Library Workshop on E-resource Management to Enhance Resource Development and Digitization in Indian Agricultural University Libraries
 December 15–16, 2011 | Varanasi, India

A two-day international “Strengthening the Academic Library to Enhance Agriculture Education” workshop was jointly organized by the Institute of Agricultural Sciences and the Central Library at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in collaboration with the Albert R. Mann Library at Cornell University.The workshop, conducted December 15–16, 2011, focused on ways the library documentation community might better generate use of available printed and online resources in research activities and information literacy. The workshop objectives were to understand and implement e-learning, e-resource development and digitization of study materials to increase their accessibility and long-term preservation.

The workshop fostered interaction among experts from across the globe. There were presentations by several faculty members from Albert R. Mann Library, including Dr. Mary Ochs, Director; Dr. Jim Morris-Knower, Applied Social Sciences Librarian and Ms. Joy Paulson, Librarian, Digital Collections, as well as a presentation by Stefan Einarson, Director, Transnational Learning and the Head of Information Technology for International Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. Documentation specialists, librarians and information system officers from BHU, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology (SVPUA&T), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Orissa Agricultural University (OAU), Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, National Institute of Extension Management, Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Kerala Agricultural University and Egerton University took part in this workshop.

Dr. Mary Ochs highlighted the importance of three major components of e-resources – databases, e-journals and e-books. Dr. Joy Paulson took the lead in discussing several aspects of digitization of library collections. She emphasized the need and importance of digitizing different types of materials. Dr. Jim Morris-Knower, pointed out that information literacy is one of the skills that every graduate should have in addition to disciplinary knowledge, skills in critical thinking, communication skills, scientific and quantitative reasoning, engagement in the process of discovery or creation, and the capacity.

Mr. Stefan Einarson acquainted the audience with the recent changes in accessing resources at Mann Library. Mr. Einarson emphasized the growing popularity of e-learning, also known as hybrid learning, across the world. E-learning offers libraries a powerful medium for reaching out to faculty and students as they engage in teaching, learning and research.

Dr. T. P. Trivedi, Project Director and Assistant Director General (ADG), Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, ICAR, discussed the efforts taken by ICAR in sharing and management of knowledge in agriculture. He also discussed the importance of the Consortium for e-Resources in Agriculture (CeRA). Dr. Trivedi shared the success stories of the publication of two e-journals under ICAR – the Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences and the Indian Journal of Animal Sciences – which can be accessed globally. He said that these journals play a significant role in the implementation of e-resources in the field of agricultural research.

The workshop discussions and presentation enabled participants to discuss constraints, share experiences, and gain insightful knowledge in building capacity and strengthening the academic library to enhance agricultural education in India. As a result of the relationships formed and ideas exchanged during this workshop, librarians from BHU are being hosted for training at Albert R. Mann Library, June 17-August 26, 2012.

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