DELNET NEWSLETTER


Vol. 11                                                   Nos. 1 & 2                                     December 2004


ICONLIS 2004: A Report
 

I had the privilege to organise as Coordinator the First International Conference on National Library Services (ICONLIS) in March 2004 on behalf of the National Library, India as part of its centenary celebrations. The conference was organised at Taj Bengal in Kolkata from March 15-16, 2004. Participants from 23 countries including Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Greece, Greenland, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhistan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UK, USA, Uzbekistan and India participated in the conference. Fifty-two papers were presented at the conference.

Welcoming the delegates, Mr K Jayakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Culture, Government of India, stressed upon the need for redefining the scope and objectives of the National Library in view of the changing needs of the users. Mr O P Kejriwal, Chairman, National Library Management Board observed that it was important and timely for the National Libraries to change themselves with the technology. In his inaugural address, Mr Dhanendra Kumar, Secretary, Department of Culture emphasised the need in formulating a concrete action plan for the National Library. He further reiterated that the libraries have a greater role in the dissemination of information. He appraised the international delegates about the initiatives being taken up by the Government of India. It was followed by a keynote address by Ms Joan de Beer, Acting National Librarian, National Library of South Africa. A presidential address was delivered by Prof. Sujit Kumar Basu, Vice-Chancellor, Visva Bharati University.

The first technical session on "National Library systems and Services" was held wherein twelve papers were presented. The session was chaired by Prof. Prabir Roychoudhary, former Head, Department of Library and Information Science, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. It included the paper entitled "Services of the National Diet Library of Japan : Present state and future direction" by Mr Masashi Murakami, Department Director, National Diet Library, Japan, paper entitled "A new strategic direction for the National Library of Australia" by Ms Elizabeth Dracoulis, Director, Reader Services, National Library of Australia, Australia, paper entitled "National Libraries : a perspective for a leading role in the E-services Epoque" by Ms Antonia Arahova, National Library of Greece and Sarantos Kapidakis. It was followed by the paper presentation by Mr Sharifuddin Ahmed, Director, National Archives and National Library of Bangladesh entitled "Bangladesh National Library services". Mr Sungkowa Rohardjo, Deputy for Collection Development and Library Services, National Library of Indonesia presented the "Indonesia Country Report" and Mr C T Dorji, Joint Director, National Musuem of Bhutan presented his paper "Role of National Library in Bhutanese society", whereas the National Library scenario of Greenland was presented by Ms Erika Nielsen Baadh, Head of Groenlandica (National Library - subdivision of National and Public Library of Greenland) through his paper entitled " Groenlandica : past, present and future).". "The National Library of Maldives" was presented by Ms Habeeba Hussein Habeeb, Executive Assistant Director, National Library of Maldives. The remaining three papers in this session relating to the National Library services in India were presented by Ms Kalpana Dasgupta, former Librarian, National Library, Kolkata on "Planning a National Library System for India", Prof. A C Tikekar, former Head, Department of Library and Information Science and University Librarian, University of Bombay, Mumbai presented his paper "National Library services", it was followed by the last paper presentation of this session entitled "The National Library of India : need for a new strategy" by Mr P Jayarajan, former Head, Library and Information Services (India), The British Council, New Delhi.

In the second technical session, chaired by Prof. P B Mangla, former Head, Department of Library and Information Science, Delhi University, Delhi eight papers were presented on the theme "Legislation, Collection Development and Bibliographic control". The presenters included Mr Dashrath Thapa, Chief Librarian, National Library of Nepal who had presented his paper on "Legislation for National Library Services". Mr K Jayakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Culture, Government of India presented his views on "Delivery of Books Act in India". He expressed his concern over the lack of interest among the publishers to deposit the published copies of the books with the National Library. Dr R K Chaddha, Director, Parliament Library, New Delhi presented his paper on "The legal deposit in changing information infrastructure". In the session on "Collection Development", Ms Carol L Mitchell, Deputy Field Director (South Asia), Library of Congress presented her paper "Acquisition policies in National Libraries".

The next session was on "Bibliographic control". The first paper entitled "A Union Catalogue for South Asia" of this session was presented by Mr James Nye, Bibliographer for Southern Asia and Director, South Asia Lanaguage and Area Centre, University of Chicago. It was followed by a paper presentation of Dr H K Kaul, Director, DELNET who presented his paper on "National Bibliographic control : Some issues". Prof. K S Raghavan, Professor & Head, Department of Library and Information Science, University of Madras, Chennai presented his paper entitled "Universal Bibliographic Control : Implications for India". The last paper of this session was presented by Mr K K Kochukoshy, Librarian, Central Reference Library, Kolkata entitled "Bibliographic resources in Indian Languages"

Mr Graham Shaw, Head, Asia Pacific and Africa Collections, The British Library, London presented the views contained in his paper "Modernising National Libraries : some aspects of recent British Library experiments". Dr Prachark Wattananusit, Deputy Director, National Library of Thailand presented his paper "Royal Legacy : Collections of the National Library of Thailand". It was followed by a paper entitled "Prototyping of Language Library Services in Singapore" by Ms Pushpalatha Naidu,Executive, National Library Board, Singapore. The third session on "Information technology" was chaired by Dr H K Kaul. Dr Jagdish Arora, Librarian, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi presented his paper "Applications of new information technology". It was followed by a paper presentation by Dr Shalini Urs, Professor, Department of Library and Information Science, Mysore University, Mysore entitled "Fossilising for the future : scoping the role of National Libraries in the digital domain". Mr Zhang Xiaoxing, Deputy Director, National Library of China presented his article entitled "The contribution of Information Technology to the services of the National Library of China". Ms Ngian Lek Choh, Assistant Chief Executive, Operations, National Library Board, Singapore presented her article entitled "SILAS : Singapore Integrated Library Automation Services". Dr E Rama Reddy, University Librarian, University of Hyderabad presented his paper on "Use of advanced information technology : National Library of India". Ch. Ahrarul Hasan Jawaid, Assistant Librarian, Maulana Azad Library, Aligarh Muslim University presented his paper entitled "Digital resources and archiving in the National Library". The last paper of this session entitled "National Library of India iin the digital context : strategic directions" was presented by Dr Jagtar Singh, Head, Department of Library and Information Science, Panjabi University, Patiala.

The fourth session on "Standards and International Cooperation" was chaired by Mr Graham Shaw, British Library, London. The first paper "Bibliographic control in the 21st century : need for common international standards" was presented by Ms Sunita Murthy, Head of Cataloguing, US Library of Congress Office, New Delhi. Dr A R D Prasad, Associate Professor, DRTC, Bangalore presented his paper on "Standards and guidelines for digitisation and digital repositories in National Libraries". The fifth session on "Preservation and Conservation" was chaired by Mr O P Kejriwal, Chairman, Board of Management, National Librayr, Kolkata. The first paper of this session on "Preservation and conservation of Library resources with special reference to National Library of Malaysia" was presented by Mohd. Din Bin Ahmed, Deputy Director, Conservation Division, National Library of Malaysia. Mr R K Perti, former Director General, National Archives of India presented his paper entitled "National Library : preserving the library materials" It was followed by a paper presentation by Mr V K J Jeevan, Assistant Librarian, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur on "Preserving the cultural heritage of India through digital mode by decentralised National Library system". Prof. M B Konnur, former University Librarian and Head, Department of Library and Information Science, University of Pune, presented the paper on behalf of Mrs Aparna Rajendra on "Music Libraries in the perspectives of Legal Deposit". Dr R Bhattacharya, OSD, National Library spoke about the retroconversion work at the National Library.

The last technical session on "Marketing of services and users' needs" was chaired by Mr R P Kaushik, member of the Board of Management, National Library, Kolkata. Dr Roshan Lai Raina, Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow presented his paper on "Developing marketing orientation in the context of National Library, India". It was followed by a paper presentation entitled "Marketing of National Library services" by Mr N Sathyanarayana, Managing Director, Informatics India Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore. Ms Olga Kulish of National Library of Russia presented her paper on "Information services in the National Library of Russia", Mr Ahmed Papi from Iran presented his paper on "Services of Libraries of Legislation of Houses". Ms Tasybayeva Svetlana Ahmediyevna, Deputy Director General, National Library of Republic of Kazakshstan presented her paper entitled "The legislative provisions of Kazakhstani librarianship". Prof. Prabir Roy-choudhary raised some pertinent issues concerning the National Library of India. Ms Devinder Kaur, University Librarian, Panjabi University, Patiala presented her paper on "Multicultural diversities and the National Library services". It was followed by a paper presentation of Ms Sangeeta Kaul, Network Manager, DELNET on "International interlending and document supply : Roadmap for National Libraries". The last paper entitled "Emerging needs for the improvement of service quality of the National Library of India in the 21st century" was presented by Mr Atin Nandi, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

The valedictory function of ICONLIS 2004 was presided over by Prof. P N Kaula, former Professor Emeritus, Banaras Hindu University and the valedictory address was given by Prof. Sib Narayan Ray, former Chairman, Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata. Prof. Amitabha Chatterjee was the Rapporteur-General of ICONLIS 2004.

We had developed two tracks, one for all presentations in the international conference and the other for International Consultative Committees. The proceedings of the international conference have been published by the National Library, India under the title National Library Services: ICONLIS 2004. The following eleven issues were discussed at these international consultative committees:

  1. The Legal Deposit

  2. National Bibliographic Control

  3. Standards for National Libraries

  4. Collection Development

  5. Inter-lending and Document Supply

  6. Content Development In Digital Form

  7. National and International Cooperation

  8. Marketing of National Library Services

  9. National Library Services for Users

  10. Preservation and Conservation

  11. Cultural Heritage

In the first session, Dr. H. K. Kaul, Coordinator, ICONLIS introduced the purpose and the methodology for holding International Consultative Committee meetings. This was followed by the introduction to the first session on the legal deposit by Mr. K. Jayakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Culture who presided over the programme. Mr. Dashrath Thapa, Chief Library National Library, Nepal was the Convener.

Mr. Jayakumar referred to the situation in India and gave an overview of it. He said that all publications printed in India did not reach the National Library. He felt that the publishers were not getting any benefits and that they had to deposit four books under the Delivery of Books Act. He added that the postal charges were also higher. He observed that a well designed plan needed to be drafted so that the Act was amended.

Mr. Dashrath Thapa argued that the services of a National Library could not be rendered well until at least one copy of all books published in a country reached the National Library. He said that the National Bibliography should be published regularly and hoped that the Delivery of Books Act would be passed in Nepal in the near future. The discussants included Dr. Ravinder Kumar Chadha, Dr. O. P. Kejariwal, Dr. R. P. Kaushik, Mr. James Nye, Mr. B. P. Barua and Mr. Graham Shaw. They made the following main suggestions:

  1. A National Bibliographic Database should be prepared.

  2. A National Heritage Depository should be started.

  3. E-publications should also be acquired by the National Library.

  4. The penalty for non-supply of books under the Delivery of Books Act should be more.

  5. The Delivery of Books Act be interlinked with the Copyright Act.

  6. There should be communication among the four depository libraries.

  7. In every state the registration of books be made compulsory with the Registrar's Office.

  8. Every state should publish an annual list of books published in the state for cross-checking purposes.

  9. The law should be attractive to publishers.

  10. Arrangements should be made for regular cataloguing and preservation of books received under the Act.

  11. The Legal Depository Library/ National Library should assign ISBN numbers.

The second International Consultative Committee was on National Bibliographic Control. The committee was chaired by Ngian Lek Choh, Assistant Chief Executive. Operations, National Library Board, Singapore. Prof. K. S. Raghavan, Head, Department of Library and Information Science, University of Madras was the Convener.

 At the meeting the following concerns were highlighted by Chairman, Convener, Dr. A. R. D. Prasad and the other speakers:

  1. Non-book material should come underthe purview of the depository laws.

  2. Bibliographic control should take into account publications in regional languages and in English.

  3. Software be given for promoting bibliographic control.

  4. Issues such as vocabulary control, cross-language searching, Unicode applications with search facilities be taken into account.

  5. Authority files should be maintained by the National Library.

  6. GIST technology was not favoured because of its limitations.

  7. 150,000 titles in the National Library of Bhutan were available in MARC.

  8. The management of Copyright Act, Press and Registration of Books Act and Delivery of Books Act should be put under one agency.

  9. As a matter of policy the public libraries in Tamil Nadu have forced the publishers in Tamil Nadu to deposit a copy with the State Central Library.

The third International Consultative Committee on Standards for National Libraries was chaired by Mr. Zhang Xiaoxing, Deputy Director, National Library of China. Dr. A. R. D. Prasad, Associate Professor, DRTC, Bangalore was the convener.

The chairman, convener and the speakers highlighted the following issues:

  1. MARC 21, Dublin Core be adopted.

  2. Standards for multimedia based documents be evolved.

  3. International standards for preservation of documents be adopted.

  4. The service standards should be developed.

  5. The standards being used in China were discussed.

  6. Community information service should be provided.

  7. Training of personnel in providing information access to users should be provided.

The fourth International Consultative Committee on Collection Development was chaired by Mr. Murakami Masashi, Department Director, Collections, National Diet Library, Tokyo. Ms.Antonia Arahova, responsibleforthe Foreign Press and the Enrichment of Collections, Department of Periodicals, National Library of Greece was the convener.

The committee discussed the following issues:

  1. The National Libraries should shift their focus from acquisition to access.

  2. Publishers and information providers should be involved as partners in building resource sharing networks.

  3. For buying electronic publications the National Libraries should keep the following criteria in mind:

    1. Targeted users;

    2. Ease of use;

    3. Coverage;

    4. Cost;

    5. Accuracy;

    6. Licensing;

    7. Compatibility; and

    8. Updates.

  4. Bibliographic control of electronic publications be developed.

  5. Collection development has been affected by exponential growth of publications, increasing costs of publications and drastic cuts in library budgets.

  6. A collection development policy is very important for a National Library.

  7. It is important to identify your selection criteria for books, media, periodicals, electronic resources and Internet resources. It is also important to decide how to select for different age-groups.

  8. The collections developed also need continuous evaluation in orderto be sure that the library is fulfilling its mission to provide material in a timely manner.

The fifth International Consultative Committee on Inter-lending and Document Supply was chaired by Dr. Kariyawasam Tissa, Chairman, Natiional Library Documentation and Service Board, Sri Lanka. Dr. P. Ramachandran, Principal Library and Information Officer, National Library, India was the convener. Dr. Ramachandran gave an overview of the work being done at the National Library, India.

Dr. Ramachandran was not in favour of issuing books to readers by the National Library in Kolkata. This view was also supported by other delegates. It was followed by the chairman's views. He said that the National Library of Sri Lanka charged Rs. 20 per day for having 10 to 20 pages of xeroxed copies. The National Library of Sri Lanka did not issue books to the users. He added that most of the old and rare books in Sri Lanka were kept in the National Archives. He noted that the online catalogue of books was being prepared within the next two years.

The sixth International Consultative Committee on Content Development in Digital Form was chaired by Mr. James Nye, BibliographerforSouthern Asia and Director, South Asia Language and Area Centre, University of Chicago. Dr. E. Rama Reddy, University Librarian, University of Hyderabad was the convener.

Mr. Nye introduced the subject and emphasised the availability of an online catalogue at the national and international levels. He stressed the selection procedures of the materials for digitisation. He felt that the National Library of India could make very valuable contributions to the digitisation of materials on the cultural heritage.

Dr. E. Rama Reddy highlighted the need for clear-cut parameters for digitisation. He maintained that the digitisation of language materials could be done in the states and necessarily in the National Library. He added that duplication should be avoided, and unique works and classics be digitised.

The other speakers included Dr. H. K. Kaul, Dr. Shalini Urs, Dr. Jagtar Singh, Dr. R. Bhattacharjee and Ms Elizabeth Dracoulis. The issues discussed included the following:

  1. Duplication be avoided at national and international levels.

  2. Directory of digitised works be published.

  3. Metadata of digitised works be made available on the Web.

  4. National policy for digitisation of printed books should be framed.

  5. Quality control must be ensured in the digitised works.

  6. Books digitised at the National Library of India should be available online.

  7. The National Library of India may undertake state-level digitisation projects. Materials be selected on the basis of physical condition, rare value of the document, etc.

The seventh International Consultative Committee Meeting on Preservation and Conservation of Documents in National Libraries was chaired by Dr. R. Bhattacharjee, OSD/ Director, National Library, India. Mr. Mohd. Din Bin Ahmad, Deputy Director, National Library of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur was the convener.

Dr. R. Bhattacharjee emphasised the need for a national policy for preservation and digitisation of books. He said that a National Digital Library should be established in India. He also stressed the need for evolving standards for preservation and conservation. Mr. Mohd. Din Bin Ahmed described the situation in Malaysia. He observed that the preservation and digitisation of documents were given priority in Malaysia.

The other speakers, who included Dr. Jagtar Singh, Prof. P. B. Mangla, Dr. Graham Shaw, Dr. E. Rama Reddy and Mr. Sarkar from the National Library of India, discussed the following issues:

  1. For preservation and conservation of its resources the National Library may collaborate with IFLA and UNESCO.

  2. Theworkshouldbeundertakenon a regional basis in India.

  3. As the basic purpose of preservation was to have access to the docu-ments in future, digitisation of preserved documents should also be done.

The eighth International Consultative Committee Meeting on Marketing of National Library Services was chaired by Ms Natalia Berezina, Director, Library Information Service, Russian State Library, Moscow. Dr. Roshan Lai Raina, Professor (Communication Group) and Professor-in-charge (Library), Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow was the convener. Mr. B. B. Das was the rapporteur.

Ms Berezina introduced the subject and described the services available in the Moscow State Library. She emphasised the need for marketing National Library services. Dr. Roshan Lai Raina stressed the fine tuning of the missions of National Libraries so that marketing of content to users became a priority. He argued that there was need for cooperation among the National Libraries of the world in this regard.

The other speakers, who included Ms Anatonia Arahova, Mr. P. Jayarajan, Mr. A. Chakraborty, Dr. H. K. Kaul, Dr. Jagdish Arora, Dr. Shalini Urs and Dr. Elizabeth Dracoulis discussed the following issues:

  1. The National Library documents should be put in order before starting the marketing of information on them.

  2. Users should be categorised before prioritising the services for them.

  3. Value-added services be provided with a fee and not free.

  4. Well designed internal marketing in the National Library of India should be done before starting external marketing.

  5. National Library policy should be defined in order to develop effective marketing plans.

  6. Information should be provided to users irrespective of their geographical locations.

The ninth International Con-sultative Committee Meeting on National Library Services for Users was chaired by Ms Elizabeth Dracoulis, Director, Readers' Services, National Library of Australia, Canberra. Dr. Jagdish Arora, Librarian, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi was the convener. The committee discussed the following issues:

  1. The various aspects of in- formation explosion were discussed.

  2. It was considered that by using IT it should be possible to make predictions of the future needs of users.

  3. The environment of the National Library should be user-friendly.

  4. About 1000 users visit the National Library of India daily.

  5. Translation services should be provided to the users who come from different backgrounds.

  6. The National Library of India should upgrade its Web site and provide better reference services manually and electronically.

  7. It may be necessary to establish gateway lines to some of the National Libraries.

  8. The National Library of India should provide online bibliographic access, access to electronic resources and access to language publications.

  9. All the documents in the National Library should be catalogued in machine readable form using international standards such as MARC 21.

  10. The services provided by the National Library should be publicised.

  11. The National Library of India should maintain a profile of users and monitor the usage patterns.

The tenth International Consultative Committee Meeting on National and International Co-operations was chaired by Mr. Graham Shaw, Head, Asia Pacific and Africa Collections, The British Library, London. Dr. H. K. Kaul, Director, DELNET, New Delhi was the convener.

The chairman and convener stressed the need for national and international cooperation in providing better services by National Libraries to their users. The crucial issues that were discussed included exchange of information, encompassing a wide variety of resources, legal problems involved in trans-border flows in information, intellectual property rights, sharing of latest IT developments, growth of information markets and the need for coordination and cooperation in order to achieve better results by the National Libraries. Some of the following issues were discussed:

  1. National Library of India should have close cooperation with I FLA.

  2. The National Library should play a crucial role in the development of libraries in India.

  3. The National Library should make better use of cultural exchange programmes for building bridges of cooperation with the other National Libraries.

  4. The National Library should establish linkages with the other libraries.

  5. The National Library should establish different sections such as Academic Library Section, Public Library Section and Research Library Section in order to promote cooperation at national and international levels.

The eleventh International Consultative Committee Meeting on Cultural Heritage was chaired by venerable Rimpoche Mynak Tulku, Director, National Library, Bhutan. Ms Joan De Beer, Acting National Librarian, National Library of South, Africa, Pretoria was the convener.

The chairman gave an overview of the National Library of Bhutan and maintained that in Bhutan there are 2006 temples and monasteries. He added that a plan was being evolved to make a database of monastery collections. He added that the National Library of Bhutan contributed a great deal in promoting Bhutanese culture and traditions He also said that digitisation of art objects was also being considered necessary. He referred to the role of the National Archives in Bhutan and affirmed that the new building of the National Library was going to be ready within a few months time. He added that the Legal Deposit Act was passed three years ago and the legislation of antiquities was under consideration.

Ms. Joan De Beer gave an overview of the work being done in the National Library in South Africa. She said painting and art objects were being taken care of. She compared India and South Africa and noted that there were cultural diversities in both the countries.

The participants observed that:

  1. The diverse culture of India should be promoted by the National Library.

  2. The cultural information for the diaspora was essential and the National Library should undertake the preparation of such works.

  3. The National Library should take a pro-active role in preserving the cultural heritage by undertaking various projects at national and state levels.

The holding of the First International Conference on National Library Services was indeed a great experience. We hope that it will be organised by the other National Libraries in other parts of the world.

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