May 2001, Vol. 1, No.2
Pakistan Library Automation Group
Khalid Mahmood, Lecturer, Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Modern information technology has changed the shape of librarianship in this era. With the utilization of computer and communication technologies, today's libraries are providing such services that can not be even imagined some years before. Last two decades have witnessed that many of the libraries in Pakistan have started offering automated services to their clientele. However, due to non-existence of any institutional support in this regard, libraries feel difficulty in planning successful automation projects. Consequently, valuable resources of poor libraries go in waste.
In this pitiable situation, some young librarians have decided to provide voluntary support to their colleagues in planning and implementing automated library systems. They gathered themselves under an umbrella named as "Pakistan Library Automation Group." The objectives, the Group has announced are: 1) To provide technical/professional advice to libraries in their automation programs, 2) To advise/recommend computer training programs for librarians so as to help them to automate their libraries, 3) To develop library automation projects, 4) To coordinate library automation activities in the country, 5) To coordinate library automation activities with the international organizations, and 6) To provide information and conduct research/studies on library automation.
The activities PLAG has started include a Web directory of Pakistani librarians available through electronic mail; a mailing group to share ideas and to discuss professional issues among LIS professionals; a weekly Web-based update about vacant positions in libraries and information centers advertised through national newspapers; a monthly Web newsletter "Pak-LIS News" to disseminate information about professional activities and events in Pakistan; and a list of links of Web resources useful for Pakistani librarians. The future plans include a description of various software packages being used in Pakistani libraries; a subject list of full text electronic journals available in Pakistani libraries; establishing city-based study forums to discuss the problems of modern librarianship; and conducting research in the field of library automation in Pakistan.
The guest book placed at the PLAG Web page shows a warm response from the professional community about the activities of the Group. Professionals from abroad have also encouraged the endeavors of the team. The thing what is needed is not only the encouragement but also participation of the volunteers in this group. How long a small group of professionals can continue a large variety of activities? Volunteer activities of this type in Pakistan need, on one hand, the patronage of the senior professionals, and young blood with time and energy, on the other. Participation in this group will not only be a source of continuing professional education for our young librarians but also be a mode of their contribution towards promotion of education, research and scholarship that are inevitable for the development of our homeland.
Pakistan Library Automation Group will, Insha-Allah, welcome with open arms all volunteers without any kind of prejudice. [Contents]
Library and Information Day at National College of Textile Engineering, Faisalabad
The National College of Textile Engineering (NCTE), Faisalabad is the prime institution of the field, which is going become the textile university. The college has revamped its library under the guidance of Mr. Muhammad Ramzan, Chief Librarian of the Lahore University of Management Sciences. The college celebrated library and information day on March 29-30, 2001. On March 29, a workshop on the "Use of Information Technology in Libraries" was conducted in which Mr. Ramzan and Mr. Muhammad Asghar, IRC Director, The American Consulate, Lahore were the resource persons. This program was focused on the local librarians to familiarize them with the potential of IT and its use for information and research purposes. The resource persons delivered lectures on IT in Pakistan, use of CDs in libraries, communication technologies and the Internet. At the end of the program the faculty of the NCTE and the librarians were put face to face to exchange their views on each other's expectations. They resolved that 1) All libraries should be equipped with computer(s) and the Internet, 2) There should be an efficient system of inter-library loan among (at least) local libraries, 3) A holdings list of periodicals available in the local libraries should be compiled, 4) Library budgets should be enhanced, 5) The National Book Council of Pakistan should be encouraged to print low-cost textbooks, 6) Faculty should be involved in book selection, and 7) The library committee should work in advisory capacity but not as executive body. The March 30th program was conducted by the NCTE students body Friends of Library and Information Science (FOLIS) in the college auditorium. Mr. Ramzan, Mr. Asghar, Rao Muhammad Aslam (Secretary, National Book Council of Pakistan), and Mian Anjum M. Saleem (College President) delivered the lectures. At the end, the college library was inaugurated. On this occasion, a book fair was also arranged in which a number of leading booksellers participated. [Contents]
Allama Iqbal Open University Conducts a One-Week Orientation Course
The Central Library of Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad organized a one-week Orientation Course on "Library Organization and Management" for Librarians of the Regional Centers from 12-17 February, 2001. Librarians from 18 regional centers of AIOU across the country participated the workshop. The basic purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum to the Regional Librarians to discuss and sort out their individual and collective problems and to provide them intensive training in library management, including classification and cataloguing of library materials. In view of the use of electronic media in libraries, a large portion of time was devoted to familiarizing the course participants with computerization of libraries using the software LAMP, Electronic DDC, and Internet. The concluding session of the course was presided over by the Vice-Chancellor Dr. Anwar Hussain Siddiqui. The Vice-chancellor, in his address, appreciated holding of the course and assured the librarians that they will be provided all necessary equipment, tools and guidance required in connection with making their libraries really functional and attractive for the users. The Vice-chancellor emphasized that the librarians should take initiative in developing their libraries on modern lines and make them effective centers of information and knowledge. [Contents]
PTV Program on Career Choice in Library and Information Science
The Pakistan Television is conducting a series of programs on career choice. In this regard, the PTV recorded a program on library and information science on April 10, 2001 at the PTV Islamabad Studios. After introduction of the LIS profession, Prof. Malahat Kaleem Sherwani (Karachi), Prof. Syed Liaqat Ali (Peshawar), Muhammad Asghar (Lahore), Muhammad Yaqub Chaudhry (AJ&K), Bushra Almas, Muhammad Hanif Sheikh, Abdus Salam Syed, and Shah Farrukh answered to the questions of Mr. Muzammil (the program coordinator) on various aspects of the LIS profession. [Contents]
The US-IRC Commemorates International Special Librarians Day
To commemorate the Special Librarians Day, April 5th, The U.S. Information Resource Center (IRC), Lahore arranged a demonstration of the Dow Jones Interactive, through which one can access to more than 6000 full-text sources ranging from leading business newspapers, latest periodicals and selected directories of web sites. The Lahore IRC staff demonstrated the potentials of the Dow Jones Interactive to a group of 15 librarians on 12th of April 2001. The demonstration focussed on the various aspects of the database, especially Business Newsstand, Custom Clips, Market Research and Historical Market Data. [Contents]
Punjab University Library Gets 100 Computers
According to a news report, the Vice Chancellor of the Punjab University announced that the University Library soon will get 100 PCs to enhance its search and research capabilities. [Contents]
Appointment of Mr. Khalid Mahmood, Lecturer, Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore as Member, Editorial Board (Asia/Pacific) for 17 LIS journals published by the MCB University Press, UK.
Appointment of Mr. Asjad Bukhari as Cataloguer at United Library Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Promotion of Mr. Muhammad Tahir Shaheen as Country Coordinator, The City Schools System.
Appointment of Mr. Waheed Murad Afridi as Librarian at NUST Institute of Information Technology, Rawalpindi.
Appointment of Mr. Zia-ur-Rehman as Librarian at The Network for Consumer Protection Islamabad.
Appointment of Miss Bushra Asghar as Librarian at National College of Arts, Lahore.
Birth of his son to Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Reference Librarian, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore.
Birth of his son to Mr. Anwaar-ud-Din, Librarian, Federal Services Tribunal , Islamabad.
Birth of his son to Mr. Tariq Mahmood Hashmi, Librarian, SZABIST, Islamabad.
Birth of his daughter to Mr. Muhammad Athar Khan, Librarian, Govt. Commercial College, Narowal.
We congratulate all colleagues for their success and achievements.[Contents]
Death of the father of Dr. Muhammad Fazil Khan, Professor & Chairman, Department of Library and Information Science, Islamia University, Bahawalpur.
Death of the mother of Mrs. Tunveer Jehan Khan, Assistant Professor, Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore.
Death of the daughter of Mr. Muhammad Taj, Chief Librarian, Quaid-e-Azam Library, Lahore.
Death of the sister in law of Mr. Nadeem Butt, Librarian, Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development, Islamabad.
May Almighty Allah bless the departed souls in eternal peace, and provide solace to their near and dear ones.
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