Libraries are to be mass oriented: Kalpa Dasgupta

Special Correspondent

SILCHAR, January 25: Libraries have to be mass–oriented. The present day India is looking for where and how the change will come from. tiol Knowledge Commission was the first step towards the knowledge society to enhance access to knowledge, creation of the right environment for achieving sustain growth and holistic development. In the process of creation of knowledge society, libraries are the focal point. This was pointed out by Kalpa Dasgupta, advisory board member, rural education and development, Read India at the iugural session of the three day intertiol conference on ’What is next in libraries? Trends, Space and Partnership’ at the tiol Institute of Technology (NIT) here that concluded on last Saturday.

The conference jointly organized by the NIT Silchar in collaboration with Mortenson Centre, University of Illinois, USA which witnessed good turnout of participants from Sri Lanka, Nepal, USA and other parts of India. The lumiries on the iugural session included Prof. Asis Datta, chairman BOG NIT, Prof. N V Deshpande, director NIT, Prof. F A Talukdar, dean academics and chairman, library committee, Kalpa Dasgupta, Paula Kaufman, Prof. and interim director at Mortenson Centre, Susan Schnuer, associate director Mortenson Centre, Dr. K C Satpathy, librarian and organizing secretary of the conference and other guests.

Kalpa Dasgupta citing references of Tagore and Rangathan said they were opposed to the collection oriented approach of the library system. Libraries should work to re–circulate knowledge. Indian libraries, according to her, must focus on knowledge creation for better accessibility. Libraries and accessibility need to be hybrid.

Prof. N V Deshpande gave an account of how the concept of building a world class library system began a year ago. NIT library is all for student counseling, training research facilities, man machine ratio usage and blue waters (a high performance computing). He pointed out a replica of high performance computing is setup here. Keeping pace with technology and to create a vibrant and library ecosystem in the upcoming central library, NIT has signed a MoU with the Mortenson Centre. It will be a Rs.44 crore project on a 75,000 sq ft area to provide the best facilities to researchers and information seekers.

Prof. Asis Datta said this conference is a conglomeration of the best library professiols from the world and India who dwelt on the key issues related to the future of libraries. Both Paula Kaufman and Susan Schnuer expressed their happiness to be associated with NIT Silchar. They hoped the mutual exchange of ideas and creation of a joint force would help combat the challenges of the libraries today. F A Talukdar in his welcome address said the conference will provide a common platform for the librarians and all those engaged in the pursuit of knowledge.

Dr. K C Satpathy thanked the dignitaries, guests and participants as well as the staff members of the central library and the NIT fraternity for their contributions in making this mega event a success. The conference has been organized with the sole objective of exchange of knowledge and showcasing the best practices of future libraries.