n Mousaion - Science for ideology? : P C Coetzee and the professionalization of South African librarianship

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



At the historic Annual Conference of the South African Library Association (SALA) in November 1962, the decision was taken to establish racially-segregated library associations. A letter from some concerned librarians was sent to the SALA's professional journal, South African Libraries, which elicited a response from its editor, P C Coetzee. This article examines the way in which scientific discourse was deployed in the professionalization of librarianship in South Africa using the writings and activities of one of the SALA's most prominent members. P C Coetzee's editorial response provides an excellent opportunity for analysing both the tensions between a scientific approach and a narrow cultural identity outlook in the professional discipline of librarianship, and the intellectual's complicity in apartheid.

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