Librarians from around the world discuss on Gen-X libraries at IITGN

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Gandhinagar, Feb 2: With the online availability of books and journals, libraries across the world are confronted with a critical need for evolution. With this common concern, librarians from across the world are sharing new concepts and ideas to create libraries of the future at Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN). The librarians are taking part in a three-day International Conference on Changing Landscape of Science & Technology Libraries (CLSTL 2017) that began on Thursday (March 2, 2017). 

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The conference is taken part by librarians from various countries including US, UK, Canada, France, Japan, Portugal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and others. 

A presentation by Neelam Bharti from Marston Science Library at the University of Florida who is taking part at the conference explored the idea of libraries turning into collaborative and creative spaces apart from being repositories of books. Bharti said, “Traditionally, idea generation and knowledge sharing have been the core essence of the libraries and book stacks, and Xerox machines were supporting that philosophy very well until now. In today’s world where book stacks are slowly disappearing into e-links and the xerox machines have been replaced by scanners, libraries are experiencing a paradigm shift from sharing knowledge to supporting knowledge creation. In this changing scenario, libraries are becoming more creative, inventive and inclusive.” 

The participants also discussed about new challenges and priorities. Julia Gelfand of University of California Irvine Libraries said, “Research libraries today reflect multiple and complex roles that contribute to collection strengths through sophisticated instructional design and delivery, assessment, asset management, preservation, independent publishing, journal hosting, digitization and maximizing relationships with both users and partners to capitalize on the forthcoming opportunities. 

Rick Anderson from University of Utah, USA said, “The landscape of scholarly communication has been in an unprecedented state of flux for twenty years now, and the rate of change and disruption shows no signs of slowing. From the advent of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s to the emergence of the open access movement a decade later and the appearance of SciHub more recently, challenges to the established system are creating both problems and opportunities for us at every turn.” 

The conference will also have presentations by Karrie Peterson of MIT Libraries in US on future of science and technology libraries; Aaron Tay of Singapore Management University on technology and trends in academic libraries among others. 

Librarian at IITGN, Dr TS Kumbar said, “We are happy to host this unique conference to provide a platform for librarians in the area of science and technology to meet and discuss challenges and opportunities. Apart from the international participants from reputed libraries, we also have representatives from the leading research libraries in India including DRDO, CSIR,DST, IITs, NITs and so on.”