Librarian, Blogger, Dreamer…
The ICAL ended with many firsts and I think it may be the last of one avoidable error also. It was the first time in India such a conference with big international and national participation happens. The Indian crowd of librarians got a chance to see and interact with the stars in the field. There speeches may ignite many minds. The conference also provided a platform to compare and evaluate the standards of research taken place in India in the field of information and knowledge. When the organizing secretary of ICAL 2009, Dr. S. Majumdar declared that ICAL became institutionalised, that was a rare moment of a mission that was accomplished. Now the process will carry forward and that must be. ICAL 2011 will be at the university of Hyderabad. The one blind spot of ICAL 2009 was the dodging of School Libraries. We hope that the School Librarianship in India will get its rightful importance in the coming conferences.
A rare spark of genius happened in the open forum. When Mrs. Murtimate Samantray, NCERT, New Delhi, and I spoke to Mrs. Kalpana Dasgupta, Chairperson, Committee for Libraries, national Knowledge Commission, about the ‘missing’ school libraries in the conference, she expressed her deep concerns on the matter and tell us how she count on school libraries for the successful implementation of the recommendations on Libraries for NKC. She raised the first question in the open forum regarding the exclusion of school libraries in the conference. One of the panellist also expressed the same concern. There were follow up questions from three participants including Mrs. Murtimate Samantray. The session was live and the organizers suggested to include the matter in the coming conferences. Yes, the conference began with University Libraries and ended in School Libraries.
Here is one snap shot that I got accidently. This shows our inhibitions and moments of wonders before the sea changes that happened in the field of information and technology. We are still a little behind the surrounding world. But hope is there, the device in the hand of the hero proves that.
Overall the ICAL 2009 experience was memorable. A chance to see and hear the most coveted personalities in the world librarianship and live interactions with them made the conference a success. The pre conference volumes and conference newsletters were really good to preserve. The teamwork of the organizers is commendable.
The stay at the guest house of national Science Academy was pleasant. We, Suresh, Manual Joseph (CUSAT), T. Gyanadurai and other friends had a great time at ICAL 2009.