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LIBLICENSE-L  March 2016

LIBLICENSE-L March 2016

Subject:

The changing voice of the librarian - an insightful new series of interviews

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LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

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LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 22 Mar 2016 18:22:02 -0400

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From: "Bell, Jodie" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 09:46:40 +0000

In response to the evolving digital climate, there is a clear shift in
the role and responsibilities of the librarian. In a series of
interviews, librarians at: South Asian University; Indian National
Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH); Indian Social Institute;
Delhi Technological University; Jawaharlal Nehru University and
National Institute of Technology (NIT) Patna provide Taylor & Francis
with their perspectives on the multi-faceted role of the librarian.
These interviews introduce the digital librarian as "educator,"
"knowledge navigator" and as the central point for virtual social
interaction.

The way librarians are interacting with users now extends beyond the
library's physical space. Social media and library websites were
pinpointed, during the interviews as being the most common tools for
user engagement and for increasing awareness of the library's products
and services. Use of social media in the library, according to Abdulah
Amudabin, Librarian, South Asian University also serves a different
purpose - to connect patrons not only with librarians but also with
each other.

Librarians also play a critical role in helping users spend less time
researching and more time finding and reading the content. In a
climate of digital change, where information can be accessed from a
number of sources, Dr Gaur, Jawaharlal Nehru University, highlights
how one of the key challenges facing librarians is to "to change their
ways of working and [provide] the information" to adapt to the new
role, as a, "knowledge navigator" to assist the researcher in
acquiring the relevant information.

There is a clear teaching element attached to the role of the
librarian who is, "not only providing books and journals, but [is]
teaching the teachers, students and even the public," as stated by
Abdulah Amudabin, Librarian, South Asian University. Some of the
librarians featured offer a structured and detailed information
literacy program. A key concern is to support research outputs at the
institutions and often librarians run training courses on plagiarism,
reference management and online resource tools available at the
library.

As well as identifying and filtering content for their users and
teaching patrons how to use the many resources offered, librarians are
looking at the different ways that users access their research.
Rameshwar Dayal explains that the majority of users are, "using the
library online either through the computers or using their mobile
device." In response to this need, the Indian Social Institute are
planning to launch their own mobile app. Librarians are continually
adapting the services they offer to meet the technological needs of
their researchers. As Rameshwar Dayal at Indian Social Institute goes
on to say, "Time is changing and technology is growing very fast. In
this fast moving world, we have to connect with our users and act
according to change."

As Dr Mahesh Sign comments, "Earlier librarians were the custodians of
reading material, but now librarians are the key contacts for any
academic institute which disseminates information." Dr Ramesh C. Gaur,
Librarian, Jawaharlal Nehru University attributes the main change in
the evolving role of the librarian to the need to offer more
"personalised services rather than the physical services." It is clear
from these interviews that the librarian's role is expanding to cater
to digital demands.

Watch the video interviews to explore how librarians in India are
reacting to the new trends in digital librarianship:
http://www.tandf.co.uk/libsite/libraryVoices/asia/

Many thanks to: Abdulah Amudabin, Dr. Ramesh C. Gaur, Shri Rama Kant
Shukla, Nasreem Begum, Rameshwar Dayal and Dr. Mahesh Singh for taking
the time to be interviewed.

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