Office hours and modules
INL 260 - Economics and Politics of Information
INY 722 - Information and Knowledge Society
INY 711 - Research methodology
MIT 867 - Knowledge Society and International Librarianship
Professor Dick was appointed as Head of Department on 1 July 2016. He is also Chairperson of the School of Information Technology in the EBIT Faculty. Having been attached to the University of the Western Cape for ten years, and the University of South Africa for ten years, where he was a Deputy Dean from 2001-2003, Professor Dick joined the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria in May 2003. He has extensive experience in teaching at all levels in Information Science in both contact and distance education environments. He worked in several academic and professional committees and served on national committees in education and in library and information services. In 2008 he was a member of the technical team responsible for drafting the Department of Arts and Culture's Library and Information Services (LIS) Transformation Charter. From 2009 to 2011 he was Deputy Chairperson of the IFLA committee of Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.
In 2012, the Minister of Arts and Culture appointed him as Chairperson of the National Council of Library and Information Services (NCLIS). Unisa Press published his monograph The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics of Information (2002, re-printed 2006). The University of Toronto Press published The hidden history of South Africa's book and reading cultures in 2012, and the South African edition was published in 2013 by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Press. These books have been widely reviewed. A number of newspaper articles, and a book chapter, based on his research have appeared recently (See below). The National Research Foundation rated Professor Dick as an internationally acclaimed researcher in 2016.
He reviews manuscripts for a number of scholarly journals, and serves on several local and international editorial boards. He delivered the Alan Paton lecture in March 2013 at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. He was a Visiting Professor at Wayne State University in 1997 and at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 2007, and in 2012 he was an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a co-applicant with Dr. Caroline Davis for a British Academy-sponsored research project: Print, Publishing and Cultural Production in South Africa, 1948-2012. See: http://www.printculturesouthafrica.org/
Current Research Interests
- Philosophical and historical aspects of librarianship and information science
- Manuscript, book, reading, and writing cultures
Member of Editorial Boards
- Advisory Board: New Directions in Book History (Palgrave Macmillan): 2014-
- Advances on Information Processing and Management (AIPM) Book Series: 2011-
- International Journal on Integrated Information Management (IJIIM): 2011-
- World Libraries: 2011-
- Innovation: Appropriate Librarianship and Information Work for Southern Africa: 2003-
- Advisory Board: Society for Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP): 2018-
- Advisory Board: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science (SAJLIS): 2018-
- Information Development: 2010-2014 ; Columnist: 2012-2014
- New Contree - Reviews Editor: 2010-2014
- Journal of Education for Library and Information Science: 2007-2009.
- African Identities: 2003-2006.
- The Library Quarterly: 2002-2003.
- Mousaion: 2003-2013.
- Aslib Proceedings: 2010-2013.
- Quarterly Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa: 2007-
Membership of National and International Bodies
- Chairperson, National Council of Library and Information Services, NCLIS: 2012-13.
- Vice–Chairperson, IFLA/FAIFE: 2009-2011.
- Member of LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa).
- Member of SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing): 2009-
Book: South African rural reading spaces c. 1850-1920 (Cambridge University Press).
Publications in 2019
- Combating censorship and making space for books, In: Print Cultures: A Reader in Theory and Practice, edited by Caroline Davis. Macmillan, 2019, pp. 142-150.
Conference presentations and talks in 2019
- Guest Lecturer, Department of History, University of Pretoria, 25 February 2019. Title: Intellectual history from below.
- Main speaker, Book Launch, Durban, 7 March 2019. Title: The legacies of real and imagined readers.
- Presented a paper. Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Bangkok, Thailand, 30 May 2019. Title: Improving digital literacy at the University of Pretoria.
- Presented a paper. Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Bangkok, Thailand, 30 May 2019. Title: Liberal arts and LIS education in South Africa.
- Keynote address: Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University and Polytechnic University of the Philippines Open University 2 nd Joint Multidisciplinary Research Colloquium, Bangkok, Thailand, 31 May 2019. Title: Open and distance learning in Information Science at a residential university.
Publications in 2018
- Learning from the Alexander Defence Committee archives, In: Knowledge, Learning and Social Movements: History’s schools, edited by A. Choudry and S. Vally. London: Routledge, 2018, pp. 42-54. Also published in History’s schools: Past struggles and present realities, edited by A. Choudry and S. Vally. Pietermaritzburg: UKZN Press, 2018, pp. 42-54.
- Introduction: Print Culture in Southern Africa, (with Caroline Davis and Elizabeth le Roux), Journal of Southern African Studies, 44 (3): 377-381
- Reading authors of the Enlightenment at the Cape of Good Hope from the late 1780s to the mid-1830s, Journal of Southern African Studies, 44 (3): 383-400.
- Library cooperation in Zimbabwe: In search of a suitable model to underpin national development (with Collence Chisita), The Electronic Library, 36 (4):633-49.
- How the apartheid regime burnt books – in their tens of thousands, The Conversation, October 2018.
Conference presentations and talks in 2018
- Guest Lecturer, Department of History, University of Pretoria, 2 March 2018. Title: Unearthing the material traces of Enlightenment ideas.
- Guest Lecturer, Department of History, University of Pretoria, 18 April 2018. Title: Recovering Lost Voices c1650s to 1800s.
- Presented a paper. Agents of Change: Print Culture and Publishing in Southern Africa Symposium, University of Pretoria, 23 May 2018. Title: What Charlie Immelman read: circulating fiction at the Cape, ca. 1885-1930.
- Keynote address: International Policy Dialogue on IFAP Priority Areas in the BRICS countries, Cape Town, South Africa, 4-6 July, 2018. Title: Information for all at the Cape: struggles past and present.
- Unisa Department of Information Science Annual Lecture, 27 July 2018. Respondent to Prof Heidi Julien. Title: Taking a stand in the Post-Truth era: Ethics, Epistemology, Action.
- Presented a paper. 50 Years of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, University of Johannesburg, 7 September 2018. Title: Learning form the Alexander Defence Committee archives.
- Keynote address: HiPSA (Historical Publications Southern Africa - formerly the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 10 October 2018. Title: Celebrating a century of records.
- Keynote address: HiPSA (Historical Publications Southern Africa - formerly the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents), University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 11 October 2018. Title: Celebrating a century of records.
- Keynote address: Research Expo 2018: Jacaranda and Protea residences. University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 16 October 2018. Title: African research rising.
Publications in 2017
- Empowering academic librarians for effective e-services: An assessment of Web 2.0 competency levels, (with L. Oyieke), The Electronic Library, 35 (2): 263-282.
Conference presentations and talks in 2017
- Guest Lecturer, Department of History, University of Pretoria, 6 March 2017. Title: Intellectual history, book history and the history of reading.
- Guest Speaker at Renaming of Vincent Kolbe Knowledge Commons, University of Cape Town, 25 March 2017. Title: Vincent Kolbe – librarian for the people.
- Guest Lecturer, Department of History, University of Pretoria, 29 March 2017. Title: 'Recovering Lost Voices c1650s to 1800s'.
- Presented a paper. Social epistemology and Information Science, Copenhagen, Denmark, 16 August 2017. Title: LIS, social epistemology, and intellectual history.
- Presented a paper. Peacemakers and Bridge builders, La Reunion Island, 20-21 October 2017. Title: Bridge builders in South African and Western Indian Ocean reading networks.
Publications in 2016
- Librarians and crises in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ South Africa, IFLA Journal. 42 (2): 102-108, June 2016.
- Anglophone Africa: Ibadan sixty years on: an historical survey and review of trends in African LIS education (with Paul Sturges and Peter Burnett), in Educating the Profession: 40 years of the IFLA Section on Education and Training, edited by M. Seadle, C.M. Chu, U. Stöckel, & B. Crumpton. De Gruyter, 2016, pp. 101-121.
Conference presentations and talks in 2016
- Presented a paper, LIASA North Gauteng Branch, Pretoria, 27 May 2016. Title: The Library Ecosystem: Maximising the collaboration and access to information for the marginalised LIS sub-sectors.
- Guest Speaker at Graduation Ceremony, University of Zululand, 9 May 2016.
Publications in 2015
- Accessing information through Zimbabwe's parliamentary constituency information centres (PCICs). African Journal of Library Archives and Information Science, 25 (1), pp. 29 – 43 (with I. Munyoro).
- Development partners in disseminating parliamentary information in Zimbabwe: Contributions and Challenges. Mousaion, 33 (4), pp. 86 – 105 (with I. Munyoro).
- Copying and circulation in South Africa's reading cultures 1780-1840 In C. Davis & D. Johnson (eds.), New Directions in Book History: The Book in Africa: Critical Debates (pp. 21-43). Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan. 978-1-137-40161-8.
Conference presentations and talks in 2015
- Presented a paper on Research methodology at a Masters Student Research symposium, University of Makerere, Kampala, Uganda, 30 June 2015.
- Presented a research seminar at the Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Buffalo, New York, USA, 21 September 2015. Title: Librarians and readers in South Africa’s liberation struggle.
Publications in 2014
- Charting the transformation of library and information services. Information Development, 30 (2): 101-2, May 2014.
- Information heroes. Information Development 30 (3), 197-9, August 2014.
- What's wrong with Africanisation! Information Development 30 (4), November 2014.
Conference presentations and talks in 2014
- Keynote speaker, Reading and Writing from Below: Exploring the Margins of Modernity, Helsinki, Finland, 22 August, 2014. Title: How to study reading cultures from below.
- Keynote speaker, Print networks in Africa, Oxford, UK, 4 September, 2014. Title: From Cape to Cairo and beyond: tracking the printers of Arabic and Arabic-Afrikaans manuscripts, 1865-1957.
- Member of a Panel, Jozi Book fair, Print, reading, book culture and debate in SA, 26 September 2014, Central Johannesburg College, Ellis Park Campus.
- Discussion of book: The hidden histories of South Africa’s book and reading cultures, University of Johannesburg, UJ Department of English in partnership with the UJ Library, Johannesburg, 2 October 2014.(Can be viewed on Youtube).
- Talk on Power FM talk radio on 2 October 2014 about my book The hidden histories of South Africa's book and reading cultures.
Articles about my research in 2013
- The word as sword, interviewed by Stephen Coan in The Witness, 1 April 2013, p. 7.
- Acclaimed SA academic's nazi seceret, The Witness, 29 May 2013, p. 7.
- Gevierde Vlaamse academicus ontmaskerd as nazi en dief, Nieuwsblad (Belgium), 3 June 2013.
- Intellectual fraud, book theft, and book burning, in The University of South Africa: memories, transformation, and africanisation, ed. by Muff Andersson, pp. 53-7.
Publications in 2013
- Positioning audience research for public dialogue (with J. Kruger and I. Fourie). Mousaion, 31 (2) 2013: 58-77.
- Social media access and participation in established democracies and authoritarian states. Innovation: appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, 47 (2013): 121-144; (with Lilian I. Oyieke and Theo Bothma).
- Book history in South Africa: recent developments and prospects, In: Jaarboek voor Nederlandse boekgeschiedenis, 20 (2013), edited by S. van Voorst. Nijmegen and Leiden: pp. 153-62.
- Why epistemology matters. Information Development, 29 (1): 7-9, February 2013.
- Reacting to Timbuktu. Information Development, 29 (2): 104-105, May 2013.
- What we don't (but should) teach young researchers. Information Development, 29 (3): 197-9, July 2013.
- African librarianship rising! Information Development, 29 (4): 291-3, November 2013.
- The hidden history of South Africa’s book and reading cultures. Scottsville: UKZN Press. Paperback. (The University of Toronto Press also published a paperback edition in 2013). Reviewed in Mail & Guardian Litfest (23-29 August 2013, p. 6; and several academic journals). Three interviews about the book on Radio Sonder Grense (25 September, 30 October, and 13 November 2013), and one interview on SAFM (1 September 2013).
- The notebook of Johannes Smiesing (1697-1734)
writing and reading master in the Cape Slave Lodge, in: Robert Shell (comp.), From Diaspora to Diorama (Cape Town: NagsPro, 2013), volume 5, chapter 3, pp. 76-121.
- The commonplace book of Johannes Smiesing slave lodge schoolteacher and healer
(with Robert Shell), in: Robert Shell (comp.), From Diaspora to Diorama (Cape Town: NagsPro, 2013), volume 4, chapter 1, pp. 1936-1968.
- The phyto-pharmacopia of Meester Jan Smiesing: an alphabetical list of active ingredients mentioned in his book, (with Robert Shell), in:Robert Shell (comp.), From Diaspora to Diorama (Cape Town: NagsPro, 2013), volume 4, chapter 1, pp. 1970-1987.
Conference presentations and talks in 2013
- Presented a paper: Boekbedonnerd Literary Festival, 26-28 October 2013, Richmond. Title: What, where, and how South Africans read when books were banned and burned.
- Member of Panel, 'No longer at ease: books as agents of insurrection', Mail & Guardian Literary Festival honouring Chinua Achebe, 30 August 2013, Market Theatre, Johannesburg.
- Keynote speaker: African Library Summit, African Librarianship, The horizon and beyond. Unisa, Pretoria 2-5 July 2013. Title: Summits 1 and 2: an overview.
- Presented a paper: LIASA Emerging Leaders Weekend, 17 May, 2013. Title: The National Council for Library and Information Services and the LIS Transformation Charter.
- Presented a paper: 20th Alan Paton Lecture, 20 March 2013, Pietermaritzburg, 2013. Title: Our Common Readers and Our Common Reading Cultures.
- Presented a paper: Seminar on the South African book, University of Cape Town, 9 April 2013. Title: Charles Dickens and ‘The South African Book’.
- Participated in a workshop of the Association of non-fiction writers association of South Africa (ANFASA), 5 April 2013. Title: History of the book in South Africa.
- Presented a paper: Conference: Print, Publishing and Cultural Production in South Africa, 13 May 2013, University of Pretoria, Pretoria. Title: Book History in South Africa: Recent Developments and Prospects.
- Presented a paper: Conference: Researching the Reading Experience, Oslo, Norway, 11 -12 June 2013. Title: Reading fiction for a ‘new South Africa’.
Publications in 2012
- The hidden history of South Africa's book and reading culture. University of Toronto Press. See:http://www.utppublishing.com/The-Hidden-History-of-South-Africa-s-Book-and-Reading-Cultures.html
Reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement (15 February 2013), The Chronicle Review (21 December 2012, B7), The American Historical Review (2014) 119 (3): 1023-1024, and several other academic journals.
- Jan Smiesing, Slave Lodge schoolmaster and healer, 1697-1734 (with Robert Shell), in: Cape Town between East and West: Social identities in a Dutch colonial town, edited by Nigel Worden. Johannesburg: Jacana, pp. 128-152.
- Send your books on active service: The books for troops scheme during the second world war, 1939-1945, in: Print, text and book cultures in South Africa, edited by Andrew Van der Vlies. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, pp. 240-251.
- Use of community radio to communicate agricultural information to Zimbabwe’s peasant farmersAslib Proceedings, 64 (5): 494-508, September 2012 (with Sailas Nyareza).
- Integrating knowledge seeking into knowledge management models and frameworks. South African journal of information management,14 (1).www.sajim.co.za/index.php/SAJIM/article/viewFile/515/567
(with Frank Lottering).
- Gewone lesers aan die vroëe Kaap. LitNet 9 (2), August 2012. www.litnet.co.za/Article/gewone-lesers-aan-die-kaap-c-1680-tot-1850
- Are established democracies less vulnerable to Internet censorship than authoritarian regimes?: The social media test. (with L.I. Oyieke and T Bothma). Available at:
- Library associations: a leadership role? Information development 28(1): 11-12.
- Information histories, information geographies. Information development 28 (2): 91-2.
- LIS education for Africa. Information development, 28 (3): 181-2, August 2012.
- Established democracies, Internet censorship and the social media test, Information development, 28 (4): 259-60, November 2012.
Publications in 2011
- The ability of adolescents with hearing loss in special schools to access and use academic material in three provinces in South Africa, (with E.M.M. Marx and M. Soer). Mousaion, 29 (1): 37-55.
- ‘Remembering reading: memory, books and reading in South Africa’s apartheid prisons, 1956-1990’, In: The History of Reading, Vol.1: International Perspectives, c.1500-1900, edited by W.R. Owens and Shafquat Towheed. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
Publications in 2010
- Twelve entries in Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H.R. Woudhuysen (eds.), Oxford Companion to the Book (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). The entries are: African Book Publishing Record; African libraries, East and West; Afrikaans Literary Museum; Brenthurst library; Cape Town, University of, Library; National English Literary Museum; Oppenheimer family; South Africa, National Library of; Witwatersrand, University of; Blind, libraries for; Sound recording libraries; and, Information science.
- A comparative analysis of the use of electronic resources by undergraduate students at a Kenyan private and public university, with L. Oyieke-Ingutia. Mousaion, 28(2):64-81.
- The notebook of Johannes Smiesing (1697-1734), writing and reading master in the Cape Slave Lodge, Quarterly Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa.
Publications in 2009
- Implementing a common library system for the Lesotho Library Consortium, with N. Taole. The Electronic Library, 27(1): 5-19.
- Performance evaluation of the INNOPAC System in Southern Africa: Perspectives from Systems librarians, with N. Taole. Information Development, 25(3): 224-231 (See Editor’s correction note on co-authorship in Information Development, 25(4): 252.
Publications in 2008
- ‘Blood from stones’: Censorship and the reading practices of South African Political Prisoners, 1960-1990. Library history, 24 (1): 1-22. (ALSO TRANSLATED INTO SPANISH)
- Ethnic identity and library development in apartheid South Africa: The Cape Library Association, 1960-1975. Libri, 58 (1): 1-14.
- The business information needs, seeking patterns and information services in the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) sector in Namibia, with E.R.T. Chiware. Information Development, 24 (1): 24-36.
- The use of ICTs in Namibia’s SMME sector to access business information services, with E.R.T. Chiware, The Electronic library, 26(2): 145-157.
- Vincent Kolbe: a librarian for Cape Town’s working classes. Quarterly Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa, 62(2):55-64.
- Corruption, libraries, and building a new South Africa Innovation: appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, 37 – Also, Guest Editor of this special issue.
Publications in 2007
- ‘The Books were just the props’: Public libraries and contested space in Cape Town Townships in the 1980s. Library Trends, 55(3): 695-718.
- Introduction: Book history, reading and publishing in South Africa, with Isabel Hofmeyr.Innovation: appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, 35: 1-23
- Censorship and the reading practices of Political Prisoners in South Africa, 1960-1990.Innovation: appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, 35: 24-55.
- Access to information and building a new South Africa, In A. Belan-Simi and M Capro-Ficovi (eds), Library Professional Ethics and Civil Society Ethical Norms: Libraries, Civil Society and the Struggle against Corruption. Proceedings of the 6th Round Table on Free Access to Information. Zagreb: Croatian Library Association, 2007: 213-220.
- The development of South African libraries in the 19th and 20th centuries: Cultural and political influences, In T.Bothma, P. Underwood and P. Ngulube (eds). Libraries for the Future: Progress and Development of South African Libraries. Pretoria: Library and Information Association of South Africa, 2007: 13-24.
Publications in 2006
- Book history, library history and South Africa's reading culture, South African Historical Journal,55, July 2006: 33-45.
- Where we still need to succeed: keynote address. In Proceedings LIASA WCHELIG Winter Colloquium : Collaboration for success, Cape Town (South Africa), 14 June 2006. E-LIS: E-prints in Library and Information Science. Available at:/eprints.rclis.org/view/people/Dick,_Archie_L.html
- Power is information: myths and fables about access, South African Medical Research Centre, IKMD Newsletter, Umyezo, 1(3) May 2006: 7-9. Available at:http://www.mrc.ac.za/ikmd/may2006/power.pdf
- Struggle libraries under cover, Cape Librarian, 50(3), May/June 2006: 10-14.
- Cultural bias and the nested model of context stratification for information seeking and retrieval, in Vicente P. Guerrero-Bote (ed.), Current Research in Information Sciences and Technologies: multidisciplinary approaches to global information systems. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Multidisciplinary Information Sciences and Technologies - InSciT 2006. October 25-28th, 2006. Mérida, Spain (Open Institute of Knowledge, Badajoz, Spain, 2006). ISBN 84-611-3104-5: 350-358.
Publications in 2005
- ‘To make the people of South Africa proud of their membership of the Great British Empire’: Home Reading Unions in South Africa, 1900-1914, Libraries & Culture, 40(1), January 2005: 1-24.
- ‘Send your books on active service’: the Books for Troops Scheme during the Second World War, 1939-1945, South African journal of libraries and information science, 71(2), June 2005: 115-26.
- ‘Power is information’: South Africa’s Promotion of Access to Information Act in context, In F. Crestani and I. Ruthven, eds, CoLIS 5: Context: Nature, Impact, and Role, LNCS 3507, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2005: 212-25; Also in Mousaion, 23(1), 2005: 1-18.
Publications in 2004
- Building a nation of readers?: Women's organizations and the politics of reading in South Africa, 1900-1914, Historia: Journal of the Historical Association of South Africa, 49(2), November 2004: 23-44;
- Denis Goldberg on librarianship and history: extracts from an interview, Innovation: appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, no. 28, June 2004:17-21;
- Book burning and the complicity of South African librarians, 1955-1971, Innovation: appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, no. 28, June 2004: 31-40. Also, Guest Editor of this special issue.
- Philosophy of information without history of information is empty; history of information without philosophy of information is blind, in T. Bothma and A. Kaniki (eds), ProLISSA: Progress in library and information science in Southern Africa; Proceedings of the third biennial DISSAnet Conference, 28-29 October, 2004, Farm Inn, Pretoria, South Africa. Pretoria: Infuse: 359-369.
- 'Perspectivism' - entry in Epistemological lifeboat. [Online]http://www.db.dk/jni/lifeboat/home.htm
Publications in 2003
- A philosophical framework for Library and Information Science: a review article. Library Quarterly, 2003, 73(1):73-77.
Publications in 2002
- Social epistemology, information science and ideology. Social Epistemology, 2002, 16(1):23-35.
- South Africa's information industry and Mbeki's African Renaissance. Mousaion, 2002, 20(1): 23-43.
- Scholarship, identity and lies: the political life of HJ de Vleeschauwer, 1940-1955. Kleio, 2002, 34:5-27.
- Five reasons why South African librarianship remains untransformed. Innovation: appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, 2002, 25:2-10. (Also translated into Swedish).
Publications in 2001
- Reading and Outcomes-Based Education: should income be the key outcome? Perspectives in Education, June 2001,19(2): 37-48.
- Science for ideology?: PC Coetzee and the professionalization of South African librarianship.Perspectives in Education, Oct 2001, 19(3):85-108; also in Mousaion, 2001, 19(1):62-92.
Publications in 2000
- Who needs the information society? New circuits of power and resistance. Communicatio , 2000, 26(1):3-14.
- Resisting the information society: politics and economics of information policy. Mousaion, 2000, 18(1):41-57.
- Keynote speaker, ASAIB, National Library of South Africa, 11 May 2012. Title: In praise of librarians, archivists, and indexers.
- Presented a paper. SHARP Conference, The battle for books, Trinity College, Dublin, 26-29 June 2012. Title: The Pasquino Society and 'enlightened censorship' in apartheid South Africa.
- Presented a paper. University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library and Information Studies, 25 September 2012. Title: Common Readers at the Cape (South Africa), c. 1650-1850.
- Presented a paper. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, History Salon, 8 October 2012. Title: Common Readers at the Cape (South Africa), c. 1650-1850.
- Presented a paper. Protest on the Page: Print Culture History in Opposition to Almost Anything (you can think of); A Conference of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture, University of Madison-Wisconsin, September 28-30, 2012. Title: Picturing Protest: African American and South African images, c. 1890-1902.
- Presented a paper. The Book in Africa: A Day Symposium, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London, London. Saturday 20 October 2012. Title: Copying and circulation in the Cape’s reading cultures in the nineteenth century.
- Presented a paper. Seminar on Progressing Book History and Publishing Studies as Disciplines, Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, Wednesday 24 October 2012. Title: Progressing book history in South Africa.
- Keynote speaker, African Library Summit, Muldersdrift, 11-13 May 2011. Title: The future of African Librarianship: an overview and review.
- Presented a paper. English Academy of South Africa Jubilee Conference, Cape Town, 9 September 2011. Title: Slave and ex-slave literacy at the Early Cape.
- Presented a paper. Cape Town Book Festival, Cape Town, 22 September 2011. Title: Copying, circulating, concealing, and contesting in Cape Town’s reading cultures.
- Presented a paper. International Conference on Integrated Information (IC-ININFO), Kos, Greece, 2 October 2011. Title: Extending convergence and divergence in cultural memory institutions: the old Slave Lodge in the new South Africa.
- Presented a paper. Library Academy. Stellenbosch, 10 October 2011. Title: Emotions, the researcher, and the research librarian.
- Presented a paper at the Carnegie Library Leadership Academy, 15 March 2010: Title: Librarians and social responsibility.
- Presented a paper at the Library Academy. Stellenbosch, 22 April 2010. Title: Interviewing Librarians: research challenges.
- Presented a paper at the SHARP Conference, Book Culture from Below, Helsinki, Finland. 18 August 2010. Title: From the pen of a slave: transcribing the notebook of Jan Smiesing (1697- 1734), the VOC’s writing and reading master.
- Presented a paper at the Tampere Public Library, Helsinki, 19 August 2010. Title: Librarians and readers in South Africa’s liberation struggle.
- Presented a paper at the LIASA Gauteng North Branch meeting. National Library of South Africa. Pretoria, 26 March 2009. Title: Social responsibility of librarianship and libraries in South Africa.
- Presented a paper at the LIASA-CiCD Winter Seminar, National Library of South Africa. Pretoria, 29 June – 1 July 2009. Title: Who should train the new generation of librarians?
- Chair of Panel, Coping with two worlds: LIS in transition, Annual LIS Research Symposium, 30-31 July 2009.
- Chair of Panel, Bridging Two Oceans: Slavery in Indian and Atlantic Worlds, Iziko Slave Lodge, Cape Town, 19-22 November 2009.
- Presented a paper at Gender Seminar for UP Centenary celebration, Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 7 March 2008. Title: Women and a culture of reading in South Africa.
- Presented a tribute to Vincent Kolbe, District Six Museum, Cape Town, 25 May 2008. Title: Vincent Kolbe: a librarian for Cape Town’s working classes.
- Presented a paper at Conference. ‘Evidence of Reading; Reading the Evidence’, University of London, London, 21-23 July, 2008. Title: Remembering reading: memory, books and reading in South Africa’s prisons, 1956-1990.
- Presented a paper at a Book History Seminar, North West University, Potchefstroom, 4 September 2008. Title: Hidden book and reading histories.
- Participated in Panel at a Pre-Conference workshop on NRF ratings, SACOMM Conference, Communicating in a global village, 2008, Muldersdrift, 17 September 2008.
- Presented a paper at the LIASA Annual Conference. Theme: Changing role of libraries 6-10 October 2008, Cape Town. Title: Return on investment: Rands and sense for South African librarians.
- Presented a paper at the Library Academy, Stellenbosch, 20 October 2008. Title: Librarians and research.
- Presented a paper at the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Northern Cape Provincial Library Service Symposium, 28-30 October 2008, Springbok. Theme: Planting the seed for transformation through libraries. Title: Library transformation charter: Purpose, process, practice.
- Presented a paper at the International Seminar on Genealogy and Local History. Challenges for libraries and archives: Hidden histories. Rio de Janeiro, 6-7 November, 2008. Title: Excavating and networking hidden histories in South Africa.
- Presented a paper at the Goethe-Institute, Johannesburg, 26-27 November 2008. Theme: Libraries as gateways to information & democracy: Improving networking, advocacy and lobbying strategies. Title: LIS transformation charter as a lobbying tool.
- Participated in an IFLA/FAIFE workshop in Karlsruhe, Germany, 6-8 December 2008 to develop learning materials on Corruption and libraries.
- Presented a paper, George A. Miller Endowment Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, Illinois, United States, 30 January 2007. Title: Librarians and readers in the South African anti-apartheid struggle.
- Presented a paper, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne library colloquium, Illinois, United States, 21 February 2007. Title: Libraries as contested spaces in the South African liberation struggle.
- Presented a paper, A World Elsewhere: orality, manuscript and print in colonial and post-colonial cultures, Centre for the Book, Cape Town, 2-4 April 2007. Title: Readers at crossroads in 20th century South Africa.
- Presented a paper. IFLA, 2007, Durban, South Africa, 20-24 August 2007. Title: Librarians and Readers in South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle. Also presented at LIASA Gauteng North Branch meeting, 23 October 2007.
- Presented a paper at Seminar: Future of libraries in South Africa, University of the Western Cape, 9 November 2007. Title: Making sense: what’s history got to do with it?
- Presented a paper at the LIASA/PACLIG (Western Cape) meeting in Mitchell's Plein, Cape Town, 15 March 2006. Title: The books were just the props': Public libraries on the Cape Flats in the 1980s.
- Participated in a workshop in London, England, 27-28 March 2006, to finalise guidelines for public internet access based on the IFLA Internet Manifesto.
- Presented a paper at the RESEARCH SEMINAR NO 1 OF 2006, at Unisa, Pretoria, 5 May 2006. Title: Researching the past of our reading culture.
- Keynote speaker, LIASA WCHELIG Winter Colloquium: Collaboration for Success, Bellville, Cape University of Technology, 14 June 2006. Title: Where we still need to succeed.
- Presented a paper, Book History Colloquium: My Books, Cape Town International Book Fair, Cape Town, 18 June, 2006. Title: Blood from Stones: Books, Censorship and Apartheid Political Prisoners, 1960-1990.
- Presented a paper, Historical Association of South Africa, University of Pretoria, 26-28 June 2006. Title: 'Om die Biblioteeksaad te Saai: The Cape Library Association, 1960-1975.
- Presented a paper, IFLA, 2006, Seoul, South Korea, 20-24 August, 2006. Title: Whose model, what context: Cultural bias and the nested model of context stratification for information seeking and retrieval.
- Keynote speaker, Popularizing LIS research and knowledge sharing among students in KwaZulu-Natal. Seventh DLIS Conference (University of Zululand), 11 September, 2006. Title: Emotions and the LIS researcher.
- Guest speaker at launch of the new format of Innovation: Journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa, Pietermaritzburg, 19 October 2006. Title: Innovation - Looking back, looking forward.
- Presented a paper, InSciT (International Conference on Multidisciplinary information Sciences and Technologies) 2006, Merida, Spain, 25-28 October 2006. Title: Cultural bias and the nested model of context stratification for information seeking and retrieval.
- Presented a paper, University of Stellenbosch Library Symposium, Stellenbosch. Academic libraries: proactive partners in learning and research, 3-4 November 2006. Title: University teaching and learning: some breakthroughs and blind spots.
- Presented a paper, 6th Round Table on Freedom of access to information, Zagreb, Croatia, 8-9 December 2006. Title: Access to information and building a new South Africa.
- Keynote address (invited) delivered at the Tshwane University of Technology (Garankuwa campus) launch of National Library Week, 15 March 2005. Title: Keeping the Doors of Learning and Culture Open.
- Paper read at the 8th Bibliophilia Africana Conference in Cape Town, 11-13 May 2005. Title: ‘Send your Books on Active Service’: Lessons from the Book for Troops Scheme during the Second World War, 1939-1945.
- Paper read at the 5th International Conference on Conceptions of LIS, CoLIS 2005 in Glasgow, Scotland, 4-8 June 2005. Title: Power is information: South Africa’s Promotion of Access to Information Act in context.
- Paper read at SHARP (Society for History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) Conference,Lyon, France, 26-30 July 2004. Title: ‘To make the people of South Africa proud of their membership of the Great British Empire’: Home Reading Unions in South Africa, 1900-1914.
- Paper read at the University of Pretoria Interdisciplinary Seminar, 13 October 2004. Title: Building nations of readers?: Women’s organizations and the politics of school history books, 1900-1914.
- Paper read at ProLISSA 2004, Third Biennial DISSAnet Conference, Pretoria, 28-29 October 2004. Title: Philosophy of information without history of information is empty; history of information without philosophy of information is blind.
- Paper read at the National Research Foundation/British Council/Medical Research Council Seminaron The role of science in the information society, Roode Vallei Country Lodge, Pretoria, 25-26 November 2004. Title: Power is information: myths and fables about access.
- Paper (invited) read at Medical Research Council, Cape Town, 24 February 2005. Title: Power is information: promoting a culture of access.
- Presented two papers at the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) Annual Conference, Rustenberg, 22-26 September 2003. Two papers were delivered. The first was at a Plenary Session, entitled: Five Reasons why South African Librarianship Remains Unchanged. The second was at a meeting of the Research, Education and Training Interest Group (RETIG), entitled: How to Become an Established Scholar in LIS . Prof Dick also spearheaded the exploration of a Social Responsibilities Round Table for LIASA at this Conference.
- Presented a paper at The World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, Switzerland, 8-12 December 2003. Several sessions of this major assembly attended by high-profile statesman, academics, civil society representatives and corporations were attended where many aspects of the Information Society were exhibited and discussed. There will be a follow-up Conference in Tunis in 2005.