The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.
— Cosmos Carl Sagan
Summon Discovery Service (Trial)
Changing role of a librarian
Aanchal Bedi, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 30, 2014
As India moves towards becoming a knowledge-based society with a proliferation of learning and research institutes, the demand for and importance of library science is growing rapidly. As a result, job opportunities are on the upswing. With the advent of information technology, the traditional concept is being revised to include new-age tools of information like CDs, Internet, e-libraries etc.
"There is a lot of demand for library professionals at all levels in schools, colleges, universities, research and development institutions, government departments, corporate sectors, and above all, in public libraries. Since the privatisation of education and growth of industry, particularly with the entry of MNCs in India, the job opportunities for librarians have increased manifold. Currently, a large number of senior positions in India are lying vacant for lack of suitable professionals," says Dr Ramesh C Gaur, university librarian, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
A career as a librarian is not much sought after in India, feels Gaur. "People still think that the job of a librarian is to issue books and other reading material. This lack of awareness has made it difficult to attract better talent in the field. Also, there is no national information policy and umbrella body to deal with issues related to librarians in India," says Gaur.
The pay scale of librarians is at par with that of a university professor. In some organisations, the position of librarians in the hierarchy is up to the level of an additional secretary, Government of India. "However, there is considerable disparity between the pay scales of librarians in different organisations due to the lack of a uniform policy," adds Gaur.
In today's competitive times, a librarian needs to be a good administrator. Excellent communication skills are a pre-requisite. Nowadays, it is 70% information technology and remaining 30% is traditional librarianship. So, one needs to have good IT skills, a strong academic aptitude and an attitude to serve the people if he/she wants to join the profession.
Librarians must have the ability to analyse readers' needs, a knack for listening and knowledge of major topics
I love my job because...
I believe that if doctors save lives, then librarians create lives of the people. It's a very noble profession
Due to privatisation of education and growth of industry, particularly with entry of MNCs in India, the job opportunities for librarians have increased manifold. Currently, a large number of senior positions are lying vacant for lack of suitable professionals