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Overview of CHELSA

Who is CHELSA?

The Committee for Higher Education Libraries of South Africa (CHELSA) is a registered non-profit organisation (140-828-NPO) representing the interests of libraries in the public higher education sector.

It is also recognised by Universities South Africa (USAf) as a community of practice of academic and research library directors.

Strategic Aim

CHELSA aims to improve library and information services for public higher education and research in South Africa through adopting the following vision and mission:

Our Vision

To transform existing library practices in Higher Education to respond to existing and new realities and to lay the foundation for the development of a learning society

Our Mission

CHELSA strives through visionary and visible transformational leadership to ensure that the Higher Education sector is provided with optimal access to information for the purpose of learning, teaching, research and community development.

CHELSA will support knowledge management practices in academic and research libraries.

Our Objectives

CHELSA is a non-profit organization established for the following public benefit objectives:

  1. To promote the role of libraries in Higher Education
  2. To foster academic and research librarianship through partnership
  3. To develop information access policies for Higher Education libraries
  4. To enhance the use of technology within the Higher Education library environment
  5. To develop an active quality assistance programme for Higher Education libraries
  6. To establish human resources development programmes
  7. To transform the Higher Education Library and Information Services in terms of their fitness for purpose in a new era
  8. To ensure that all Higher Education libraries participate and contribute to community based services.

What does CHELSA do?

CHELSA represents the interests of libraries in the public higher education sector and is a voluntary association. Its membership comprises the directors of libraries in public higher education institutions.

CHELSA is, therefore, involved in the development of high level and strategic thinking and planning in matters relating to libraries in this sector, as well as the formulation, inter alia, of relevant recommendations, guidelines, standards, and position statements.

What does CHELSA NOT do?

While CHELSA represents the interests of libraries in public higher education institutions, it does not speak on behalf of these institutions in operational matters.

CHELSA is not in a position to act on behalf of its members about the following:

  • Distribution of surveys/questionnaires to South African university library staff on behalf of researchers.
  • Receipt or delivery of curriculum vitae on behalf of job applicants to university libraries.
  • Provision of advice to authors on copyright, sale, circulation, or other matters pertaining to publications.

For these and other queries, please consult the list of links on our Contact Us page.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee manages the affairs of CHELSA in accordance with resolutions of General Meetings and in accordance with the Powers of CHELSA. A minimum of 6 persons serve on the Executive Committee.

CHELSA Executive Committee for the term 2022 - 2024 term are:


Chairperson: Daisy Selematsela (University of the Witwatersrand)

Chairperson-Elect: Nomawethu Danster (Rhodes University)

Secretary: Jeannet Molopyane (University of the Free State)

Treasurer: Lindsay Reid (Nelson Mandela University)


Marketing Officer: Nthabiseng Mosala-Bryant (Mangosuthu University of Technology)

Additional Member: Khomotso Maphopha (University of Limpopo)

Co Opted Additional Member: Shirlene Neerputh (University of the Western Cape) 

CHELSA Project Manager: Anke McCallum 

Executive Committee portfolio holders serve a two-year term of office. At least one-half of the portfolio holders on the Executive Committee shall retire biennially at the Annual General Meeting. However, all retired portfolio holders are eligible for re-election.

The Executive Committee may co-opt additional non-voting members as it may consider appropriate.