Therefore, librarians need to work hard towards this end and make libraries more user- and people-friendly. On the occasion of Librarians' Day, a seminar on 'Information literacy and changing landscape of libraries' was organised by the Ahmedabad Library Network at the Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) on Saturday.
August 12 is celebrated as Librarians' Day, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Dr SR Ranganathan, the father of the Indian library movement. The entire month has seminars and workshops related to library science.
Addressing a gathering of more than 300 librarians and students, senior librarian of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), H Anil Kumar said that with the social and economic developments that came along with free-trade policies, the role of libraries has changed.
"Libraries have always been a focal point of human life. However, they could not evolve as required and have become mere storerooms. Like the mall culture that has evolved over the years, wherein people have a variety of choices, libraries should change their physical outlook and create a learning ambience for students as well as teachers," Kumar said.
He stressed on the fact that the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has declared information literacy as a basic human right and that the US, Australia and many European countries have already adopted this. "However, India is still lagging behind," Kumar said.
The other speakers at the event said that the education delivery system should include having students and teachers use them. It should be designed in such a way that everyone can be a lifelong learner and such a system should start from school-level teaching, and learning should go beyond the classroom, they said.
The speakers also called on librarians to better understand and spread knowledge on the difference between digital, virtual, online and e-resources. They said that librarians must have the perception of right terms in order to search for relevant information online.
Dinesh Awasthi, director, EDI; Janak Parikh, president, AMA; and Bhagyesh Jha, commissioner of information, Gujarat Information Bureau, also delivered lectures at the event.