Challenges Library Management System Essay
Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website!
n 1981, UNESCO published a study prepared by Jean Lunn1 from Canada, Guidelines for Legal Deposit Legislation. His study is now 30 years old since its publication. Many countries have amended or significantly rewritten their legal deposit laws (Germany, Indonesia, and Norway in 1990; France in 1992, Sweden in 1994, Canada in 1995, South Africa in 1997, Denmark in 1998 and Japan & Finland in 2000). Others are in the process of doing so (Australia, India, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom).
The forms of intellectual and artistic expressions have grown in different dimensions.
New published media have been developed and electronic publications are now an integral part of many national publishing heritages. UNESCO was under pressure to bring out a revised edition of the Guideline in order to review the impact of it on other countries and to incorporate new forms of publishing, such as, electronic publications. The new revised and updated edition of the Guidelines of Legal 2 Deposit Legislation (2000, UNESCO) by Jules Lariviere is found to be a useful tool.
The Indian relevant act, Delivery of Books Act 1954 (rev. 1956 to include newspapers and periodicals) has been under the scanner shortly after it was put into application and over the last five decades the National Library, Kolkata and the three other recipient regional public libraries, Connemara Pubic Library, Chennai, Central Library, Town Hall, Mumbai and Delhi Public Library, Delhi, and especially the publishing world directly involved with it, expressed concern and drew attention of the Government of India, of its limitations and ineffectiveness.
The National Library, Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) and several professional library organizations discussed its drawbacks and recommended revision or specific amendments of the act at various seminars, conferences and other forums. Ministry of Culture, the concerned agency of the government of India, set up several committees to deal with the National Library. The Recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission3 and its Working Group on Libraries (NKC-WGL, 2006) is completely silent on this and other national library related issues. It would be appropriate to draw attention to an article by 3.
Challenges in Library Management System (CLMS 2012) Bandopadhyay (2000) former Director of the National Library, is exhaustive enough with a complete set of plan of action for the concerned Ministry to initiate the revision process at the earliest. As a follow up, the Ministry took some steps to obtain the views, of other stakeholders, including academics, library users group and senior library professionals. Based on these suggestions / recommendations a revised draft bill on this issue was prepared that is awaiting final clearance of the Ministry since 2006.
Role of Legal Deposit Act: In simple terms Legal Deposit is a statutory obligation which requires that any organization, commercial or public, and any individual producing any type of documentation in multiple copies, be obliged to deposit one or more copies with some recognised national institution/s. It is important to make sure that legal deposit legislation covers all kinds of published material, that is, material generally produced in multiple copies and “offered to the public regardless of the means of transmission. ”
Public distribution could mean “performance” or “display” e.g. radio or television programme could be considered as “published” for legal deposit purposes when it has been broadcast. Within the electronic publications environment, it should be noted that a “one copy item” such as, a database , stored on one server, could be subject to legal deposit requirement since it is made available to the public through a technology enabling the public to read, hear or view the material. 5 (Lariviere ). Most countries rely on a legal instrument of some sort in order to ensure the comprehensiveness of their national deposit collection.
In all countries with legal deposit system, “published material” would naturally include books, periodicals, newspapers, microforms, sheet music, maps, brochures, pamphlets, etc. In some countries audio-visual material (sound recordings, films, videos, etc. ) is also subject to legal deposit and there are several countries where electronic publications are also included into the legislation, but they have done this in different way; some have excluded on-line electronic publications because of the numerous unsolved technical problems related to their acquisition and preservation problems related to ever changing technological scenarios.
Legal deposit legislation serves a clear national public policy interest by ensuring comprehensive acquisition, recording, preservation and access of a nation’s published heritage. The role of a legal deposit system is to ensure the development of a national collection of published material in various formats. It should also support the compilation and publication of national bibliography in order to ensure bibliographic control over a comprehensive deposit collection. In addition, an effective legal deposit legislation guarantees to citizens and researchers within the country and abroad, access to research collection of the national published material.
Countries are developing many different models, but are clearly unable to keep pace with the massive changes and challenges related to the deposit of intangible publications. Department of National Heritage6, UK (1997) brought out a consultative paper on current legal deposit of publication issues based on a questionnaire which identified several pertinent issues and posed a number of specific questions to which sought responses from individuals and organizations. This document could also help Indian group and the government agencies in formulating the revised DB Act.
Profile of Indian book publishing Before we deal with Indian Delivery of Books Act let us first look at the present trends in book publishing in India. Over the last four decades a large majority of English language publishing has concentrated in and around the capital, Delhi. The city is also a major centre of Hindi publishing industry. With the rapid growth of higher education from 1960s and the pressure built-up within the faculties due to UGC’s policy of ‘publish or perish’ resulted in the increase of publications of research monograph. India is one of the few countries where 4 4.
Invited Lectures theses and dissertations submitted for Ph. D. and other similar higher postgraduate degrees in humanities and social sciences particularly, get published as a routine matter, whereas in science and technology this would be a rare phenomenon. There is no reliable source of annual book publishing data in India or any comprehensive list of Indian publishers in different languages. D. N. Malhotra7 (2010), former President of FIP and an established publisher in English and Hindi claimed of having 15,000 20,000 publishing houses, mostly run by individuals or as single family business.
According to Vinutha Mallay8 Senior Editor of Mapin Publishing, India is the sixth largest publishing industry in the world with annual growth of 15-20%; third largest publishers of books in English, around 90,000 to 100,000 books are published annually, there are about 19,000 publishers in the country; in addition sixty per cent of global publishing outsourcing is based in India. This growth trend is noticeable only from the 70s onwards when book trade turnover increased gradually due to numerical growth of educational and research institutions at every level.
As we look back a few decades, the demand of English books grew fast in libraries of newly established universities, research institutions and other academic centres. Individual buyers of books constitute only a small percentage. Bulk of the titles was imported from the English speaking countries, mostly from the UK and USA based publishing houses. This book import business is largely handled by a few Delhi based book importers and distributors.
To accelerate the book supply process from the shelves and warehouses the importers / distributers devised a practice of sending books on credit to academic staff and libraries, through local vendors or jobbers (newcomers in book trade to supply books ‘on approval’ basis). They were allowed to take back books “not selected” within a credit limit of six months only. Within a few years these jobbers turned into legitimate vendors with book stock of their own which could not be returned to the wholesalers within the stipulated six months credit limit.
They start bookshops with the ‘dead stock’ of their own and continue to supply books to the institutions on prevailing terms and conditions. These vendors, having direct contacts with the researchers and faculty members on day to day basis, being the actual selectors in all educational institutions, get offers to publish research monographs of academics. Many of them grabbed these offers on their own terms thereby joining the exclusive club of publishers. We now find several of these vendors are retail bookshop owners, library suppliers and also publishers, all in one.
Perhaps it would not be out of place to add a few words of Iain Stevenson9 on the recent trends in British publishing keeping in mind that India is claimed to be the third largest English language publishing country. ‘Since the beginning of this century, there have been strong trends in British publishing in the increase in concentration of publishing and book selling ownership balanced by healthy specialization and the second is an increasing awareness and impact of electronic media and delivery across sectors that have created a large impact across the book trade.
In 2004 over 161,000 individual book titles were published in the U.K. as compared to 119,000 in 2001 and over 2. 5 times the number in 1990. Consumers spending on books reach 2436 m. sterling pounds (in 2000 it was 2000 million) out of which 30% was from the export sales.
Individual buyers comprised the largest market share, about 70% of total book sale and 20% to academic institutions and corporate bodies’. Indian Legal Deposit Legislation or Delivery of Books Act 1954 and its aftermath The act, commonly referred to as DB Act10 was amended in 1956 to include newspapers and serials under its purview. Annual publishing of books in India during 1950s was small 5.
Challenges in Library Management System (CLMS 2012) and below 30,000 titles, whereas by 2010 it is claimed to have exceeded 100,000 [estimated figure obtained from FIP in the absence of any official data from any reliable source] with substantial increase in the coverage of subjects, such as, science and technology. In a recent 11 Annual Report of the Ministry of Culture the National Library claimed to have received 29,875 publications under the DB Act which happens to be only 30% of the estimated total publications as indicated by senior executives of the Library in several professional forums.
It was also being pointed out in such gatherings that the other three recipient libraries under this Act, in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai received even less during the same period. It is worth noting that this was claimed to be the highest figure ever reached by the library ‘due to a special drive’12Intellectual resource (NACONAL 2006). UNESCO Statistical Yearbook is silent on the number of books published annually or the number of libraries in India over the last several decades, although India is one of the major contributors and active member of this international body.
This sad state of affaire obviously reached, and continue to be, due to simple negligence of all concern. In most other countries annual publication figures were being provided by organizations declared as recipient/s under the legal deposit or copyright legislation of the country. There must be several reasons for the Library to reach in such a state and to argue, we guess, the limitations of DB Act cannot be the primary cause of it. Rigid administrative and fiscal rules and regulations adopted by the Library to operate under the guidance of the Ministry, is surely to my mind, a major factor but not the main one.
The crux of the matter is National Library never received a large number of recent Indian publications under the DB Act. We do not know who all are claimed to be Indian publishers. A sizable number of them are ignorant of DB Act obligations. It is also a fact that number of ‘one time authorpublishers’ is also very high (15% – 20%) especially in vernacular languages. The National Library together with the Central Reference Library committed to bring out Indian National Bibliography(INB) based on the books received under the DB Act, similar in format of the British National Bibliography (BNB).
However, neither the British Library (formerly British Museum Library) nor the Indian National Library is in any obligation under their respective legal deposit acts to bring out national bibliographies of books thus received under their respective legal deposit acts. . Bandhopadhyay13 points out,’rules and policy adopted are working smoothly for the British Library but similar regulations unexpectedly, failed to work in our case. One has to keep in mind the fact that default in U. K. is an exception rather than general rule unlike in India’. The provision of penalty for default in DB Act of Rs.
50. 00 sounds just notional. Either revise it to a figure e. g. , Rs. 1000. 00 or 4-5 times of the actual market price of single copy, whichever is higher or just make it voluntary, and hope for the best. The reason of suggesting the latter provision is to avoid the highly cumbersome and built-in procedural delay within our legal system. Since 1958 National Library did not take any legal action against one single defaulter till date. In UK and USA penalty clause is not mentioned as the legal deposit provision is covered under the country’s copyright acts.
It is because of this factor legal deposit provision is genuinely more effective and acceptable to authors and publishers of these countries. It would be more realistic to suggest that National Library shall receive one copy of every Indian ‘publication’ and the three other regional repository libraries in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai shall have the right to claim any current publication in their respective regional languages only, delivered free of cost under the revised provisions of the DB Act. The current practice of demanding four copies of every publication to be delivered free of cost to each of 6.
Invited Lectures these four libraries (including National Library) failed to meet our expectations. This is in addition to what publishers have to comply with the demands of different state central libraries under the Press and Book Registration Act of 1867. Moreover, a large volume of these books and other publications, thus received, especially language publications that are not so commonly used in some regions are usually being ‘dumped’ or just temporarily stored as these are of ‘no use’ to the library. This is a colossal wastage of national resource.
On the other hand it would not be cost effective to make these so to say, ‘unused books’ (four copies of each) routinely processed, provide costly storage space as well as maintaining them for the posterity in four regional libraries. The National Library shall receive one copy for preservation and access only; create bibliographic records for the benefit of all stakeholders. There are several categories of publications e. g. in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu (EHSU) languages shall find users in other three regional libraries.
Let us accept the real time scenario in terms of availability and accessibility for application of information and communication technologies (ICT) within library systems. Bibliographic data of publications received by the National Library under legal deposit legislation will be accessible to others from INB and National Library catalogue / database online. These three libraries shall buy one copy of all selected books in EHSU languages, from any local vendor / publishers. Additional fund annually spend by three libraries on this account shall be reimbursed from a special annual central government grant.
The proposed module is based on the British legal deposit act where the British Library, London receives one copy of every book / publication and the other five libraries (Wales National Library, Aberystwyth, Scottish National Library, Edinburgh, Oxford University, Cambridge University and Trinity College, Dublin) obtain direct from the publishers, one copy of every book of their choice, selected from the weekly list of books received in the British Library under the legal deposit act.
We made an attempt to get some estimation of the annual cost of books published under these four (EHSU) ‘common languages’ from INB and the National library that would give an idea of the total fund required for the three regional libraries under the revised provision of the Act. All the three libraries receive some annual grant from the central government.
The revised provision in the act will also bring some savings in terms of time and resources, as lesser number of books are to be dealt with by the libraries. Sooner than later, it will be a reality (within a decade or so) of making available a digital copy of an Indian publication by the National Library online, that was not originally selected or received earlier to a library or an individual from its own stock within or outside the country.
The technology is already in experimental stage at various levels. Slowly and gradually a large part of Indian publications will be brought out in e-format only, which will also change our current perception of borrowing or consulting a ‘book’ from a conventional library.
Till we reach that stage in India and the transitional period of overlap (20 years? ) we shall carry on with both the systems as we are now have both bullock carts as well as a BMW 7e series cars on our roads for transportation. Indian library systems shall take a longer path and time to switch over to reach this goal. Moreover, any change in our library ‘modernization’ programme shall be fully dependent on application of technological innovations resulting in inevitable 14 acceptance of a never ending process.
Thomas Abhram in a recent article expressed, “ebooks will be hugely cheaper with the removal of paper and inventory costs…. All things taken into account, books in print format are not certainly going away ever from circulation. And e-books, from a publishing point of view, are a ‘consummation devoutly to be wished’. We in India, specially the National Library are to continue dealing with print copies of books for several decades together with information resources available in e-books and or in any other format.
7 Challenges in Library Management System (CLMS 2012) Table 1: Books in Indian Languages Received in National Library LANGUAGE 2007 08 Assamese Bengali English Gujarati Hindi Kannada Malayalam Marathi Oriya Punjabi Sanskrit Tamil Telugu Urdu Total 97 991 5756 127 2370 687 1500 1400 2661 602 112 3685 248 521 20757 NL/DB Act 2008 – 09 35 1463 5385 348 1722 600 1200 1351 52 576 287 2526 145 304 15994 337 2189 5530 476 1237 877 866 1341 750 000 111 1186 406 292 15598 300 350 450 830 INB (2010) AVERAGE COST.
The figures quoted above (Table-1) under Books received by the National Library under DB Act during 2007-08 and 2008-09 and those listed in INB for 2010 (CRL) were obtained from the respective libraries on personal requests. In a paper presented at the NACONAL 2006 by Mandal & Syed Abuzar15 (2006) indicated National Library received about 20,000 books annually during 1990 2002. They claimed the Library received about 30,000 during 2005-06 due to some special drive and about similar number of volumes during 2010-11as recorded in the Annual Report of the Ministry of Culture.
Unfortunately we could not get breakdown of figures under each language of 29,875 books received during 2005-06 nor of INB listed figures for 2009 and 2011. The significant gap of Oriya books received during 2007-08 and 2008-09 was due to some special efforts put by the concerned language specialist during 2007. [Note:Average cost of recently published books in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu (EHSU) languages has been worked out from a sample of books procured by University of Delhi, Central Library, Central Secretariat Library and the U. S. Library of Congress, Book Procurement Centre in Delhi.
We made here an estimation of annual additional grant amount to be provided by central government to support the three regional libraries (in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai) under the proposed revised legal deposit legislation. The National Library shall receive one copy only of every Indian publication free of cost delivered by the publishers, and the three regional public libraries are to purchase one copy of any book (in EHSU languages) selected by a library from open market. The three libraries are entitled, under the law, to receive free of cost, one copy of a book published in respective regional languages.
It is estimated that each library shall selectively acquire per year about 30,000 new Indian publications (10,000 EHSU + 20,000 in respective regional languages) out of about 90,000 books published annually. It means, central government shall reimburse annually the cost of 30,000 books in EHSU languages where average cost of a set of four EHSU books is Rs. 2000 or Rs. 60 million (30,000 x2000 = 60,000,000). In addition, another 10m (Rs. 10,000,000) would be required to cover annual subscription cost of EHSU periodicals and newspapers. Thus we reach an estimated figure of Rs.
70m or 7crore (add another 10% 8 Invited Lectures annually for inflation). These figures are being presented to get some idea of the extra cost we propose to pass on to the central government exchequer. ] If this revised guidelines are adopted in our legal deposit act (now under revision) by taking over the extra burden of book fund of the three regional libraries by the central exchequer then we could surely expect of getting better cooperation from the publishing fraternity in fulfilling their responsibilities towards the provisions of the revised act.
Group of publishers bringing out EHSU language publications are to supply only TWO free copies, like all other publishers, one to the National Library and the other to Parliament Library. The only sensible expectation of the publishers from the CRL / National Library is to bring out a comprehensive, up to date online INB, listing all currently published titles thus received under the act and provide facilities of easy access to the readers within a reasonable time frame.
Under the revised provision of the act, there is a strong opinion that Chennai based Connemara Public Library shall receive one copy free of cost, of every publication in Dravidian languages (e. g. Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu). Similarly Central Library, Mumbai shall receive books in all western Indian languages, such as Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, etc. , and Delhi Public Library shall get publications in Punjabi, Kashmiri, etc. as commonly spoken in the three respective regions. National Library is to receive one copy of all the publications.
In addition to the respective regional languages publications these three libraries shall purchase one copy of publications of their choice, in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu (EHSU), from publishers / local vendors. Total annual cost of this category of publications shall be reimbursed from central exchequer. With the introduction of advanced network technologies, libraries shall be benefitted for not to process (Catalogue / classify highest cost factor) these books as relevant data can be downloaded from INB.
The second alternative is to incorporate legal deposit provision within the revised copyright legislation as done in the USA and UK. It is possible to reduce the number of defaulting Indian publishers to bare minimum. Only very recently the National Library claimed to have increased intake of publications under the Act by extensive promotional work through the media and sending direct appeal to publishers that have helped it in bringing more and more publishers within the DB Act net.
Secondly, if the total number of copies of each title (an average of seven copies) under both PR and DB Acts could be drastically reduced to minimum two only, there is a hope of getting full support and cooperation of Indian publishers to go by the rule book. Third and the most important factor is to make INB up to date and bring it out at regular frequency (monthly! ) with the target of putting it online within a scheduled time frame. What we need is determination and political will to make the India’s National Library the effective hub of Indian library systems.
Similarly, there are several other issues, listed below, which also require attention by both the National Library and appropriate government agencies that shall help in making India proud of its National Library. Central Reference Library (CRL): In 1971 administration of the CRL was separated from the National Library by making it a subordinate office under the Department of Culture. This was an ideal opportunity we missed, for shifting the CRL to Delhi.
In the middle of 1970s Central Government created a new wing of the Central Secretariat Library (CSL) and named it as Tulsi Sadan Library to collect and provide access exclusively to all Indian language (excluding English) publications, to commemorate the 400th year of Tulsidasa (of Ramcharitmanas fame). CSL could have been merged with CRL and allowed it to operate from some temporary location till a permanent ‘home’ could be found or built at the proposed site opposite to the National Museum on 9 Challenges in Library Management System (CLMS 2012) Janpath, originally proposed by Edwin Lutyens.
CRL would have been the natural choice of declaring it as the fourth recipient public library in Delhi, under the DBAct (instead of making the Delhi Public Library with reluctance, during the 1970s). Ministry of Culture is now under heavy pressure for shifting the Central Secretariat Library out of Shastri Bhavan complex due to severe space crunch and security issues. It is a fact that CSL has lost its original objective of serving information needs of all central secretariat units. Today all the ministries are having their own libraries with specialized collections to cater their respective information needs.
It now serves as a general reading room for Shastri Bhavan employees. Reading for pleasure is not so common with the government employees. Central Secretariat Library is administratively a subordinate office of the Ministry of Culture. A large section of its regular visitors, viz. postgraduate students and research scholars have stopped visiting the library due to overwhelming security checks involved in getting through Shastri Bhavan. Recently several thousand volumes of its rich older collections were being disposed under executive orders to make room for babus of the Ministry.
It could have been easier to find a suitable location for CRL (incorporating CSL) in Delhi during 1970s. Attempts were also being made during the 1970s and 1980s to merge the CRL with the National Library but these were also stalled by staff associations of the two libraries. During this period, management of the National Library was weak as a result, library service also suffered considerably. Central government in Delhi continued to be indecisive in taking appropriate steps while local library administration in Kolkata failed to deal with the day to day issues in any effective manner.
It was more of a failure of the management both at the operational as well as policy making levels. The government allowed the National Library to drift away in the absence of any suitable action plan in place to overcome the crisis. Nor there was any move or pressure from any other corner – library professionals, media or library users’ group. This long drawn uncertainty and lack of effective management control within the National Library campus directly affected services and administration of Central Reference Library thereby putting publication of INB also on the back burner.
Indian National Bibliography (INB): It started in 1958 following the British National Bibliography (BNB) format. To overcome the complexity of multi-script languages it adopted Romanization of all scripts with the descriptive part of each entry in English. This has created problems for many who are not familiar with Roman script or English language. The job of printing INB monthly issues was given exclusively to the Government of India Press in Kolkata that failed to realise, from the beginning, the importance of maintaining the production and delivery schedule.
After years of persuasion by CRL the Ministry allowed printing of INB through private press. Cataloguing of every title, received by the National Library under BD Act, is first to be acknowledged by the Library then sent to CRL on record, where it will be catalogued once according to INB practices and then books shall be sent back to the National Library for re-cataloguing according to its own specified rules followed by due processing for storage.
This long drawn administrative procedural factors and duplication of cataloguing process have claimed to be a major cause of delay from the date of receipt of the publication to the time its record is found in INB followed by making it available to readers of National Library This delay factor has also indirectly discouraged publishers to follow the DB Act guidelines strictly on the pretext of not finding INB to be a regular and up to date periodical either as a reliable check list of current Indian publications or a selection tool for libraries and other stakeholders; nor their publications are found in any bibliographic record of the National Library on time.
National Library takes its own time, sometime nearly two years, to allow access to the books received under the DB Act. Importance of promotion and marketing of INB did never get much support from the concerned authorities.
Adoption of appropriate technologies at 10 Invited Lectures different levels of administration and access to resources has been continuously lagged behind. Most national libraries of the world are having full responsibilities of preserving and allowing access to their collections by providing adequate indexing and other access tools, e. g. national bibliographies, subject bibliographies, annotated catalogues of special collections, many of these are now accessible online on their respective websites.
We must allow the National Library for setting up National Bibliographic Division with full control of bringing out INB and to provide other bibliographic services covering pan-India in appropriate standardized formats, as required from time to time.
By taking full advantage of technological advances supported by a group of committed well qualified staff the Library would be able to help in both improving and widening the scope of services to individuals as well as to provide back-up services to a large number of academic and public libraries in and outside the country. For example, the day Indian libraries in general adopt the same processing format for all new titles listed in INB,India can claim to have won half the battle in modernizing our library services and systems.
Without going into details one can only highlight the fact of centralized processing initiated and applied in most national libraries which have directly and indirectly helped respective library systems of these countries. We are well aware of the fact that both the CRL and INB are as if, linked with the DB Act by an umbilical cord that needs to be focused and dealt with separately for a drastic revision. Proposals l l Title of the revised act may be “Delivery of Publications (National Library) Act.
Definition of Publications shall include – all printed documents, such as, books, periodicals, serials, newspapers, e-publications including audio books, CD books, DVDs and digital online publications and /or any other reformatted or original document produced for commercial distribution, e. g. microform documents. Only one copy of all publications shall be delivered free of charge, direct to the National Library of India (or at an address specified by the Library). The act shall also make adequate provision for the three regional libraries based in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to receive on.