By: Sanjay K. Bihani, Chair, Government Libraries Section, IFLA
The theme of the International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) 2013, the fourth in ICDL series, was ‘Vision 2020: Looking Back 10 Years and Forging New Frontiers’.
The conference provided an international forum for sharing of experiences among researchers, educators, practitioners, and policy makers from a variety of disciplines such as library and information science, information and communication technology, archival and museum studies, knowledge management and various other related areas in the fields of Science, Social Sciences and Humanities. It facilitated the bridging of knowledge gaps between developing and developed countries; initiated capacity building activities in digital libraries; provided a forum for facilitating useful interaction amongst information science and technology professionals; and most important of all, facilitated the formulation of recommendations on digitization technologies, acts and policies in India.
Shri M Hamid Ansari, the Vice President of India, inaugurated the Conference at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on 27th November 2013. The welcome address was given by Dr R P Pachauri, Director General, TERI. Dr M M Pallam Raju, Minister for Human Resource Development, Government of India gave a special address. Mr Prabir Sengupta, Distinguished Fellow, TERI gave an introduction to the ICDL 2013 programme.
The conference comprised Tutorials, Technical Sessions, Thematic Workshops-cum-Panel Discussions, poster presentations, exhibitions, and interviews sponsored by the government, multilateral and bilateral organizations. More than 600 participants from 35 countries including librarians, computer science professionals, academicians, policy makers, and students attended the conference that received overwhelming global response.
At the “Collaborative Knowledge Creation” session that I chaired, Professor Atsuyuki Morishima talked about the L-Crowd Project by LIS and CS researchers in Japan and the importance of crowdsourcing, especially in Japan. Professor Kavi Mahesh talked on the use of tag and content management in the present scenario, drawbacks of hyperlinks, and requirements for semantic content management. He concluded that content sharing should be a global activity. These were followed discussion on the importance of collaborative knowledge creation in informal networks, with a special focus on the Bandra-Kurla complex knowledge network, Mumbai. The need for collaboration among librarians and library resources and tools were emphasized. There was also a presentation on managing enterprise knowledge and discussion on knowledge management and initiatives taken by the SAIL organization.
At the conference, publishers, software companies, and online service providers from India and abroad exhibited the latest technological developments, online services and e-journal initiatives throughout the world.
At the Valedictory Session, Dr Santanu Ganguly, the Organising Secretary, highlighted the ICDL Conference Report 2013 including recommendations on a national digital library platform; digital deposit legislation; and the funding, support policies and government programmes. He emphasized the need for developing countries to undertake a survey of digital libraries in their countries to assess the status of development in all areas of digital library technologies such as information infrastructure, digital technology applications, digital library research, and standards and practices followed as well as library staff competency level in managing digital technologies.
The conference has boosted the enthusiasm among government, library and information professionals and technology professionals of the importance of the digital library system. It also brought out the present status and the latest developments and techniques in this field.