About me

In a nutshell: Peter Johan Lor

Peter Lor (1946) holds a D.Phil. degree (1991) as well as an honorary doctorate (2008) from the University of Pretoria. He held positions in special and academic libraries and as a professor of library science at the University of South Africa before becoming the Director of the State Library in 1992. He was South Africa’s first National Librarian (2000-2003) and served as Secretary General of IFLA during 2005-2008. He was a visiting professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee during 2009-2011, where he developed a course in International and Comparative Librarianship. Now a research associate in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, his current research focuses on international and comparative librarianship and on the ethical and political economic aspects of international information relations.

Curriculum vitae

A brief  curriculum vitae can be seen here. I’ve also updated my full list of publications since 1967, and a list of my papers and presentations since I started keeping a list in 1986.

Research interests

  • International and comparative librarianship (with a focus on research methodology)
  • International library and information relations, influence and policy transfer
  • Political, economic and ethical aspects of international information flows between developed and developing countries
  • National libraries
  • National library and information policies
  • National and international library associations
  • Libraries and peace

This site

This site was created for me by Jess Vargas Robinson as a student project in the MLIS program of the School of Information Studies (SOIS)University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It was created while I was a Visiting Professor at SOIS (January 2009 to June 2011). Subsequently it was transferred to WordPress so that I can maintain it myself, more or less, with some assistance from my son, Alfred, a professional photographer, who is also responsible for the portrait.

Those birds

Barnacle geese, photographed at Solentuna, near Stockholm, Sweden, in September 2009.

This bird

I’m a lifelong birder. Although not a twitcher, on occasion I can be tempted for a brief getaway to see something rare. I’ve been on small boats at the edge of the continental shelf south-west of Cape Point (south of Cape Town) to look for pelagic species.  I’ve blundered about the bush, sweating, in the South African Lowveld in January and stood shivering on the shore of Lake Michigan in the same month but in different weather conditions, all for the birds. I guess I’ve seen well over 1000 species in various parts of the world, but that’s no great shakes for avid birders.

I’m an active member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa, Cape (ELCA-Cape) and a lay preacher. I like to listen to music (early, baroque and classical). I like to sing, but not in public. I’m interested in international politics, economics and social conditions. I’m fascinated by language and languages, of which I speak five and can read a few more. I have a love-hate relationship with statistics.  I’ve dabbled a bit in art (pastels) and occasionally I break into verse. In the 80s and 90s I used to do some amateur computer programming, but nowadays my computer no longer understand me and my smartphone outsmarts me. From time to time both of these devices provoke unprintable utterances.