About ICDL 2016

To thrive and be part of this vibrant and Smart Future, one should be predictive, adaptive and agile. Most of us are not prepared to meet the challenges facing the future, but these changes are fast approaching. While knowledge of possible trends is essential to prepare ourselves to manage risk and future opportunities, a deeper understanding of the future is only a part to reign over future challenges. The other crucial part is about taking actions, designing innovations, formulating plans and crafting strategies using future technologies. Besides, mutual collaborations at personal, organizational, national and global levels are becoming integral part to shape up the future you desire

Smart Future is about understanding, visualizing, and exploring the possible scenarios of the future today, to be able to better prepare ourselves. This will help us to design the future based on set goals. Better preparation for the future enables us to alter the direction of an entire marketplace, field, or to prepare industry or prepare for the outcome. It is also possible to make greater impact in the future through present actions.

Predicting the future, better preparing for the future and taking requisite actions to apply this knowledge to create the future - these are the three strategic objectives of Smart Future. This mega event, ICDL 2016, will uncover the processes related to these issues.

Having the strategic knowledge about the key trends that will shape our future might enable us to achieve success and it may make a difference in the world- innovate, create, discover or fix something that would touch millions. In simple terms, we are fast passing through the digitization era and entering into knowledge society. Therefore, the knowledge of associated technologies and processes is equally important to pursue. Knowledge of possible trends is essential in order to prepare to manage present risks and it will facilitate decision-making by converting challenges into opportunities in the future. While a deeper understanding on the trends that will shape the future is 50 per cent, the other half is about taking actions, designing innovations, formulating plans, and crafting strategies, tactics, and collaboration to shape the desired future. This is true on personal, organizational, national, and global levels.

Smart Future: Knowledge Trends that will Change the World theme at ICDL 2016, will not only create a roadmap to guide us through what is coming next, but also tell us how to prepare ourselves for new challenges and opportunities. It will suggest how to manage the key trends to improve our life in future.

If you are interested in shifting your worldview and creating new possibilities for yourself, then become a Game Changer of the Future by participating in this ICDL 2016.

TERI's contribution to Digital Library Movement in India


Libraries, especially digital libraries, are truly at the heart of knowledge societies; they enable people to access, share, and apply knowledge. Digital libraries provide access to many of the knowledge networks around the world, which is a necessary component of a knowledge society. Digital libraries have traditionally been positioned at the intersection of library science, computer science, and networked information systems.

In India, several government ministries and organizations were also considering possibilities on how they should start the DL development process at the national level? What resources should be digitized? Where from funds will come? As a beginner, many private and government organizations started their own websites capturing limited resources in the digital form, however, no formal strategic and coordinated initiative were taken until then. Moreover, not many windows were open in India for library professionals to learn more about the advancement of digital libraries.

We at TERI had understood in early 2000 that the era of digital library and digitization had started for capturing and dissemination of knowledge in the developed world and many users and organizations across the world immensely benefitted from it. The TERI Library had positioned itself accordingly and started working toward development of a digital library and conceptualizing knowledge management.

Being a front runner in research, TERI, through its library, had initiated periodic workshops in the areas of electronic resource sharing, resource management, digital library development, and many more. At the same time, TERI also started its knowledge management (KM) processes and in 2003, initiated development of KM platform in TERI. Upon receipt of positive feedback and professional demand, TERI library professionals first thought of hosting an international conference in coordination with foreign and national experts, ministries, and decision and policy makers in India and abroad. The idea was to bridge the gap between India and other developed nations to address the challenges and opportunities w.r.t to digitization of resources.

The journey of ICDL began in 2004 with financial and intellectual support from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Several DL luminaries came forward and joined hands with TERI to make this event a grand success. The first conference was inaugurated by Hon'ble Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, the then President of India. The recommendations were submitted to Ministry of Culture for implementation. After evaluation of the poor state of public libraries in India, one of the recommendations was the allocation funds for developing the public library system in India. It triggered a large number of DL developments such as DLI initiatives by the Indian government and several national/international events in India, aimed at bridging the digital divide between the developing and developed countries. It also provided a platform to enable interaction among DL amateurs and luminaries.

Seeing overwhelming responses from all corners - government, librarians, and publishers, ICDL was also repeated in 2006 and 2010. Since the beginning, ICDLs were fortunate to receive support of Indian government, online publishers, renowned speakers, organizations, and participants. In the last three ICDLs, speakers have been invited from over 25 countries.

Glimpses of Past ICDL

Year Theme No. of Speakers No. of Participants
February 2004 Knowledge creation, preservation, access, and management 55 speakers invited from 16 countries 750 participants from 36 countries
December 2006 Information management for global access 45 speakers invited from 17 countries 600 participants from 35 countries
February 2010 Shaping the information paradigm 47 speakers invited from 17 countries 600 participants from 40 countires
November 2013 Vision 2020: Looking Back 10 Years and Forging New Frontiers 40 speakers invited from 16 countries 533 participants from 9 countries

ICDLs, over the last 10 years, took center stage as a platform to promote DL research and bridging the digital divide, among DL enthusiasts, as it received participation from across the globe. All the past ICDLs have received over 600 participations across the globe and have been recognized as one of the premier international DL conferences.

Major Recommendations of Past ICDLs


  • Policy-makers to take initiatives in standardization of metadata, inter-operability
  • Copyright issues
  • Development of a document of a multidisciplinary task force
  • Preservation of cultural and literary heritage of India
  • Around 2.50 billion earmarked for digitization of 1.5 million documents within a period of 3 years


  • Enact Digital Library Act
  • Establish consortia for content creation
  • Democratization of information
  • Capacity- and capability-building in digital library
  • National Digital Library Policy
  • Digital India Initiative (DII)
  • Setting up of apex body for the development of DL in the country


  • Re-emphasizing the need for enacting Digital Library Act
  • Re-emphasizing the need to evolve National Digital Library Policy
  • Capacity- and capability-building through public and private sector partnerships
  • Harness digital library technologies for e-learning and open distance learning


  • Integrating digital libraries on a common platform for comprehensive access
  • National Digital Library Platform that nations can adopt towards digital deposit legislation
  • Commission a national survey to assess the status of digital libraries' development in developing countries
  • National governments should fund and support policies and programmes for digital library development
  • Developing 2nd and 3rd Generational digital libraries
Figure 1: Impact of ICDLs (Based on contributed papers)

The major components of International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) reveal a certain trend in evolving topics of Library and Information Science. Figure 1 shows a bird's eye view of percentage of minor topical sections submitted in the four years of the event (2004, 2006, 2010, and 2013).

The set of juvenile subjects gain their dues through the new technology and need of the hours under limelight; whereas, few topics slowly drop down their readers or audience in the middle of changing trends. The subjects come up with threshholds with their own relevance and usability are majorly observed such as Digital Library Services, DL tools & technology, DL development and management Open Access and online learning, knowledge management, etc.

The maximum submitted papers were on the topic, DL development and Architecture; in the initial days of 2004 and 2006, But a significant upsurge can be seen in later years; in 2010 and 2013 there was a huge acceptance of the said theme and other allied areas.

Similarly the topics shown in individual years are mentioned in figures reflecting the evolving trends of decade's knowledge demands and few going behind the curtain of new technology dominance. The topics like ‘Digital Divide', ‘Metadata & Interoperability', ‘Users Behaviour', etc., show a little downfall trend in the submission of the paper.

Figure 2: Trends in paper submission in previous ICDLs

The new topics introduced in 2013 are DL technology and architecture. Figure 2 shows an increasing rate of submission in DL Development, DL preservation, E-Publishing, Semantics and web, and DL services. Knowledge Management (KM) is the need of the hour for the Library & Information professionals in order to adapt a profound system to adapt with the technology in vogue to curate and deliver the knowledge in the near future.

Some of the topics such as Open learning and Virtual learning, Information storage and retrieval, Collaborative content management etc are generating more interests in the minds of the aspirants.

Figure 3 shows the number of national and international participants who participated in the International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) held in the years 2004 to 2013 by the TERI Library and Information Centre.

Figure 3: Trends in paper submission in previous ICDLs