KLA Seminar on
Content Management and Libraries:
New vistas for harnessing information
14-16 July 2011, Padmam Auditorium, IMG Kerala
It gives me immense pleasure to present before you a brief report of the proceeds of the three-day national seminar held from 14-16 July 2011 at Padmam Auditorium, IMG, Thiruvananthapuram.
The seminar on Content management and libraries: New vistas for Harnessing Information was organized by Kerala Library Association and co-sponsored / supported by Raja Rammohun Roy Foundation, Kolkata, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology &Environment, Govt of Kerala and Information and Public Relation Department, Govt of Kerala. It was aimed at reviewing the current scenario of content management and working out new development strategies for better management of information, be it traditional or digital, ensuring best practices to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver.
152 professionals working in academic libraries, R & D libraries, corporate libraries, public libraries as well as academicians across the country participated in the three-day national seminar. In addition to the inaugural session there were six technical sessions in all, spread over three days. Each session was chaired by an eminent personality in the library & information science field and had a lead paper presented by an expert. A total of 48 papers were presented and at the end of all, there was a panel discussion on repositioning of libraries moderated by Dr. Achuthsankar S. Nair with Prof.C.A.Augustine, Dr.Tapaswi, Dr.M.G.Sreekumar and Dr.Ajayaghosh as eminent panelists.
Day 1: 14 July 2011
10.30 am, Inaugural Session
The national seminar was inaugurated by Dr.Shashi Tharoor, Formmer Under-Secretary General, United Nations and presently a Member of Parliament, representing Trivandrum constituency. K.P.Sadasivan, President, KLA, welcomed the gathering and the session was presided over by Shri K.M.Chandrasekhar IAS, Vice Chairman, State Planning Board, Government of Kerala. In his presidential address, Shri Chandrasekhar pointed out that one of the biggest casualties of TV is reading and that it is very important for the state to expand not merely the physical horizon but also its mental horizon. He hoped that the seminar would lead to significant change in the approach to libraries.
Dr Shashi Tharoor inaugurated the seminar by lighting the lamp in the traditional manner. In his inaugural address, Dr Shashi Tharoor opined that libraries have to expand the range of their resources for knowledge content in various forms to be made accessible. According to him, the library system in the country should be re-designed to cater to the needs of new generation users, considering the impact of internet and other social media technologies on learning and life.
The souvenir brought out in connection with the seminar was later released by the worshipful mayor of Trivandrum Corporation, Adv. K.Chandrika and the first copy was received by P Jayarajan, Former Country Head, British Council Libraries and member, RRRLF. He expressed his concern over the state of libraries at present but was optimistic that libraries will survive in India. Shri Jayarajan briefly touched upon the National Knowledge Commission’s recommendations with regards to libraries. The inaugural session came to a close with vote of thanks proposed by Dr. P.K.Suresh Kumar, Secretary, KLA.
This was followed by the keynote address by Dr Murari P Tapaswi, Head, Knowledge Resource Centre, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa. It set the tone of the seminar. To be on the top of the tide and also to remain on the top in content management for effective information dissemination, preparation by way of accessing the existing information and creating new information is very essential. Dr Tapaswi outlined the various dimensions of content management especially in a digital environment and stressed the importance of team work. The keynote address had a practical approach and had some tips and suggestions for handling problematic areas like bundling strategies in paid content and also while negotiating licensing agreements. Though librarians are both content managers and content creators, creating new content is more challenging and according to Dr.Tapaswi, librarians need to work hard if they want themselves to be useful to the society and live with dignity.
The technical sessions that followed more or less focused on content management and content creation. The papers presented through six technical sessions were grouped as Content Management and ICT: The Technology Interface, E-resources Management, Content Management and Public Libraries, Capacity Building for Excellence and Content Management and Web Technology. There were a good number of presentations on E-resources with the result that there were two sessions on the same during the seminar.
14 July 2011, 11.30 – 1.30
Session 1: Content Management and ICT: The Technology Interface
The first session had seven paper presentations and was chaired by Shri Satish Babu, Director, IC-FOSS, Govt of Kerala and President Elect, Computer Society of India. Drawing from his experience in the world of computer science, the chair could draw a parallel between library and information science and computer science. To him, knowledge management is more ambiguous than information system. Shri Satish Babu felt that unlike in the case of Web 1.0 to the present Web 3.0, the trans-generational changes from Library1.0 to the present Library 3.0 are not so visible in libraries; but how the libraries use the generic tools is more important.
The first paper presented by Arun Kishore was a case study on the implementation and use of Moodle at DCSMAT Business School. He attributed the success of CMS not merely to the software or hardware but to the users, especially the creative use of the system by the faculty or the course creators.
Binu K John presented the scope of WordPress, an open source CMS, for creating content and emphasized the important role to be played by librarians as the mentor and creator of new knowledge.
Mini G.Pillai’s paper on comparative evaluation of university library websites in Kerala examined the content of seven university libraries in Kerala using a set of checklists and rating scales. No university library website was found to be excellent or very good and a few suggestions to improve the quality and usefulness of the websites were also given.
K.Rajasekharan’s paper on Decentralization Watch Kerala was an attempt to show the ways in which CMS can be synergized to promote digital information services on the subject it deals with. He explained how integration had been effectively carried out to provide user friendly information dissemination. Rajasekharan called for an inclusive library science approach so as to make digital information reach users and the vice versa, thus facilitating easy growth of knowledge.
Surendran Cherukodan, who followed, described some strategies in developing e-contents in house with examples from CUSAT digital library. Issues related to e-content like copyright were discussed and the paper ended with a suggestion to set up digital labs to teach students about e-content creation.
M.Varghese’s paper focused on faceted classification as an efficient tool for organizing contents in the web especially in business sites. Of late there has been a renewed interest in facet analysis originally devised by Dr.SRR as a tool for the Colon Classification scheme and also its applications in the various areas of organization and retrieval of information.
The last paper in the session was by P.Vijayakumaran Nair on creation, retrieval and distribution of bibliographic contents in KSCSTE libraries and how these library contents were brought into a centralized system. It was a case study on KSCSTE Digital Library initiative in the Science, Technology & Environment libraries.
Day 2: 15 July 2011
Sessions II and III
E-resources Management 1 & 2, 9.30 am – 1.30 pm
The morning of the second day of the seminar was exclusively devoted to e-resources management through two consecutive technical sessions and a total of 15 papers- 8 in the Session II and 7 in the third were presented. There were quite a number of case studies in the forenoon sessions – Ancy Jacob’s on strategic management of information marketing with reference to the Fisheries Institute Libraries in Kerala, a case study of digital reference services in the corporate library of TCS, Bangalore by B.Jagadeesh, Lovely Susan Varghese’s experience in documentation and data archival activities using open source software in the Human Spaceflight Programme at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, web intelligence application for ETD data mining as a case study of ETD archives of JRD Tada Memorial Library presented by Chudamani K.S, B.M.Meera on digital information services and products in Raman Research Institute and finally content management in social work education as is being carried out in Rajagiri College of Social Sciences presented by Regil Nath C M. The first two were presented in the technical session II and the rest in session III. All the case studies proved one point, very aptly summed up by one of the presenters, that librarians need not be technology experts to handle and apply open source software in their work in dissemination of information. Whether it is marketing of library services as in the case of Fisheries Institute Libraries, digitization of reference services to users through online means as in TCS, integrated CMS in new projects like the Human Spaceflight Programme, creation of new generation of products, services and frameworks based on the Internet Web Intelligence as in the case of JRD Tata Memorial Library or a hybrid library like Raman Research Institute, embracing both the old values of personalized information services and the goodness of modern information technology, all the presenters sent out a clear message that librarians have to change and move with the times by learning a little bit of technology and changing to smart librarians.
Technical sessions on e-resources management saw a renewed interest in university libraries as well. Eldho Joy’s review of adoption of knowledge management practices in the university libraries examined how KM initiatives are being carried out in industrial organizations and university libraries elsewhere. He particularly emphasized the urgent need for integrating and managing corporate culture, adopting and integrating more technologies in the university libraries in India. Dr.P.K.Suresh Kumar’s paper was a proposal to reconstruct the university library websites in Kerala as marketing tools. His study of the contents of four university library websites revealed that most of the libraries in Kerala use traditional modes of promotion and that most of them are not marketing-oriented. Dr. Beena’s study on digital content development and management in India covered 118 institutions and highlighted the digitization initiatives undertaken by various institutions in Kerala, including university libraries. There was an emphasis on the need for coordinating and propagating the various attempts and linking them to mission-oriented digitization programmes like Digital Library of India.
Open source software and open source CMS was another area of interest. The two sessions on re-sources management had 4 papers on this theme: Jinu S Rajan’s overview of open source content management systems, Rupender Sharma on open access resources in science and technology, Shalini Wasan’s study of OSS in institutional repositories and Suguna L S’ study on the Indian participation in DOAJ. Jinu S.Rajan analyzed 20 most popular open source CMS like Alfresco, Joomla and Moodle and their significant features whereas Rupendar Sharma’s study was on the major open access resources available in the field of science and technology. The analysis showed that majority of the open access journals are from medicine and allied sciences and engineering and technology. Suguna’s paper on open access journals from India covered mainly the no. of journals, publication pattern, subject wise, state wise and year-wise distribution of open access Indian Journals as reflected in DOAJ. Shalini Wasan’s was a case study of her own school as to how open source software could be successfully implemented for the use of school libraries.
The session also saw an assessment of adequacy of journal coverage in CeRA, a consortium of e-resources for Fisheries scientists. T.Silaja’s study was based on citation analysis and the objective was to identify the most important journals in the consortium. She concluded that there is a need to strengthen the journal base of CeRA.
The third session had two stand-alone papers as well. Resmi Sara Thomas’ analysis of digital content development initiatives for children in India revealed that state government are taking keen interest in providing the content development services for satisfying the educational as well as recreational needs of children. The study was conducted using Google search engine. Various initiatives taken at national and state levels were listed and the local content development projects in Karnataka were highlighted as the best examples for the active participation of children, teachers and resource persons together in content development for schools.
In a very theoretical paper, T.S.Balu analyzed the impact of new information on society, its quality, relevance and its relation with various factors, especially journal impact factor.
The second session was chaired by Dr.T.A.Abdul Azeez and the lead paper was presented by P. Nishy, Scientist and Head, National Knowledge Resource Consortium, NISCAIR. The paper briefly outlined the activities of CSIR and the initiatives started at Trivandrum on consortium. National Knowledge Resource Consortium, its genesis and development, features and also the issues faced were presented in detail.
Dr.V.Gopakumar, University Librarian, Goa University, chaired the third session and Padmaja Muralidhar, Senior Librarian, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, presented the lead paper. She gave a virtual tour of NTU libraries and explained the gamut of library and information activities and operations in NTU. Issues faced by the librarians like excessive downloading and also future plans were given in detail.
Session IV, 2 – 3.30 pm
There were two more technical sessions in the afternoon of Day 2, one on content management and public libraries and the other on capacity building for excellence. Six papers were presented and the session on CM and public libraries aptly chaired by Dr.R.Ramasamy, Regional Head, RRRLF, Southern Zone, who is very much associated with public libraries. The lead paper on public libraries in India with special reference to Tamilnadu was presented by Ms.Kamakshi, Library and Information Officer, Anna Centenary Library, Chennai. She traced the history of public library in India and Tamilnadu. The recently established Anna Centenary Library was also highlighted.
The first paper was presented by P.Suprabha on digital archiving at the State Central Library (SCL), Thiruvananthapuram. The phased digitizing process going on in SCL and the organization of digital content by book marking and deep indexing using Nitya Archive were explained in detail. Special mention was made of digitization work of gazettes which is now progressing in the library.
Begum Sarjoon gave an overview of e-books and e-readers. The benefits, advantages as well as the limitations of e-readers were presented and she affirmed that e-books are changing the methods by which people read.
P.I.Divya’s paper on digital preservation methods and their adoption in the major libraries of Kerala discussed the methods of digital preservation at four major libraries in Kerala and also the problems and strategies involved. She suggested that necessary steps have to be taken to provide adequate training to the library staff in digital content creation and presentation.
Hariharan.N’s paper on inventory management presented a strategy to facilitate simultaneous and continuous inventory management in libraries where the accession and circulation are manual and that too, without suspending circulation. It is worthy to mention here that this was the only paper in the seminar to be presented by a non-LIS professional.
The paper on preservation by Dr.Sr.Merciamma Mathew deliberated on old, modern and postmodern techniques and technologies employed in preservation. Different types of storage media for digital preservation and the criteria for selecting storage media were also given in detail.
Kendriya Vidhyalaya, Pattom is the lone smart school from Kerala and B.Surendran’s attempt was to trace the growth and development of KV libraries in general and that at Pattom in particular. His study revealed that 90% of KV’s have their own websites and 12.5% libraries have separate web presence. Innovative practices using Web 2.0 technologies in the KV libraries like Library Junction were highlighted.
Session V, 4 – 5.30 pm
This session focused on capacity building for excellence. P.Jayarajan chaired the session and Dr.Ananthakuttan B.Unnithan, Professor and Head, Postgraduate Programmes, IIM Kozhikode presented the lead paper. The paper highlighted certain competencies librarians of tomorrow must have. Dr.Unnithan briefly touched upon 2.0 Frameworks, its components, the emerging challenges listed as ten Is which included information literacy and information security. He called for a new set of competencies and skills to carry the LIS professionals into a new era and said it is very essential to develop through training.
Taking a cue from the lead paper, V.Sriram laid the emphasis on capacity building of LIS professionals through proper training to manage and harness information. There is a need for change and this could be managed by training aimed at enhancing efficiency and effectiveness at work. S.L.Faisal continued the thread by presenting a paper on managing the long tail of content and users in academic libraries. The concept of ‘long tail’ was explained and the strategies to link together the long tail of content and users in an academic library were examined.
Dr.Gopakumar V’s paper was an appraisal of the present curricula of library schools of five universities in South India with reference to human resource development for digital content management. According to him, lot more things are happening outside the library schools and the curricula should be dynamic enough to equip the LIS to deal with the rapid changes. Various suggestions like providing hands-on-training and projects of creative digital libraries were put forward as solutions.
Laila T. Abraham presented a study carried out among the research scholars of science and arts departments of MG University on their approach to print and online journals. The study indicated an assortment of variation in the preference of the medium. Majeed H’s paper dealt with digital learning systems for Indian universities. There were challenges of numbers, credibility, quality, cost and efficiency plaguing the Indian universities but digital learning system will benefit Indian Higher Education System and economy. For this it has to be language dependent. Unnikrishnan S’ study of references cited in doctoral dissertations of MG University analyzed the information sources used by research scholars to prepare their PhD theses. 16 random samples formed the basis of the study which revealed a lack of awareness of proper sources among the research scholars. Suggestions to bring out uniformity and quality and also better use of information sources were given.
Sunny Joseph concluded the day with an extempore presentation. Using a single question from a questionnaire as the touchstone tried out on a random sample of 50 students from 6 colleges covering 4 universities his study was conducted to find out how much integration of knowledge takes place from outside syllabus into curriculum. The study revealed the poor knowledge state and the contention is that content creation and management is of no use if there is no information literacy as such.
Day 3: 16 July 2011
Session VI, 9.30 – 11.30 am
The last session on Day 3 was chaired by Dr. Ravindran Asary and the lead paper was presented by Dr.M G Sreekumar. The chair expressed the concern that libraries in Kerala lag behind in the management of digital technologies and urged libraries to adapt themselves to the charges and challenges. Dr.Sreekumar in his lead paper ‘Web technologies for content management’ gave an overview of the current information landscape and went on to discuss the open sources technologies available for content management.
Seven papers were presented on the theme content management and web technology. Divya in her paper “Exploring the use of blogs for personal information management” gave an overview of the Web 2.0 technologies with an emphasis on blogs as a tool for personal information management. The 2nd paper titled “Use of Web 2.0 tools by university libraries: As investigative study” by Jayasree outlined the various Web 2.0 tools and use of these tools by some of the world’s leading universities in their library websites. Helen Agnes Amunga in her paper “Open access initiatives in Kenyan Universities” gave an overview of the leading initiatives by some of the universities in Kenya as well as the obstacles these universities are facing in their efforts. The next two papers touched upon a very important and relevant topic “Library services to people with special needs”. Midhula Soman proposed a model for a Learning Resources Centre for visually challenged students. Continuing with the same theme of information services for visually challenged persons, Minimol in her paper “ICT centre at University of Calicut: a boon to visually challenged” gave an overview of the activities of ICT centre for visually challenged person, which is housed in the CHMK library. The next paper of the session by Sugumaran,C titled “ Vocabulary control method’s in design and development of special directories of digital translation” dealt with the digital translation technologies available and the steps to be taken while choosing an appropriate tool for the purpose of one’s institutions.
The last paper of the final session of the seminar was by Dr.Achuthsankar S.Nair on a project he has taken up with the aim to archive research papers, works and information about higher education teachers.
These were presentations by three corporates, namely M/s Libsoft, Elsevier Publishers and Informatics.
Resolutions are being framed and would be intimated to the participants in due course. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of my team, Dr Beena and Saleena Rudrakumar, who helped me tremendously in compiling this report.
Dr M Lalitha
Rapporteur-General, KLA Seminar 2011