Black Southern African librarians have, up to now, shied away from contact with their white counterparts in South Africa. Who could blame them for this, when the South African Library Association (SALA), in the early 1960s, deliberately closed its doors to black members? Black librarians formed their own association, the Bantu Library Association, which later became the African Library Association of South Africa (ALASA). Even though SALA re‐opened its membership to all races after it became the South African Institute of Librarianship and Information Science (SAILIS), in 1980, ALASA has continued to operate independently, and very few of its members actually attend the annual SAILIS conferences.
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