MEET: Modisa Khosie, newly appointed Deputy Director of Information Resources, Access and Operations in the Department of Library Services.

Posted on September 26, 2020

“You have to like everything, including the unlikeable,” says Khosie, who tells Tukkievaria about his new role in the Department of Library Services.

Modisa Khosie, newly appointed Deputy Director of Information Resources, Access and Operations in the Department of Library Services, talks about his impressive career and why he chose to come to UP.

Tell us about your professional background before accepting your new appointment at UP.

I started my professional career in 1993 at the University of the North (UNIN), now called the University of Limpopo, where I worked as a subject librarian. I later moved on to the University of South Africa, where I continued to work as a subject librarian until February 1997. I then moved to the National Institute of Public Interest Law and Research, where I was the resource centre manager.

In 2000, I started working as a librarian for circulation at the Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA), and in 2009 was appointed as senior librarian for client services.

In January 2015, the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University was formed, and I continued to hold the position of senior librarian for client services. I was appointed as Acting director and university librarian (2014-2016) and spearheaded the formulation of policies and systems for the new university.

I have also served in various high-level university committees, notably the Joint Bargaining Forum and Employee Relations Bargaining Forum. These bodies were responsible for developing institutional policies and procedures for the University of Limpopo.

I have also served in various roles within the profession, notably as chairperson of the Innovative User Group of Southern Africa, and chairperson and member of the Representative Council of the Library and Information Association of South Africa.

What attracted you to UP?

UP is one of the leading academic institutions in our country and has an international reputation. Secondly, the prospect of growth opportunities was just irresistible. Also, the appointment offers me a space to make a meaningful and lasting professional contribution.

What does your day-to-day role entail?

My biggest role involves supporting staff and creating an enabling environment for them to perform optimally, and ensuring a safe, user-friendly environment for staff and students.

What would you like to improve in your section/department and why?

I am still familiarising myself with the environment, culture and systems. At the moment the teams have been doing a good job, so I just have to ensure that the high standards are maintained. We have to continually look at best practices and benchmarking, and factoring in innovations. We can always become better than we already are. We have to keep raising the bar.

What do you enjoy most about your job and why?

You have to be innovative and solve problems.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

At this level, the good, bad and the ugly are part of the package. You have to like everything including the unlikeable. There is no room for dislike. That is a survival strategy.

What do you do in your free time? 

I hardly have free time. When I do, I try to catch up with all the things that suffer when I am busy, like reading. Otherwise I enjoy cooking up a storm in the kitchen, helping with other household chores and spending quality time with family.

What are your personal likes and dislikes?

Order, being responsible, ethical and acting with integrity. I dislike hypocrisy and being taken for granted.

- Author Jimmy Masombuka

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