Pak-LIS News
February 2003, Vol. 3, No.1




LIBRARIAN: His Survival in Technological Era

Professioanl News

Govt. College, Nazimabad, Karachi visits the Department of Library and Information Science Islamia University, Bahawalpur
Prof. Malahat Kaleem Sherwani visits Germany
Sindh University deligation visits to Dr. Mahmud Husain Library
New Session of P.B.W.G. Starts
Director General National Library Of Pakistan Visits Karachi
Library Promotion Bureau's annual meeting helds
Medical Librarians Association of Pakistan (MELAP)
Books Donation Ceremony in Dr. Mehmud Husain Library University of Karachi
'Where Are Our Libraries?' (Daily Dawn, Letter to Editor 09-01-03)
Libraries in Decline (Daily Dawn, Editorial 11-01-03)
Libraries in Decline (Daily Dawn, Letter to Editor 18-01-03)
Education System and Library (Daily Dawn, Letter to Editor 25-01-03)

Personal Announcements




Guest Editorial

LIBRARIAN: His Survival in Technological Era

Rashid Saleem Choudhry, Librarian, Defence Public Library, Lahore.

The library operation outlook has changed altogether due to increasing amount of reading material, growth in the number of library users, rapidly advancing and merging information technology, requirement of better and friendly environment. The conventional system has failed badly to meet inflow of information and its retrieval in the present era, which is known as the era of information technology. The need is felt that libraries should sought technological aids to facilitate and enhance their services. Realizing the new situation most of the libraries have adopted or moving towards computer based automated acquisition, circulation and accounting system besides computer based off- line catalogue. Library automation gives practical, essential data on technical support system, on-line public access, information retrieval system, inter library leading bibliographic utilities, automation in reference and much more.

When the automation was introduced in Pakistan in 1980's, a very few librarians were familiar with the use of computer. The initial idea was that librarians need not become computer experts, and they should only acquaint themselves to simple basic knowledge of handling. It is no truer for the present day librarian who has to face growing trend of new software development every day. To prove his competency he has to gain know how of internal operation or processing of the computer software development, web designing and much more.

The speed of automation in the field of library in Pakistan is not very encouraging due to obvious reasons that we are developing country and have limited financial resources. But encouraging factor is that with the development of our educational system and establishment of modern academic institutions in private sector, the need of comprehensive and fully equipped libraries is being felt.

It now depend on the librarians that they should take advantage of the situation and make realize their importance with professional development, promotion of services and coordination of available resources. To establish their credibility they have to work very hard with sincerity and enhance their professional ability with special emphases in the field of automation. The young librarians should not hesitate seeking guidance from their seniors who have worked hard in the field of automated libraries. Our Library Science departments in different universities should also revise their syllabi to meet the new requirements. The syllabi must be more practical based rather then theoretical. The outgoing students must be fully prepared and confident enough to meet the current challenges of information technology in the field of library.

To conclude I would like to advise my profession mate that although environments are not very congenial, the attitude of the person who matter is not very feasible and cooperative, but still we have to make our position as " Information Scientists" rather than a conventional librarian in the days to come or a new breed of electronic information specialist will be required to reinvent the traditional functions of librarianship.[Contents]


Professional News

Govt. College, Nazimabad, Karachi visits the Department of Library and Information Science Islamia University, Bahawalpur

A group of students and teachers of Govt .college ,Nazimabad , Karachi., visited the Univ. Library, Department of Library and Information Science and other places of educational interest of Bahawalpur. Mr. Rais Ahmed Samdani led the group.[Contents]

Prof. Malahat Kaleem Sherwani Visits Germany

Goethe Institute arranged a 10 days visit for Pakistanis in Germany from 19-29th November 2002. Prof. Malahat Kaleem Sherwani was nominated by the Department of Library and Information Science ,University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan .to join the group.[Contents]

Sindh University deligation visit to Dr. Mahmud Husain Library

Dr. A. R. Butt Chairman, Department of Library and Information Science,University of Sindh, Jamshoro led a deligation of about 25 students and teachers , visited the Baitulhikmah Library of Hamdard University and the Dr. Mehmud Husain Library University of Karachi on November 4th, 2002. They also visited the Liaqat Memorial Library of Karachi as a part of their study tour.[Contents]

New session of P.B.W.G. starts

The new session of Pakistan Bibliographical Working Group Karachi, started from November29th 2002.

Director General National Library of Pakistan visits Karachi

Mr. M. Zaheer , Director General , National Library of Pakistan .was on a short trip of 3 days in Karachi . He came on official assignment. He visited the Office of Library Promotion Bureau and enjoyed a lunch hosted in his honor by Dr. G. A. Sabzwari ,the president of LPB. He attended a meeting of Bureau . He appreciated the efforts done so far for the promotion of library literature in Pakistan by library Promotion Bureau and ensured his co operation in future.[Contents]

Library Promotion Bureau's Annual Meeting Helds

The Meeting of Library Promotion Bureau was held on October 31,2002 at the residence of Dr. Nasim Fatima , the Chairperson of the Department of Library and Information Science , University of Karachi. Muhammad Arifuddin , of SPIL was the chief guest and M. Adil Usmani presided over the meeting . All 15 members were present. They discussed the important issues regarding Pakistan Librarianship and the role of Bureau and Pakistan Library Bulletin . It was a happy occasion in ten years that all the senior members were present in Pakistan.[Contents]

Medical Librarians Association of Pakistan (MELAP)

MELAP organized the 28th meeting on November2, 2002 in the library of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation( SIUT), Karachi. Miss Azra Qureshi , The Chief Librarian , Agha Khan University of Health Sciences Library delivered her speech and presented the current issues about medical library professionals. Dr. G.A. Sabzwari also graced the occasion.[Contents]

Books donation ceremony in Dr. Mehmud Husain Library University of Karachi

Mr. Ghalib donated a large number of foreign books to Dr. Mehmud HUsain Library University of Karachi. An exhibition of these books held in the library on November 5,2002, Prof. Dr. Zafar Said Saify ,Vice Chancellor inaugurated the ceremony.[Contents]

'Where Are Our Libraries?'

A number of letters have recently appeared in these columns with reference to Zubeida Mustafa's article, 'Where are our libraries?' (Nov 27), lamenting the deplorable conditions of libraries in Pakistan.

Libraries in our universities, colleges and schools (if they have any) are nothing but 'graveyards of books'. Most books once catalogued and placed on the shelves remain untouched for decades. This is so because teachers once they are made permanent feel no urge and compulsion to broaden their horizons.

Isn't it an irony that there is no mechanism, except the notorious ACRs, in the country to evaluate teachers' performance? Annual increments and promotions by seniority come their way as a routine, regardless of their performance. So teachers have nothing to worry about; hence their indifference towards libraries.

Let me cite an example here. After the sanction of a library grant, I, being head of a number of prestigious institutions, always invited well-known local booksellers to display books on all subjects in the library for selection by the teaching staff.

I also subscribed to a number of international journals so that the teaching staff and students of my institutions could benefit themselves from the current literature on various disciplines, but nothing worked. Few teachers cared to draw the titles of their choice or read the journals, for they had other 'pressing' matters to take care of.

Ameena Saiyid laments in her letter (Dec 22) the prevailing practice of rote learning due to lack of "assignments requiring research" and emphasizes the need for children to learn to find out more about a given subject on their own.

Here is what a principal told me about her experience when she taught her students to "find out more about a given subject on their own.

We had been labouring hard to teach our students to read books other than textbooks, to think and write original answers in their languages and social studies' papers in the board examinations. We told them to be different from the students of other schools who were forced to cram answers from test papers and guides. Yet, much to our disappointment, grades 'A' and above remained beyond our reach for many years.

Then one of our experienced colleagues advised us not to waste our energies in making the students creative and original thinkers. She explained to us that in the central marking system, followed by all the boards of education, each subject-examiner was allotted 25 or so answerbooks at a time. Since most of them were familiar with the crammed answers only, they had no difficulty in marking them within the prescribed time. No one cared or had time to go through the so-called 'original' answers. In fact, such students were penalized for being 'different' from others."

We tried the method this year and had a bumper harvest of As and A pluses. So much for hard work and creativity. Do we really need libraries?(Curtsy to the Daily Dawn).



09-01-03 [Contents]

Libraries in Decline

One important indicator of the value a country places on learning is the number of libraries it has. In this respect, Pakistan presents a sorry spectacle. Once providing a focal point for students, researchers and laymen alike, the country's public libraries have steadily seen a marked decline. Many prestigious libraries are now badly maintained, poorly organized and starved of new books and publications. Even the larger cities have only a handful of worthwhile libraries, and those that do exist are starved of funds and attention. Already under assault from television and the internet, reading is gradually losing its appeal for a vast majority of young people. The absence of libraries, coupled with the dependence on conformism and rote learning, has hastened the decline.

Successive governments have shown no interest in promoting libraries or reading. Only a minute part of the already meagre education budget is set aside for this purpose. As a result, most government schools have no libraries, and children, especially from poor families, have little chance of gaining access to books. While there are some well-maintained libraries in both the public and private sectors, they mainly