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By Maryna Moolman

With more than 35 years working for City of Joburg Library and Information Services, Ms May Ballim has gained a wide range of knowledge and in-depth experience in various sections. Ms Ballim has recently been appointed as the Assistant Director for Bibliographic Services, a unit that deals with collection development and processing, among other responsibilities.


Her rich experience includes having worked in the Reference Library, and Art Library, managing the underground stack which included collection management and ensuring periodicals and newspapers were bound. She worked in the periodicals department where she was responsible for sourcing, ordering, and paying for periodicals (including newspapers, academic journals, magazines, law reports, gazettes, provincial reports etc.) using a Kardex system. She was instrumental in the setting up and running of the formative IT centre for public use at Johannesburg City Library, assisted with the Carnegie Project by tracking and reporting on progress, and assisted in the early attempts at the digitization of newspapers within CoJ Library Services

In 2011 she joined the Bibliographic Services Department (comprising the centralised Acquisitions, Cataloguing and Fleet units). She was appointed as Manager: Acquisitions in 2016 and worked collaboratively with the Cataloguing and Fleet units. Her strengths include the following: she is financially astute, analytical, insightful, and diplomatic; she is supportive and a tower of strength especially during stressful and challenging times.

Her tact and calm demeanour when interacting with service providers, stakeholders, and council officials, is highly valuable in that her communication skills gained positive outcomes for all parties.


She is an ardent supporter of innovation and embraces the ideal of constantly introducing new technologies and supporting infrastructure aimed at managing and delivering information effectively and efficiently within libraries. She is a keen advocate of e-learning, the use of e-resources and social media for marketing and reading programmes. Going forward May is keen to ensure that Big Data within the LIS environment i.e., procurement data, asset lists/ library catalogues, furniture, vehicles, IT equipment, HR documentation etc. is managed simpler, better, and faster.

“Warmest congratulations on your well-earned promotion” says Nobuntu Mpendulo, Director for Joburg Public Libraries



Maryna Moolman: Ops Manager


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