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  • TERI and IGNOU organises the Third International Conference on Digital Libraries

    23 February 2010

    Digital Libraries (DL) are increasingly playing a vital role in business, research and education and facilitating 'anytime, anywhere access' to knowledge resources. They are emerging as a crucial component of global information infrastructure and resources that bring the physical library and information resources to users in digital form. This provides a common platform and enable interaction among all DL experts, researchers, academics and students; facilitates creation, adoption, implementation and utilization of DL's and their future contribution towards shaping the information paradigm and also to enable developed and developing countries to bridge the digital divide through knowledge sharing. The conference was inaugurated by Hon'ble HRD Minister, Government of India, Shri Kapil Sibal. Present at the ceremony were, Smt. D Pundeshwari, Hon'ble State Minister for Education, Government of India, Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI, Dr Deanna Marcum, Library of Congress and Dr V N Rajshekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU and other eminent dignitaries.

    Giving his inaugural address, Shri Kapil Sibal, said, "Initiatives the world over are promoting digital libraries and the digitization process so as to meet the knowledge challenges of the 21st century. Digitization is facilitating libraries, museums, and other similar service institutions the world over in preserving information relating to science education , history, arts, culture and heritage and digital libraries will allow such information to be integrated, recorded and disseminated to empower of communities. I therefore request the members of the Recommendation Committee to submit a draft policy document addressing the issues of standardization, copyrights, creation of infrastructure for extending the digital library services in regional languages and access to vast resources. I convey my best wishes, to both the organizers TERI and IGNOU, library and information science professionals from across the world participating in the conference, and all stake holders in the digitization and knowledge business. "

    Speaking on the importance of digital libraries, Dr R K Pachauri, said, "The rapid pace of development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the manner in which information and knowledge will be disseminated using these technologies are going to play a major role in the evolution of society in the present century. It is going to change the way we think, the way we work and the way we leverage this powerful combination for the benefit of society at large. Digital libraries are rapidly growing in popularity. The technology of the electronic library, because of its reliance on remotely accessed databases, has created an environment where the user can autonomously control information flow and content. Universal access to all knowledge is now within our grasp due in large measure to the continued improvements in book handling and presentation technologies such as optical character recognition and ebooks, development of alternative depositories and business models."

    Stressing on the need to propagate to digital libraries, Smt. D Pundeshwari,said, "The National Knowledge Commission has rightly emphasised that developments in information communication technology (ICT) have enabled libraries to provide access to all, and also bridge the gap between the local, the national and the global. Perhaps the most visible application of ICT in libraries today, especially after the arrival of dynamic web technology, is the availability of content in electronic forms through digital libraries making it of immense use for various academic and research purposes. I hope the experts gathered here would fruitfully deliberate on issues of concern such as development, architecture, and management of digital libraries, multilingualism (especially non-English) and interoperability issues in countries like ours with many languages, digital preservation and access issues, non textual content, Web 2.0 (Library 2.0), institutional repositories, e-Learning and online digital learning, m-learning, standards, policies, challenges for developing countries like bandwidth, digital divide etc."

    Earlier in the day, the inaugural session of the tutorial sessions were held in IGNOU and present on the inaugural session were Mr T Ramasami, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor IGNOU, Ms. Anne Caputo, President SLA and Dr Vibha Dhawan, Executive Director, TERI along with 200 other participants. The eight tutorial sessions provided the best of services to the user community.

    TERI in partnership with IGNOU organised the Third International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) around the theme--"Shaping the Information Paradigm". The three-day conference had a special focus on web-based methodologies in teaching and learning, multimedia content, DL standards, Knowledge Management, Copyright and Digital Rights Management (DRM) etc. The conference essentially focused on all contemporary issues related to development of digital libraries and their impact on changing the information paradigm.

    Information has always played a crucial role in society and has fuelled knowledge, which has become the most important capital and will be the key driving force in the present age. Economic, social, cultural, and all other human activities in communities will become dependent on a huge volume of knowledge and information and this knowledge will get added to the social capital of the communities. The success of any society will thus lie in harnessing this capital. Knowledge societies will therefore no longer be constrained by geographic proximity as current technology offers much more possibilities for sharing, archiving and retrieving knowledge.

    About 600 participants and 46 eminent speakers from all parts of India and from 40 other nations like Africa, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cairo, Cameroon, China, Denmark, Finland, Fiji, Ghana, Germany, Japan, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, and USA. This was the biggest event of its kind in which information scientists and professionals from a wide range of disciplines have participated viz Digital Library experts, Content and Knowledge Managers, Educationists, Policy Makers, Digital Archivists, IT Service Providers, Museologists, Electronic Publishing and Virtual Electronic Communities, Central and State government officials. Some of the leading institutions of the country such as Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Indian National Science Academy(INSA), The American Center, The British Council, Goethe Institute, The Embassies of Austria and the Netherlands supported the conference.

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