Monday, September 16, 2013

World Literacy Day 2013

To celebrate the literacy day 2013, DANISH SOCIETY in coordination with Library Information Services of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Lahore Campus celebrated an entire week to promote literacy.

First event was “Mounted Books Exhibition”. The society organized a book exhibition in the Library Hall of CIIT Lahore. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Director of COMSATS Lahore, Dr. Mahmood Ahmad Bodla along with Dr. Talat Afza, Dr. Robina Farooq, Convener Library Affairs Committee, Tariq Najmi, Library Incharge, library staff, faculty members and Students of CIIT Lahore. All exhibition participants showed great interest in books that were available in great variety. Latest books on different subjects like literature, management, engineering, architecture & design and on other areas were displayed in the exhibition.  Stall was beautifully decorated to attract the library users. The one week exhibition was ended on September 13, 2013.

A seminar with the title “Read to Lead” was also organized on September 11, 2013 where senior faculty members of COMSATS University shared their views and experiences about reading and the role of education in a society. The speakers include Tariq Najmi, Dr. Samina Mazhar, Abid Sharif highlighted the importance of reading and books. The low literacy rate in Pakistan was especially focused in these speeches. Dr. Robina Farooq (Convener Library Affairs Committee) and Prof. Hassan Shahnawaz Zaidi (Poet, thinker, philosopher, actor, writer, and architect) were also invited as special guests and speakers. Both talked on literacy, its importance, issues and challenges.

Moreover, to develop an interest in students for education and to play their role in the society as active members, a movie show was organized which proved to be a blockbuster show. They show was appreciated and praised by everyone.

A campaign about literacy day were also organized in the campus. Flexes, banners and flayers were displayed in all notice boards and at public areas of the campus. All banners and flexes have some messages regarding importance of literacy and education.

 I would like to pay my thanks to all members of Danish Society particular Snabil and Islam. They did very good job to organize the events. Library staff members, particular Muhammad Ishtiaq for his dedication and commitment. Worthy Director, Dr Mahmood Ahmad Bodla and Convener Library Affairs Committee Dr Robina Farooq , for their approval and encouragements.

For pictorial detail please access the following link

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Why Libraries Are a Smart Investment for the Country's Future

Across from the United States Supreme Court, two hundred people gathered at the Library of Congress to celebrate Monday — and not because of the court's immigration decision. From suited university presidents to red-shirted Boy Scouts from Cincinnati, these partiers gathered at a symposium to commemorate a troika of American institutions: the land-grant university, the National Academy of Sciences and the Carnegie libraries.
The celebration was marked by a keen awareness that libraries have been vital engines of America's social mobility from their earliest days. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and former New York Public Library president who raised a $327 million to revive the institution in the 1980s, led an afternoon panel discussing libraries' foundational importance to a democratic America. Gregorian's central point: the Library of Congress is and must continue to be the "guardian not only of our nation's memory but of humanity's."
Libraries across America share this task thanks to Andrew Carnegie, who gave some 1400 grants to build libraries across the country, worth $41 million at the time, or several billion in today's dollars. His gift of the New York Public Library tops the charts of philanthropic acts in American history. "The library in his mind was the quintessential educational institution for the whole community," said David Nasaw, history professor at City University of New York.
Carnegie's influence on education expanded social possibilities for everyday Americans. "There are now more public libraries in the United States than McDonalds restaurants," noted Clara Hayden, CEO of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library. Libraries provide people with cultural capital, she explained — lectures, music, debates, and news, all free and accessible. Libraries were even some of the first places open to all races. Today more than 70% of all libraries offer free internet access, and in a struggling economy where even applications for dishwashing jobs must be filled out online, that is no small public service.
Today America's library system sits at a critical juncture. The Library of Congress alone has lost some 1300 staff since the onset of the digital media age two decades ago. Until last week, four of the six largest American publishing houses did not lend digital books to libraries, president of the New York Public Library Anthony Marx noted. And last month, the NYPL's move to renovate its landmark headquarters to include more computers and resources for the general public prompted protests from scholars and writers who wanted to preserve the space for research.
Despite these challenges, the transition to digital media continues to open doors for innovative public service. The Library of Congress is spearheading the creation of a new World Digital Library with 145 institutions worldwide. The project allows the United States, often criticized for supplanting other cultures identities, to help with the repatriation of other countries' unique cultural memories, said the Librarian of Congress James Billington. The Digital Public Library of America, an online project shepherded by Harvard University to spread knowledge beyond traditional library shelves, aims to launch in April of next year.
As both the national economy and print empires shift, it may be tempting to take America's library system for granted. Marx reminded the audience to keep investing in the country's public educational opportunities, especially public libraries. "You cannot have a functioning economy if you do not have innovation," he said. "You cannot have a functioning democracy if you cannot have the citizenry able to inform itself." Nasaw agreed: "We should emphasize that libraries are not frills. They are not luxuries, but a sacred component of American education and American democracy."
The symposium also commemorated the act that granted 17.4 million acres to states in the 19th and 20th centuries to launch land-grant colleges all across the country. "The Morrill Act provided a blueprint for America's first continent-wide plan for education," Librarian of Congress James Billington said. Representative Justin Morrill of Vermont, he noted, crystalized a vision for fostering agricultural, mechanical, and liberal arts studies. Over 100 public universities have been created as a result.
Land-grant university presidents at the conference panels touted the contributions that their public institutions have made to society. University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams praised his students for their recent discovery that the Peach State is actually better suited to growing blueberries — as a result of their research, Georgia has since shifted gears to produce more berries than their official state fruit. Montana State University President Waded Cruzado noted that without funding for land-grant institutions, one of her school's graduates, renowned vaccinologist Maurice Hilleman, might not have been able to afford higher education. Hilleman developed eight of the 14 vaccines given to prevent childhood diseases, such as measles, mumps and pneumonia around the globe. "It is claimed that he saved more lives than anyone in the world," Cruzado said.
Although the Morrill Act and the library system are often praised for helping Americans break the glass ceiling, the 150th celebration served as a reminder that some parts of the ceiling have yet to be shattered. Allen Sessoms, President of the University of the District of Columbia, expressed frustration that higher education is becoming more of "a private good than a public necessity." Some schools now offer more merit-based scholarships than need-based aid, he said, and that's a drift from their public mission. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), who earlier told the gathering that he got his first library card at age three, closed with a final challenge for Washington: "Why not celebrate this anniversary by taking steps to make our institutions work?"

Read more:,8599,2118141,00.html#ixzz2doE2gKYz

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Core Competencies Of Librarianship

Librarianship refers to the field of working in a library in various ways. Whether in a basic librarian position or as an administrator, there are numerous positions within the field and numerous types of libraries that one may find employment in. However, while anyone can earn a degree and enter this field, there are certain people who are more well-suited to the job based on their overall personality and their natural skillset. There are also numerous core competencies that make up the knowledge base of a good librarian. These are usually taught within classes that lead to library science degrees. In all cases, understanding the core competencies of librarian ship is a good first step towards success in the field.

Personal Qualities

Before one ever sits in a library science related classroom, there are numerous skills and abilities that help highlight someone as being right for a position in this field. These natural talents and personality traits help one stand out as a good candidate for a position as a librarian. Basic personal traits and skills that are important to have include:
  • A love of knowledge and learning
  • A desire to work around people
  • Love of books
  • Broad overall knowledge of life and the world
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Good with numbers
  • Friendly
  • Ethical
  • Personable
  • Basic affinity for working with large volumes of information
  • Computer skills
Note that these skills and traits aren’t necessarily required to become a professional librarian, but they are important components of thriving in the position and as such it’s important to consider the presence of one or more of them in one’s own personality to determine if librarianship is a good career choice to make.

Basic Competencies

While those personal qualities are all important aspects of a career in this field, they only make up the foundation on which to build. Learning various skills through classwork is a must for entering a position as a librarian and there are numerous core competencies worth taking a look at. These basic competencies include:
  • Ability to use technology and to use it to enhance the overall effectiveness of a library, including web based methods of improving technological access to information.
  • Good overall knowledge of archiving and filing information as well as maintaining databases and reference information.
  • Capable of evaluating resources and finding the best ones for addressing different questions or issues.
  • Ability to quickly and professionally search databases, internet resources, and catalogs to find needed information.
  • Ability to communicate well with library staff as well as with all patrons and guests
  • Deep knowledge of books. Good librarians usually read a variety of genres and types of books so that they can help to advise readers as to good books for their reading level and their interests.
  • Ability to promote reading
  • Ability to present information clearly and in an interesting manner
  • Some public speaking skills may be required as well
  • Strong level of customer service skills
  • Ability to adapt to new tools, systems, and situations as they arise – library and information technology is constantly evolving and shifting and librarians must be able to evolve along with it
  • Good overall knowledge of pop culture and current events may not be needed but can help with facilitating patrons’ needs
  • Team player
  • Ability to help overcome issues by focusing on solutions instead of on the problems
  • Organizational skills that are enhanced through regular additional efforts
  • Must maintain a solid overall understanding of different issues that confront libraries of all sizes
Obviously some of these competencies are taught while others are gradually learned and mastered during an education and on the job experience. For example, while classes can help teach one the finer points of organization or statistics, one will have to gradually learn how to hone their communication skills.
Additionally, some of these skills may not be as important as others. The place of employment will have a large impact on exactly what is needed to thrive in a particular position in a particular job and the specific competencies most important in that occupation.


The field of librarianship is a rewarding one to enter, particular for those who love knowledge, learning, and reading. However, while several personal traits and skills will help one be better suited overall for a position in the field, there are also numerous skills and competencies that must be studied and advanced in order to succeed in this field. It takes much more to thrive as a librarian than many people realize, and the above lists should help give you an idea of just what it takes to succeed in this important and constantly evolving field.
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Characteristics of a Good Library

First and foremost, a library has to provide an atmosphere of comfort, solitude and quiet. You should have ease of access to the reading materials available whether books, or on line info. This should be clearly marked and easily self-serviced without a lot of employee assistance or questions required. 
Seating should be comfortable and personal. Lounge chairs or at least upholstered chairs should be considered, and they should be individual seating units as opposed to sofas or ganged- seating units, so customers feel comfortable not having to sit next to strangers for prolonged periods of time.
There should be tables available to spread materials out on if study is required, as well as smaller coffee or end tables if someone is there to just sit and read.
Lighting should be tailored to the type of seating/ table arrangements they serve. Task ( table or "reading" ) lights for individual seating, and overall general lighting ( ie: fluorescent ) for above study tables. A mix of both is most pleasant. Given the importance of proper lighting, you should consult a professional at a local lighting store for direction re: light level, eye strain, etc. 
Soft finishes, ( carpet, fabrics ) will help with sound control and should be considered over ceramic tile, hardwood, vinyls or metals. They also help create a warmer atmosphere. 
You could think of a cozy, homey almost old English reading room feel and perhaps incorporate design elements such as a few "faux" fireplaces, antiques, artwork and plants. Windows are an asset for natural light, with soft drapes, but combine with vertical or horizontal blinds that louvre to control light glare while reading on looking at a computer screen.
Though there are a lot of contemporary, minimalist library spaces out there, the size of your space plays a part in your design direction. Heavily trafficked school libraries are usually large, clean, and bared down for safety and security. Smaller retail types can be more residential in feel. Also keep in mind food and drink service if required, and the packaging, spills and clean up.