Pak-LIS News
March 2003, Vol. 3, No.3

 

Contents

Editorial

Grant Seeking for Libraries and Librarians
Subject Review
Library and Information Science: Subject Review

Professional News

Punjab University starts PGD in Information Science & Technology
Chief Librarian, University of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gets 1 Millions Rupees Donation from PASTIC for Subscription of Online Databases
VC, PU, Visits PUCIT Library and Announces Rs. 10,000 to the Library Staff
VC, PU, Inaugurates the PU Main Library Website and Announces a Reward of RS 50,000 to Web Development Team
Mr. Hamid Rehman Joins, DLISc, University of Peshawar, after Completing his Ph.D. Course Work in USA
Mr. Anjum Javed Sh., Ex-Librarian KIIT, Gets Ph.D. Scholarship from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

Personal Announcements

Congratulations

Condolences

 

Guest Editorial

Grant Seeking for Libraries and Librarians

Muhammad Yaqub Chaudhary, Chief Librarian, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.
myaqubch@yahoo.com

My library and I have one thing in common: we are short of funds. I was not actively discontented with this until some kind friends pointed out that there were generous donors who might be sympathetic to my plight. Thus I was introduced to what is politely known as "grant-seeking" but is actually the art of successful begging. I emphasize that it was not my idea. I am like the man who dived into the sea to save a drowning child and, on being congratulated on his courageous act, said: "Thank you. But who pushed me?"

To those who might assume that the art of successful begging is open to anyone, I should warn that few are chosen and the road is long and hard. You have to be someone with a genuinely tough job, which I think is a fair description of being Chief Librarian in one of the most politically disturbed, economically backward and geographically remote areas of the world, in my case Azad Jammu and Kashmir, that part which is allied with Pakistan.

The seeds of need were planted when I started my Ph.D. research in a Pakistani university on the topic: "Continuing Education of Professional Librarians Working in the Universities of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir". Then it came home to me how professionally deficient we are in the information age and how much this is due to lack of funds. I formed the habit of looking for donations of books and succeeded in receiving a substantial number, plus back issues of journals, two used computers and some videocassettes, through the American Center (USIS), the British Council and the Asia Foundation. Most of the current journals I receive in my library are gratis. The secret here is simply to ask publishers and then to acknowledge receipt of materials punctiliously and regularly.

My motto is to seek anything useful, from anywhere and at any time. While the germs of grantseeking were already present in me, they were confined at first only to library acquisitions. Frankly, I did not know that a grant could also be made available for my personal development.

My first grant was a "Global 2000 Brighton Fellowship", which enabled me to attend a Conference of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) in California. I first heard about the "Global 2000" Conference from the American Center in Islamabad. There was an important lesson at that point: don't recommend yourself. Reference letters from the Information Resource Officers of the American Center were of substantial help. The Global 2000 Fellowship opened my eyes to other possibilities. I discovered something called the "Directory of Donor Agencies", which I consulted. I also explored the Internet.

My second grant was for a short course on "Digital Libraries" held in the Central European University in Budapest. The third was a travel grant from the Science and Technology Division of the SLA for the 2002 Conference in Los Angeles. The fourth was a bursary grant from the British Library Association to attend the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Conference in Glasgow in August 2002.

Encouraged by these successes, I sought two grants for my university to be represented at a conference in Tunis organized by the Federation of Universities of the Islamic World and at a conference in Cyprus organized by the Commonwealth Universities Association.

The personal grants have not been only for me. One, from the Pakistani High Commission in Singapore, enabled three students of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir University to attend a program there on Kashmir Conflict Resolution.

Among tangible benefits has been improved access to the Internet. I used to have to patronize our poor public transport system to make a four-hour journey to Islamabad in order to access the Internet at the American Center there. After the Global 2000 Conference (my first grant), the SLA awarded me a free membership for one year and the inclusion of my name on their list server. In attaining this and the other grants, I am particularly indebted to Sue O'Neill Johnson, who was then Information Officer at the World Bank, and Marcelle Sant-Arnaud, who was then in charge of International Information Exchange at the SLA.

Fulfilling these grants has not been without adventure. I took advantage of the Global 2000 Brighton Fellowship to make en route a pilgrimage to Makkah, which meant traveling via Jeddah. On the way, our plane was hijacked to Baghdad, so I enjoyed compulsory hospitality as a hostage in the same historical hotel where Americans and Europeans were held during the Desert Storm Operation against Iraq.

The art of begging also extends to claims for compensation. After pointing out to Saudi Airlines that the hijacking had caused me to miss my preconference workshop and the first two sessions of the conference, I won enough money to renew my membership of the SLA. This was not much, but the SLA membership fee does equal my salary for one month.

Closer to home, I approached a private university in Pakistan for a donation to hold a workshop on "Library and Information Science Education in an Electronic Environment", again with the collaboration of the American Center in Islamabad. This workshop brought resource persons from Kuwait and Singapore and participants from all over Pakistan, and was widely covered by television and print media.

Once we got access to the Internet in Kashmir, 1 arranged two one day workshops on the use of the Internet. These were attended by research students, faculty, administrative officers and the Vice Chancellor of the university. For many of the participants this was their first experience of the Internet.

This helped me to persuade the Pakistan Television Network that they should run a one hour program on "Career Choice in Library and Information Science". Broadcasted and rebroadcasted on the network, this program included all the chairpersons of library schools in Pakistan, some library professionals.

As a result of these experiences, my boss, the Vice Chancellor, was impressed and gave me extra responsibilities, including management of the Institute of Kashmir Studies, a research body. My proposal to change this institute's name to the Kashmir Information Resource Center has now been approved. I have. also been appointed Chief Editor of the University Newsletter. In this capacity I arranged a week long activity, including seminars, exhibitions of books and photographs and a four day walk, inaugurated by the President and concluded in the presence of the Prime Minister of the state. This was the first time the state and university had collaborated on any activity. We now supply documents and information to the President, the Prime Minister, judiciary, bureaucracy, media and other interested circles under what we call our Information Partnership Program.

Other avenues which have opened have been publication of papers in international library journals and membership of the Editorial Board of the Pakistan Library Bulletin. I have also been honoured to be appointed Secretary General of the University Libraries Association of Pakistan and to be a member of the National Curriculum Revision Committee of the University Grants Commission.

In the midst of all this, I am still working on my Ph.D., tremendously helped by advice from experts I have met through my travels and correspondence. I am also planning to convert my library catalogue and other library records into automated format.

Now I am considered an authority on grantseeking. Members of the faculty and students consult me. I feel privileged to have many friends in many countries because of my various awards. They have given me exposure to the advanced world of librarianship worldwide. Previously I was living in the professional environment of the 19th century. However, I still need more exposure and learning to update my 1960s professional education.

If I were to use one word to describe the impact of successful begging on my life I would say: "Confidence." [Contents]

Subject Review

Library and Information Science

With the advent of science and technology access to every type of information has become much easier. The organization and distribution of knowledge has become very complex. Many sources of communication like television, radio or Internet have generated unlimited amount of information that needs to be properly structured, so that the future generation can make full use of the restored data.

The organization and utilization of the knowledge is a prime object of library & information science. Punjab University Lahore is offering a Master Degree (MA) in this subject. The students are taught various tools of collecting and organizing the facts, which are available in the recorded forms of books, newspapers and now computer disks.

With the passage of time, the form of library has changed, now most of the data is first in stored in the computer. The students learn techniques of searching data using computers and try to gather quality information through Internet.

The University Grant Commission prepare the syllabus of library & information science time to time. Recently Punjab University has implemented the latest syllabus of 2002. The graduates of this department join Pakistan Library Association which is a member of an international organization called International Federation of Library Association (IFLA). IFLA demands that every individual has a right to be informed whether it is religious, legal or social.

Various subjects being taught in Library & Information Science include Classification, Cataloging, management, research methods, marketing, computerization and information/reference services.

The area of classification classifies the Literature. The second area of cataloging provides information facility to the students. The management sections involves planning, staffing, budgeting, training and evaluation for the Library. Research area provides an opportunity to the students to work with researchers. Marketing area basically teaches the students to use specific services to provide information to the community. Computerization and information/reference offers relevant information in the form of CDs and Internet.

Apart from Punjab University this subject is also being taught in six other universities, which are Islamia, Sindh Jam Shoro, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Allama Iqbal open University. Ph.D. degree in this subject is being offered in Punjab, Karachi, and Bahawalpur Universities. M.Phil degree is being offered in Balochistan University. This department of Punjab University is offering all the facilities necessary to prepare a qualified Librarian to work in educational institutions and other library and information settings.

According to the syllabus the students of Punjab University complete their 8 weeks internship in different libraries before getting their master (MA) degree. The job opportunities for both male and female are equal. The are taught various computer skills which help them in the organization of books and other material. There is a need of a movement in Pakistan to develop reading habits among people(Interview taken from Khalid Mahmood, Lecturer in Library and Information Science Department, University of the Punjab, courtsy to the Daily Nation). [Contents]

Professional News

Punjab University starts PGD in Information Science & Technology

Punjab University Board of Studies in Library and Information Science has approved the scheme of study and courses of reading for a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Information Science & Technology. Major features of PGDIST are as follows:

Duration: Two Semesters

Number of seats: 25

Admission criteria: BA/BSc. or equivalent

Formula for Merit: Marks in BA/BSc or equivalent + 50 marks for MLS degree holders + maximum 25 marks for those having job experience (5 marks per year) in an information related field + 20 marks for NCC + 20 marks for Hifz-e-Quran

Age: No age limit

Days & Timing: Evening, Monday to Friday

Commencing from: October 2003

Fee: On self-support basis, Rs.3000 per course, Total Rs.30,000

Program Structure: 10 courses of 3 credit each

Rules and Regulations: Rules and regulations regarding attendance, promotion, evaluation, etc. approved by the University of the Punjab will be followed. Rules regarding self-supporting programs approved by the University will also be followed.

Courses:

Semester I

IST-501 Introduction to Information Science

IST-502 Information Technology Applications

IST-503 Information Organization

IST-504 Computer Programming for Information Management

IST-505 Web Publishing

Semester II

IST-506 Database Structure and Design

IST-507 Online Information Retrieval

IST-508 Communication Skills for Information Professionals

Any TWO of the following:

IST-511 Information Networking Technologies

IST-512 Digital Libraries IST-513 Library Automation Systems

IST-514 Information Systems Analysis and Design

IST-515 Knowledge Management

IST-516 Major Project [Contents]

Chief Librarian, University of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gets 1 Millions Rupees Donation from PASTIC for Subscription of Online Databases

Recently, the Chief Librarian and head Kashmir Information resource Centre(KIRC) of the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir approached the Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC) and got a generous donation of One Million Rupees for the subscription to OCLC, ProQuest, and EbscoHost databases. Moreover, the University is holding a three days workshop on "Information Handling in Higher Education Research" fully sponsored by PASTIC. The University had already signed a pact with COMSTECH database network. [Contents]

VC, PU, Visits PUCIT Library and Announces RS 10,000 to the Library Staff

Lt. General(Retd.) Arshad Mahmood, Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab visited the PUCIT Library. It was told to him that PUCIT Library is first fully automated library among the Punjab University Libraries. He appreciated leadership of Mr. Tariq Saeed, Librarian, who worked day and night to automate his library with his team. He completed this huge task in a record minimum time and budget. The VC announced a reward of RS 10,000 to Mr. Tariq Saeed and his team.