Strengthening and Revamping Libraries of institutions of higher education in Gujarat

Vision:

Libraries are the oblique treasures which if unearthed can become like rare jewels for the development of the students and the readerse . In the 21st century, internet has become a knowledge portal and e-books have become inseparable part of library. The vision of the initiative is to tran sform the existing libraries into tech savy e-learning centres.

Objectives:

  • To build capabilities of librarians of institutions of higher education in the state to encble them to play challenging roles in contemporary times.
  • To ensure that adequate numbers of learning resources including books, journals and other IT based resources are available at the libraries and also to ensure that the these resources are optimally used by both teachers and students.
  • To provide all the libraries connectivity with each other in the state so that networking is possible for the purpose of ensuring wider dissemination of knowledge.

Rationale/ Justification:

The phemomena of knowledge explosion has significantly impacted institutions of higher education in reference to the teaching and learning proceses. Also the processes of creation and dissemination of knowledge have undergone a sweeping change. The learning resources are generally been centrally stored at a place knowln as library. This learning resource centre known as library has become one of the most vital units of institutions of higher education in contemporary times. Information and Communication Technology and other technological integration into the learning resources have created a unique set of challenges to the institutions of higher educations. Hence, it is extremely important to strengthen the libraries soa as to ensure qualitu of teaching and learning processes in colleges and universities. Libraries have also become one of the mosr critical structure to facilitate these processes at colleges.

Background/ Current situation:

Existing status of libraries of universities and colleges is characterized by the fact that the human resources working at the libraries have to deal with technology at a greater scale. Prfile of the users of the libraries have undergone a sea change. The type of learning material available at the institutions of higher education is transforming its characteristics significantly. Moreover, The scale in which volume the users have increased at the institutions is also putting a significant amount of pressure on the libraries to be made more relevant and useful. Libraries have been found under a threat of redundancy within these circumstances. Interestingly, libraries have also been found potentially more useful and increasingly ineitable part of the institutions of higher education.

Strategy (Proposed Rough):

The Working Group on Libraries Committee decided to have “Libraries for Development” as a common theme for all workshops with following three sessions in their meeting:

  1. Role of Libraries for Development of the state of Gujarat.
  2. Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat’s initiative for Libraries:
    Formation of Working Group on Libraries
  3. Open Session: Discussion, feedback, suggestions, etc. (Split session).

Most of the members of the Working Group will try to attend all workshops to have wide interaction with participants. Officials from KCG will also be requested to join & address the librarians.

Methodology and plan of action:

  • A preliminary assessment of the current scenario of libraries in the universities and colleges of the state shall be carried out through data analysis. Data on several aspects of libraries shall be collected through questionnaire and shall be analysed in order to arrive at an assessment.
  • This assessment shall provide a platform and a raod map for strengthening the libraries.
  • Based on the findings of the analysis, intervention strategies shall be identified. Intervention staretgies shall be implemented through several ways. Librariens of the college and university libraries shall be provided training and throir capabilities shall be enhanced.
  • Moreover, libraries shall be provided necessary supports in terms of infrastructural facilities
  • Workshops should be conducted for librarians throughout the State so that they are trained to use modern software like SOUL or INFLIBNET and also form a group which would create a channel that acts as a link between the libraries of the State.
  • Libraries should have an internal networking system which ropes in the web- links of all the universities of the State. This would allow a student to access information from anywhere at their convenience. They can also access libraries of multiple universities within the State and gain knowledge about the availability of texts in their University/ College library or in any other library.
  • There could be a separate common link for the libraries of the State and later if amalgamation is possible, then the libraries of the nation can be tied together and a single national library access link can be prepared.
  • The working group on library committee members would ensure that e- books are made available to students at a reasonable cost or free of cost and if needed a monthly / yearly fee may be collected as library fee from them for these online services.
  • A google group of students, teachers and librarians can be formed .Students can sign in as members and post their queries regarding the availability of books in the State/ online library and also give feedback for possible enhancements in the web services.

Possible delineation of tasks and time schedule:

Formation of a Task Force

Design of a Questionnaier

Data Collection

Identification of strategic partners for revamping libraries

Formulation od strategy and plan of action

Visit to select libraries of institutions of higher education

Data Analysis and Preparation of a report

Design of training programme and

Implementation of training programmes

Goals Possible:

  1. Short term : 0 to 6 months
  2. Conduct workshops and create awareness about revamping of libraries of the State, Diagnosis and Assessment

  3. Medium term : 6 to 12 months
  4. Selection of librarians who would contribute in creating list of books available and to be made available at all the colleges/ universities libraries and also upload them on the web.

  5. Long Term : 1 year to 5 years
    • Improved infrastructure of libraries
    • Improved competences of libraries
    • Improved use of ICT in libraries