We are celebrating our National Librarian’s Day on Aug 12 on the occasion of the birth day of Dr S R Ranganathan who is universally acclaimed as “Father Of Library Science”, by commemorating the contributions of all the veteran Librarians, who selflessly struggled & served in the evolution of a viable Library System in pre & Post independence era of our motherland.
Just two or three generations back, say at the dawn of our democratic republic, if one looks back, one can imagine the status of our Libraries to know how it was: Located at some corner, shed or at Backyard of the buildings, Books in locked rooms, locked Almirahs or heaps of books in open wooden Almirahs or on floor, just some care taker in some corner, with one or two tables & some chairs, not such scenes in all libraries of course, but in most of the Libraries for lack of awareness among the management & reading population.
But things started changing in post Independence era, by involvement of Scholars, Professors and some farsighted Administrators &Statesmen in policy making positions who relentlessly fought to evolve norms & regulations for today’s Library system .
Mention should be made among them Dr S Radhakrihnan, Dr S R Ranganathan, Dr BS Keshavan on the national arena,Administrators like Hayavadana Rao, Hanumantha Rao, Prof K S Deshpande in Karnataka and innumerable contributors who gave structure & forms of organisation for scientific management of Public Libraries,
University Libraries, Specialist libraries, Technical Libraries, Knowledge Centres, by creating a holistic Indian Library System on modern lines.
S R Ranganathan identified some five parameters for any Library system:
Libraries are characterised by their collection for whom it is for use; Books Collection is planned for different strata of reader; All strata of readers are taken care of in Acquisition of Books collection; Acquisition is properly processed and arranged for quick & pointed use; Balance selectively the growth of collection of Books & publications amidst the exponential proliferating environment.
One significant fact is that our Library movement was linked shoulder to shoulder, as a part of our freedom movement by early veterans in Andhra, Karnataka, Gujarat, & Rajasthan. Also, we had then just School libraries, College Libraries, University Libraries & Public Libraries.
Later, in early freedom-fight days, late 1950s & early 60s a new popular Library system got evolved: Circulating libraries in every nook & corner of our nation; Circulating Books, Magazines & Newspapers in both regional languages and in English, by Associations, clubs, Ashrams, even individuals with membership-fees and on small subscription fees or circulation charges.
Real profession of Librarians & Library System got evolved steadily by the efforts of literary & Academic &Research Scholars, at colleges, universities, Government and research Institutions,Civil and Defence Organisations, Professional and Specialists Associations all over our developing nation.
Different types of Libraries ,Public library, Academic Library, Specialists Library, Contact Library, Depository Library got organised based on local & social needs.
Dr Radhakrishnan a philosophy professor, strived to make libraries as a pivotal hub giving norms & formula guide lines for component for Library System in Academic, Scientific & Technical institutions gave a formula by linking their Annual budget for books & Periodicals Acquisition based on staff & user ratios, acclaimed as a pioneer giving Norms & formula for UGC & other Institutions. Kothari commission gave further impetus linking with all facets of tips & norms linking it with Indian educational reforms.
Dr S R Ranganthan a Mathematics Professor made his contribution unique in the sense he devloped a holistic model on all facets of entire Universe of Library management system right from defining its components by framing canons,norms Codes & laws for their inter-relationship & functions who later earned the encomium Universally by getting acclaimed as “Father of Library Science”.
Dr B S Keshavan a professor of English Literature developed National library as a repository of entire national Intellectual wealth published in print form & available in manuscript forms too in all our Indian Languages and compilation of Indian National multilingual Bibliography acclaimed as a creator & curator of Our National Library System.
Prof Desh Pande who founded & developed the Karnataka University Library 1950s took up beyond it and has the distinction of developing all the University Libraries in Karnataka: Bangalore University Library, Mysore University Library & Mangalore University Linrary in 1960s and also involved In founding & Library Science departments in respective Universities from where trained librarians have spread in all over he nation contributing for a well-knit Academic Library System in different spheres.
Though institutions like UGC, CSIR, ICSSR, DRDO & scores of other regulatory Bodies are overhauling & overseeing the functions of Library management system of all their component units with application & upgradation by the advanced digital technology & electronic Gadgets providing Sufficient funds, management training & techniques for organisation & administration of Library & Information Centres on most modern lines.
The final result is the changing Scenario witnessed today by the GeNxt Librarains:
Books, Periodicals, Data Serials and all other conventional documents which were stored, conserved & systematically arranged & managed in different types of Library stacks & gadgets are gradually being replaced by E books, On line Publications & Digital devices which are all available on Disks, Servers &other means by government,Private & Corporates are available on both Open & restricted access universally without any sort of temporal & spatial constraints any time any where, not just on our global zones but beyond terrestrial horizon even.
Dr Ranganathan’s seminal contribution to the use of Information as a principle baseline component of growth of Knowledge Economy since post second world war Period has been his clear definition of structure & development of universe of Knowledge Pyramid which data analytics are popularising it as ” Big Data ” which has given modern tools in Information Technology “Artificial Intelligence “,
“Block Chain”, “Internet of Things” and many more tools like them for harnessing bit by bytes the chunks of Universe of Big Data in today’s emerging new era of Knowledge Economy.
The entire library community in our nation should urge our progressive Government of the day on this occasion of National Librarian’s Day to wake up to rejuvenate & reactivate our National Library System which is loosing its ethical and holistic track by our almost inert & defunct authorities like our “National Library Mission” & “Knowledge Commission” who are supposed to overhaul and regulate each & every component of the Library & information system an essential Prime opponent of our emerging Knowledge Economy by integrating it with the changing digital scenario.for ushering better economic health & social harmony in an environmentally secular trend all across our mother land.