Celebrated in India as the Librarians’ day, 12th August hold a special place. Every year on this day, the birthday of the father of Library Science in India, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, is observed. As a gesture of paying tribute to the founding father, Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU) in association with Assam Library Association (ALA) and Assam College Librarians’ Association (ACLA) organized a day long Regional Seminar on “Entrepreneurial Approach of Library Professionals” at Shilpgram, Guwahati on 12th August, 2012.
The occasion was graced by the presence of Professor Srinath Baruah, Vice Chancellor, KKHSOU, Bhadra Borah, Ex Prof in Library and Information Science, Gauhati University and Axom Sahitya Sabha awardee for 2012 on “humor writings” in Assamese, Mr. Mahendra Borah, working President, ALA, Dr. Narendra Lahkar, President, ACLA and other dignitaries.
The programme began with the traditional lightening of the lamps and inaugural speech. In his inaugural speech, Prof. Srinath Baruah highlighted the great achievement of Dr. Ranganathan and his extra ordinary service and dedication to the field of LIS. He spoke on the integration of technology with LIS so as to provide unlimited opportunities for the students and professional engaged in the field. Prof. Narendra Lahkar in his speech spoke on the life and times of Dr. Ranganathan and his important contributions to the field of Library Science.
There were two technical sessions and papers were presented by students, researchers, and professionals. In the first technical session, Dr. Badan Barman in his Key Paper “Time to be Independent of Library Settings: Alternative Avenues for Librarians” stressed on the need to acquire skills to develop an entrepreneurial approach towards LIS. He cited the examples of his websites NET UGC (www.netugc.com) and Indian Employment News (www.iemploymentnews.com) which is created for greater benefit of a large population. He focused on the fact that LIS professionals have enough scope to work and be self-employed, if the attitude towards entrepreneurship was positive. The other paper presenter were Mr. Nirmal Ranjan Mazumdar on “Entrepreneurial Approach of Library Professionals” and Ms. Bijoya Ray on “Entrepreneurial Approach of LIS Professionals for Self Deployment”. The first sessions was chaired by Mr. Mahendra Borah.
In the second technical session, Mr. Dipen Deka presented a thought provoking paper on “Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Library Professionals: an outlook”. In his paper, Dipen Deka emphasized the different avenues of interests where a LIS student and professionals can play important role and land a career as an entrepreneur. The session was chaired by Prof. Narendra Lahkar. The other paper presenters were Mrs. Kankana Baishya on “Entrepreneurial Approach in Librarianship: An Unpaved Way to Self Employment for Librarians”, Mrs. Pushpanjali Deka on “Prospects of Entrepreneurial Approach among Library Professionals of Assam in Chasing Job Dissatisfaction” and Shrutimala Baruah on “Public Library Professionals as Social Entrepreneur”. All papers were innovative as they dwelt on different themes of the Seminar.
Eminent LIS teacher and recipient of Phani Talukdar Dolly Talukdar Byanga Rachana, award by Axom Sahitya Sabha, Bhadra Borah was accorded warm felicitation in the meet.
The evening session was the “Panel Discussion” participated by Panelist Prof. Narendra Lahkar, Dr. Badan Barman, Mr. Mahendra Borah, Dr. Nabajyoti Das, and Dr. Dhrubajit Das followed by the “Open Discussion” coordinated by Dr. Sanjay Kr Singh. The last session was the “Problem Solving Session” wherein problems faced by the LIS Professionals are highlighted and probable solutions was searched by the delegates. The delegates were enthusiastic and actively took part in it.
Towards the end, Dr. Lahkar made an interesting note that the drive towards entrepreneurship in LIS was low but with the technological advancement and motivational spirit, there is a bright scope. The seminar concluded successfully and the man behind it, Dr. Badan Barman was lauded and praised for bringing up a relevant and challenging area and for sharing his experiences which could serve as an inspiration for others LIS professionals.
The Seminar topic was new and path breaking for all the participants and caught their interests. They felt that there was a need to change the mental set up and look for more opportunities in the field of entrepreneurship. The lack of incentive, motivation and non-recognition of LIS in academics could be now a distant past with new technology and ideas that can bring not only revenues but also employment opportunities. The Seminar recognized the importance of information science in the 21st century and how it can change the world for a bright and better future.