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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
?Libraries not a luxury but a necessity?


Chennai: Of the nearly 350 colleges affiliated to the University of Madras only 18 have qualified and approved librarians, said G. Thiruvasagam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras. The colleges need to realise that libraries are not a luxury but a necessity particularly for the first generation students and appoint faculty before the stipulated deadline, he said, inaugurating a two-day symposium on �digital library initiatives in India' here on Monday.

The process of digitisation would give a hand to students in the affiliated colleges of the University that lack good library facility, he said. The symposium is being organised as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the University's Department of Library Sciences.
He added that the department lacks research guides, and emphasised the need for coordination of the department with the University library. 12 Central Universities are in the process of setting up libraries and it is essential for other libraries to lend them a hand, said B. P. Sanjay, Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Tiruvavur. The libraries should have a healthy mix of indigenous knowledge in their libraries to preserve and cater to the local needs, he said.

The symposium had experts from various libraries across India who presented case studies of the ongoing or completed process of digitisation of their libraries. The process of digitisation would ensure the long-term preservation of records, books and thesis, said experts. They also stressed the need to have an inter-library cooperation that would enable the sharing of resources.

The technology, tools, format and the issues in the process digitisation of material for the development of a digital library was the focus of the discussions.

The process of digitisation of the content may either be �born', existing in the digital format, or �converted.' The material converted from the hard copy requires copyright clearance, said C. K. Manjunath, chief librarian, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai.
Courtesy: The Hindu
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