these are probably his work in the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) (of which he was a member from 1992-2003 and the chair from 1996 2000) and his involvement in the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA). He played a leading role in the establishment and early years of LIASA (1996 – 2000), when he was the chair of the Interim Executive Committee and chair of the Transitional Executive Committee (when the old South African Institute for Library and Information Science was disbanded and the members formed a new organisation through amalgamation with various other bodies) and eventually member of the Representative Council and Executive Committee.

Prof Lor has published over 130 professional publications. Articles and conference papers by him have appeared in journals and proceedings published in 17 countries and have been translated into French, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak, Swedish and Ukrainian. His research covers a number of areas in the field of Library and Information Science, which include:

  • Developmental role of libraries in developing countries
  • National and regional information policy
  • Library and information services legislation
  • Information flows between developed and developing countries
  • International and comparative librarianship and information work
  • National digital heritage: capturing, organization, preservation and access
  • Research methods in library and information science

He is a distinguished and acknowledged scholar and his research is highly regarded by professionals across the world.

Prof Lor can be reached at PeterJLor@gmail.com.

Kind regards,

Theo Bothma.