Pak-LIS News
Sep-Nov 2003, Vol. 3, No.7

 

Contents

Editorial

Need for Archives Management Course in Pakistani Universities

Professional News

Tributes Paid to Late Mr. M. H. Shabab
Tazaiti Ijlas and Quran Khawani for Late Mr. M. H. Shabab
Report on the Seminar: "Librarianship in Europe"
My Visit to Berlin

Personal Announcements

Congratulations
Condolences

 

Guest Editorial

Need for Archives Management Course in Pakistani Universities

Dr. Nasim Fatima Chairperson, Department of Library and Information Science, Karachi University

One more feather is added to the crown of Library and Information Science curriculum at University of Karachi. Many useful courses are taught at University's Department of Library and Information. Since long there was a need and demand of a course for the Archives management. Records of human activities and their preservation have always been realized by all civilized societies. Although there are government and private agencies, which acquire, organize and maintain archival records, but they do not have well-educated and trained personnel to do the job flawlessly. To meet the needs of these organization there should be an arrangement of training students in the archival management.

Besides University and big Public libraries also acquire archival material. There is a genuine need of trained personnel to organize archival material in these libraries. Well-qualified and trained persons can only manage archives in libraries. Libraries may contribute in archival research of their clientele. Libraries in true sense help researchers to carry out qualitative research in their desired fields.

Archival material is of numerous kinds, which carries historical and research value. It may be in the form of personal letters, diaries, contracts, agreements, invoices, certificates, wills, maps, charts, memories, discs, tapes, and many more. All these are very important from research point of view. Personal letters of dignitaries and rulers, or diaries of military Generals and political leaders, or speeches and sermons of religious influential persons may be in sudden demand by some researchers. If archival record is maintained and made available will help in producing remarkable research publications.

There is no proper arrangement of imparting education and training for the management of archives outside Universities' domain in the country. In view of this necessity Department of Library ,Information Science and Archival Studies at University of Sindh , Jamshoro took lead in introducing, "Archives Management", course and Department Of Library and Information Science ,University of Karachi followed from the academic year 2003.

The course is based on ten units, which cover almost all aspects of archives acquisition, organization, preservation and dissemination techniques and methods .This course, it is believed, will be beneficial in organizing archival material in libraries of Pakistan. Students trained in the archival skill and techniques will definitely serve as experts in this field. Moreover there are many government departments, private organizations, business and commercial firms/companies which also need to organize their archival material. It will create a good job market for the students of Library and Information Science to serve in all those departments and organizations interested in maintaining their archives in proper order.

In United States and other developed countries there are private companies, which are doing this business of organizing archives on contract basis. They hire students of Library Science to do the job. History Factory of Chantilly, Virginia State is doing this business of organizing archives of government and private organizations on contract basis. It is hoped that students taking this course in other universities also will get better job opportunities not only in the country but abroad as well. [Contents]

Professional News

Tributes Paid to Late Mr. M. H. Shabab

Mr. M.H. Shabab, Chief Documentation Officer and Director Training of Academy for Education Planning and Management, Islamabad died of heart attack in Lahore. He is survived by his two sons, one daughters and a so many friends. Born into a farmer family, in a remote village of Distt. Chakwal. He got his Master Degree in Library Science from University of the Punjab, Lahore. He was a very well known figure among Library professionals. His services and contribution for the uplift and betterment of Library profession will always be remembered. Despite of his splendid involvement in various educational as well as library activities, he was a very loving father and a very sweet friend. So much so that after the death of his wife, he brought up his children like a devoted mother as well. He was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Distract Chakwal.

For Esal-e-Sawab and sweet memory of Mr. M.H.Shabab (late) a Quran Khawani and reference was arranged at Model Town Public Library on September 3, 2003. His friends , a large number of library professionals, two sons and father-in-law attended the Quran Khawani and reference.

Dr. Ch. Ramzan, Chief Librarian of LUMS recalled the days he had spent with Mr.Shabab advising his children to follow the path of their great father.

Mr. Aurangzeb Malik, his friend and librarian Punjab Textbook Board, unveiled certain personal aspects of his life. He added that when Mr. Shabab arrived in Lahore from a remote and backward village of Chakwal, he had to work very hard on laborious jobs to earn his livelihood. He did physical labour to meet his educational and living expenses. Mr. Shabab proved that a man can achieve the highest goals in life by dint of his hard work. He was a truly self-made person who earned respect due to sincere and devoted services.

Dr. Mumtaz Anwar (teacher of Mr. Shabab) paid tributes to most favourite pupil whose achievements were a pride for him. He said that Mr. Shabab was distinguished among others because he was genius and committed to the studies.

Mr. Zil-e-Husnine, Chief Librarian Punjab Public Library, added that Mr. Shabab was very kind and helpful to his juniors while he was studying in Master in Library Science. Mr. Shabab developed and continued a loving relation with him.

Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Librarian National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences expressed that Mr. Shabab was a source of inspiration and he always welcomed the suggestions of even the junior professionals and appreciated them. He added that Mr. Shabab wrote a chapter in National Education Policy on Libraries. Mr. Shabab acquired costly databases and established a fully networked computer lab equipped with state of the art equipment and facilities. Mr. Shabab arranged the courses for professional training of the Librarians.[Contents]

Tazaiti Ijlas and Quran Khawani for Late Mr. M. H. Shabab

The Pakistan Library Association(FB) arranged a Tazaiti Ijlas and Quran Khawani on 16th September 2003 at Poultry research institute Rawalpindi. A large number of library professionals attended the Tazaiti Ijlas & Quran Khawani and prayed for him.[Contents]

Report on the Seminar: "Librarianship in Europe"
held on 16.10.2003 at Quaid-e-Azam Library, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore
Muhammad Haroon Usmani, Programme Officer, Quaid-e-Azam Library, Lahore

In continuation of its Scholarly and Professional activities the Quaid-e-Azam Library, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore with the collaboration of the Goethe-Institute, Karachi organized a seminar on "Librarianship in Europe" under the chairmanship of Mr. M. D. Chaudhry, Director General Public Libraries, Punjab/Secretary, Board of Governors, Quaid-e-Azam Library, Lahore on October 16, 2003 at the Iqbal Auditorium, Quaid-e-Azam Library, Lahore. Director Goethe-Institute, Karachi Mr. Josef Bornhorst was the Guest of Honour. Ms. Kanwal Ameen and Mr. Khalid Mahmood of Department of Library & Information Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore and Mr. Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Librarian, FAST National University, Lahore were the main speakers.

Mr. Muhammad Taj, Chief Librarian, Quaid-e-Azam Library delivered the inaugural address. Mr. Muhammad Haroon Usmani, Programme Officer was the moderator. The Seminar was attended by more than 130 professional librarians working in different libraries of Lahore.

The purpose of this seminar was to share the experiences and observations of the speakers about the European Librarianship which they had gathered while attending the World Library and Information Congress, the 69th General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) held in Berlin, Germany from 1-9 August 2003. They got a chance to visit libraries of some other European countries also. Their visit was sponsored by the Goethe-Institute.

In his inaugural speech Mr. Muhammad Taj, Chief Librarian, QAL welcomed the Guest of Honour Mr. Josef Bornhorst and thanked the DGPL/Secretary, BOG, QAL Mr. M.D. Chaudhry for presiding over the seminar. After describing the purpose of the seminar Mr. Taj elaborated the importance of new technologies for libraries & librarians. He concluded that Quaid-e-Azam Library is functioning as a model library as it started computerization in 1989. Now it is fully automated - The modernization plan of complete automation of Quaid-e-Azam Library and Islamia College for Women, Cooper Road, Lahore, network connectivity and remote library services has already been approved and it is hoped that, in the near future, the data of both libraries will be available on Internet also

The topic of Mr. Muhammad Ajmal Khan's speech was 'The Use of Technology in the European Libraries with Special Reference to Germany'. He divided technologies into two major types:- 1. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) 2. Other technologies Which are used in both traditional libraries (having books and proper building) and Information Resource Centres. He told that ICT is used in traditional libraries for library housekeeping routines and accomplishment of administration tasks

He threw light in detail on the use of ICT in library housekeeping routines such as record of library visits, acquisition material, suggestion through OPAC, online purchase of articles, subscription of e-books, cataloguing/OPAC, circulation, information services, etc. He highlighted the future of the Information Resource Centres in Europe also.

In his speech, Mr. Khalid Mahmood shared his knowledge about the library education in Europe. After describing education as a part of profession he discussed scope of library education in Western Europe and elaborated pre-service education by telling, its levels, medium, range of students, fee, duration, accreditation, faculty, facilities, cooperation and specially about the curriculum

There are opportunities of distance and continuing education in Europe. Mr. Khalid gave the examples of University of Northumbria, UK and University of Parma Italy which offer Master of International Information Studies through distance education. There are examples of online delivery of course material also, he added.

Continuing education is the responsibility of professional associations, library consortia, large libraries, library schools, vendors etc. as these organizations and institutions arranges short courses, seminars, workshops, and conferences - about 1000 such events take place only in Germany every year. He concluded his address by briefing about the role of professional associations in Europe

The last speaker Ms. Kanwal Ameen talked about the 'Emerging Library Era: Challenges and Opportunities.' What is a modern library and what the difference between a modern and traditional library mean? Moreover what challenges are being faced by a modern library due to emergence of Information and Communication Technology and what are the opportunities to achieve goals of a library in a better way? These were the questions answered by Ms. Kanwal Ameen in her address. After differentiating between a traditional and modern library, she enumerated the challenges faced by the modern library including access vs ownership, physical vs wall less library, user satisfaction, generating funds, marketing of services, evaluation of all the services, unclear job market and speculate & plan future of the librarianship

She said that there are some positive aspects present by which libraries & librarians may prove their importance such as provision of better services, better opportunities for access to users, revival of librarian's role as mediator between countless digital sources & users. Librarian can serve as navigator, teacher, collaborator etc., she concluded.

Mr. Josef Bornhorst the Guest of Honour congratulated the organizers for arranging the seminar in his speech. He told about the purpose, functions & achievements of the Goethe Institute. He announced that the Goethe-Institute Karachi which had been closed in May 2003 will initiate its activities from January next year and it will continue to promote the mutual library cooperation task in form of project from Pakistani side.

Mr. M. D. Chaudhry thanked Mr. Josef Bornhorst for sponsoring Pakistani delegation to attend IFLA conference in Germany and also for sponsoring the seminar at Quaid-e-Azam Library. He emphasized that the traditional librarians must learn the active use of sophisticated technology with online computers - Opportunities should be provided to librarians to advance their qualification and status. He said that more in service training, seminars, and short courses should be regularly organized by library associations for continuous and further training - The seminar was covered by no of press men also.[Contents]

My Vist to Berlin

Khalid Mahmood, Lecturer, Department of Library and Information Science,
University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
mahmoodkhalid@hotmail.com

Morgen! Morgen!

This sound is the start of a typical working day in Berlin. Everyone says Morgen (Good Morning) to everyone. As a participant of IFLA conference I have had an opportunity to spend 10 days in Berlin. Following is a brief report of my visit.

Background

In February 2003, I received an email from Mr. S. A. Farooq, Librarian, Goethe Institute, Karachi with the message, "I have taken your contact from your Website. The Goethe Institute will sponsor some Pakistani library professionals to attend IFLA conference which is going to be held in Berlin this year. If you are ready to attend this conference, let me know, so that I can recommend your name to my higher authorities." Mr. Farooq, who contacted me first time in my life, also asked me to recommend some other professionals active in this field. I was already wishing to attend IFLA conference and had applied for a grant somewhere else but got no reply. Considering this email a blessing from God, I happily gave my consent and recommended some other persons too. After some months I received a call on my cell phone from Karachi. Mr. Farooq was pleased to tell me that Goethe Institute selected four persons from Pakistan. My name was one of them. He also told me that this sponsorship would fully cover our trip including, economy class air travel, conference registration, accommodation, health insurance and some daily allowance.

Goethe Institute

In result of this sponsorship, I started to get information about Goethe Institute. Before this, I had just heard its name and knew nothing about its activities. With the help of Internet I came to know the organization, its objectives and the network. I found that Goethe Institut Inter Nationes is the largest German cultural policy organization working outside Germany. The services it provides include cultural programs, language courses, libraries and information centers, visitors' programs, and much more. Through its Website, I knew more about the activities of its Karachi Branch.

Dialogue with Islam

Mr. Farooq told me that funding for our trip was sponsored from the Dialogue with Islam Program of the German Foreign Office. According to Mr. Farooq, this fund has been set up after September 11, 2001. It focuses on the activities through which nationals of the Muslim World and Germans can understand each other and gap between the two civilizations can be bridged

IFLA Conference

The 69th General Conference of the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions was held in Berlin from 1-9 August, 2003. More than 4,500 participants from 133 countries attended this World Library and Information Congress. The theme of the Congress was 'Access Point Library: Media - Information - Culture.'

Organization of the conference

The Organizing Committee, consisted of German LIS professionals, beautifully organized such a huge conference. Technical sessions and workshops, in a large number, were scheduled in a skilful way. Activities were arranged according to the areas of participants' interest. An effective help desk was busy in solving problems of the participants. For example, when we reached the conference hall and got our name badges, we found that our badges were showing us as Indians. We discussed the matter with the organizers. They took only five to ten minutes to issue us new badges. They also published a lot of literature helping participants to schedule their plan. Conference papers could be printed free of cost from the computers and printers kept for this purpose. Papers were also available in PDF format stored in a CD for a nominal price. I really impressed to see the coordination among the members of Organizing Committee.

Workshops

According to various areas of interest many useful workshops were organized. I attended a workshop on classification and indexing in which the coming DDC 22 edition was introduced in detail. I attend another offsite workshop organized by Library Link of the UK. A blend of professionals, with less and more experience, from various library settings, and from developed and developing countries lead to comprehend each others' problems.

Library Visits

This was an interesting part of the conference. Each participant was allowed to visit two libraries of his choice among a list of Berlin libraries. The libraries I visited include Berlin State Library and Humboldt University Library. Guided tours to these libraries embraced me with many new information and experiences. I was able to understand the problems of libraries of an advanced country. I have seen the effective use of information and communication technologies in these libraries.

Internet & messaging services

Two different vendors set up their computer labs offering free Internet connectivity for conference participants. During the conference, I made full use of this service. This service, kept me in touch with my family and colleagues in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world without any break. Another service new to me was the messaging centers. These were PCs through which we could send/receive messages to/from other participants. We used our name badges for login purposes.

City tours

The conference organizers also arranged some Berlin tours. I attended a three-hour Berlin orientation tour by bus. That was a guided tour which provided useful information about the history, geography, people and culture of Berlin. I had to miss another tour of Berlin's new architecture due to my illness but I am thankful to the Goethe Institute for purchasing me a costly ticket for that tour.

Socialization

The major advantage of this conference, to me, was the socialization of LIS professionals come from all over the world. I attended two social events organized for the conference participants. These social evenings provided us a good chance to share our views with other professionals. We were six Pakistanis from three different cities attending this conference. Another Pakistani came from the UK (being an employee of the British Council Headquarters). We had discussions for hours on the problems of Pakistani librarianship. The other group with which we shared our ideas at the most was the Indians who live in conditions like ours. The Goethe Institute arranged a party and a lunch where we got chance to have discussions with Indians. By the end of the conference, I had a collection of business cards of professionals from USA to New Zealand for future contacts.

The Berliners

My ten-day visit to Germany provided me a chance to observe German life particularly it gave me much information about the Berliners. In Pakistan, I had three myths in my mind about the Germans. Many people used to say, first, "The Germans are rude in their behavior," the second, "They hate Asians particularly Muslims" and the third, "They hate speaking English even if they know how to speak." My visit has altogether changed my views. I found Germans very polite and helping. During my stay, I visited many parts of the Berlin city, came across many shop keepers, traveled in U-Bahn and S-Bahn with Germans and asked people of different age groups for help in finding some place. I found them ready to help me although I am a South Asian and by appearance seem to be a Muslim too. They tried their best to guide me by speaking English.

Staff of Goethe Institute

Another thing, which has much impressed me, is the attitude of the staff of Goethe Institute. From my selection for this sponsorship to my return to home and even after that they showed a very nice and caring attitude. I want to mention some example here. Mr. S. A. Farooq of Karachi Branch has done a lot for preparing us and our documents to enjoy this event. He took special interest to get visa for us, make travel documents and provide other information. He received us (three persons from Lahore) at Karachi airport, arranged a dinner for us and briefed us about our travel and living in Berlin. Even he told us to take needle, thread and some buttons with us.

Our host in Berlin was Ms. Martina Bartel, Head of Information Department & Library, Regional Coordinator South Asia, New Delhi who attended the conference with us. She arrived at the airport to take us to the hotel, showed us the whereabouts of our hotel, the conference center, and other necessary places. Where is market? How to get underground train? Where is food store? Where is Internet club and how to make an account? She guided us all the time. She provided us her cell phone contact for any emergency need. Her impatience was worth-seeing when I got ill for sometime. She cared me a lot, purchased me medicines from pharmacy and asked for my health again and again. Even we felt, she was careful in her dressing when she was with us although she was cent percent a Berliner. This was only for our honor. She is really a nice woman.

Pakistanis in Berlin

I have had an opportunity to see some Pakistanis live in Berlin. I found a mosque which was run by Pakistanis and Indians. Many Pakistanis were living in Berlin for years and had got German nationality. I came to know social and religious problems they faced in a society very much different to their own. They explained me how it was difficult for them and their families to integrate in the German society.

Pakistan Embassy at Berlin invited us on tea. At this occasion we had a meeting with the higher officers at Embassy and discussed problems of Pakistanis in Germany. We briefed them about the condition of librarianship in Pakistan.

Visit to Denmark and Italy

Taking full advantage of this trip some of us also visited other Schengan States. With my two Pakistani colleagues I took a bus trip to Copenhagen. This was a new experience for me to travel on German motorways. Particularly travel by ferry, which was a part of this trip, was most exciting for us. In addition to sight seeing at Copenhagen this trip was also helpful to understand the living style of Pakistanis in Denmark.

At the end of the conference, we three participants extended our trip to Venice, Italy, which was another opportunity to understand European life style

How this visit is useful for me in my professional career

Although this was not my first trip to Europe but this short trip (12 days in total) has taught me a lot. During this trip, and during its preparation and afterwards, I came to know many new things such as Goethe Institute; history and culture of Germany, Denmark and Italy; activities of IFLA; an historical event of IFLA conference; and librarianship in Germany. I have developed social relations with participants of other countries and after the conference I am in contact with them.

After attending the conference, we (three participants) have organized a seminar on "Librarianship in Europe" in Lahore. At this occasion we shared our observations with more than 125 professional librarians of the city. At this seminar Mr. Josef Bornhorst, Director, Goethe Institute, Karachi was the guest speaker. Taking advantage of his presence we were able to understand the activities of Goethe Institute. After this trip I have developed interest in comparative librarianship and started reading more literature on library situation in Europe.

Another thing which I think I have learnt from this conference is the observation on how to organize a conference with large number of participants having different areas of interest. As a professional this observation will help me in future.

I am a teacher at a library school. My experiences at IFLA conference and having been in Berlin will be transferred to my at least 100 students each year.

At the end, I pay thanks particularly to the Goethe Institute for providing me this opportunity and Germans in general for their warm hospitality.

Danke Goethe Institut Inter Nationes![Contents]

Personal Announcements

Congratulations

Condolences

May Almighty Allah bless the departed souls in eternal peace, and provide solace to their near and dear ones.

 

 

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