Re-engineering Public Library services for the networked community in the Indian context


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Public libraries have a social mission which involves in providing collections and services to meet a community’s information needs. They exist to serve communities. It is the local gate way to knowledge and provides a basic condition for life long learning, independent decision making and cultural development of the individual and social groups. But tremendous changes in the Information and Communication Technology and changing life style has greatly influenced the information seeking behavior of the library users. Library services based on the conventional service model lack the new information services and there exist a large gap between user needs and actual library service. The public library services should be re-engineered to meet the changing atmosphere. Library leaders must have the skills to create and nurture a new type of library culture in which change is encouraged and new visions of service implemented. A new focus on the needs of non traditional library users has also become necessary to attract the community.

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Re-engineering Public Library services for the networked community in the Indian context

  1. 1. Re-engineering Public Library services for the networked community in the Indian context Parameswarn N. Vimal Kumar V. Asian School of Business Technopark Thiruvananthapuram Redefining The Role Of Public Libraries In India : The Knowledge Society Imperatives ,  6 - 8 August 2008,Thiruvananthapuram, India
  2. 2. An overview of Indian Public library scenario <ul><li>Public library development is state responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>15 states passed library legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of public libraries located in rural areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Poor resource allocation </li></ul><ul><li>Little emphasis on the adoption of ICT </li></ul><ul><li>Lacking the service of professionals </li></ul>
  3. 3. Relevance <ul><li>Center of cultural life </li></ul><ul><li>Support the development of reading skills </li></ul><ul><li>Free access of reading materials </li></ul><ul><li>Community meeting place </li></ul><ul><li>Supports community groups and activities </li></ul>
  4. 4. Real role of public libraries <ul><li>Social Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Free access </li></ul><ul><li>Center of education </li></ul><ul><li>Information and continuing education for </li></ul><ul><li>- working groups </li></ul><ul><li>-neo literates, </li></ul><ul><li>-working groups </li></ul><ul><li>-physically handicapped </li></ul>
  5. 5. Public libraries in changing context <ul><li>Changing life style of community members </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization </li></ul><ul><li>Television, telephone, Cable TV </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of Internet-One Stop Shop for </li></ul><ul><li>communication </li></ul><ul><li>information and entertainment </li></ul>
  6. 6. Influence of Internet on the community <ul><li>Best place for knowledge sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Podcasting </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Blogs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Wiki </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Free and quality information </li></ul><ul><li>- Open access journals </li></ul><ul><li>-Open courseware (IGNOU eGyankosh) </li></ul><ul><li>-Virtual libraries (Internet Public Library) </li></ul><ul><li>-Public Library of Science </li></ul><ul><li>User friendly searching tools </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google Scholar </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intute </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>INFOMINE </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Social Networking
  8. 8. Reengineering public library services <ul><li>Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul>
  9. 9. Library architecture <ul><li>Virtual presence in web </li></ul><ul><li>Physical and virtual collections </li></ul><ul><li>Delivering services through online </li></ul>
  10. 10. Technology Management <ul><li>Powerful tools </li></ul><ul><li>-email, Instant messaging, SMS, Podcasting </li></ul><ul><li>Effective to communicate with large groups </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize latest technological developments </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt cost effective technology </li></ul><ul><li>Use technology to stay local </li></ul>
  11. 11. Successful planning <ul><li>Continuous learning from users </li></ul><ul><li>-user survey, user information studies </li></ul><ul><li>-sharing trends. </li></ul><ul><li>Forecasting the community needs </li></ul><ul><li>-environmental scans </li></ul><ul><li>Planning services for academic, business and culture </li></ul>
  12. 12. Public libraries in community economic development <ul><li>Work with community business projects </li></ul><ul><li>Promote and explain business collection and services </li></ul><ul><li>Make use Internet for marketing local business </li></ul><ul><li>Invite groups and committees to hold their meetings in the library. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Benefits to Public Libraries From Economic Development Activities <ul><li>Greater visibility among business community </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion of services to non-traditional users </li></ul><ul><li>Increase of donations in the forms of money and equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries contribute to growth of their towns. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conclusion <ul><li>Library leaders must encourage change </li></ul><ul><li>New technologies are cost effective </li></ul><ul><li>Technology change the nature and delivery of library service </li></ul><ul><li>Internet is not a replacement for the public library </li></ul><ul><li>Public libraries still have social mission </li></ul><ul><li>Technology enable public libraries to live their mission . </li></ul>
  15. 15. Thank You